Day 18 - Machu Picchu

Oh my God, I can't imagine I actually made it there! "Thee" infamous Machu Picchu, a signature Inca site from the 15th century located up on the mountain (2430 meters above sea level). It is literally "the castle in the air", as you can see from the pictures, how it's hidden in the clouds among the mountains. There are two main railways that go up to Machu Picchu from Cusco, Perurail and Inca rail, the price is similar if you book from the railway companies, which are located in Cusco. In order to secure a seat, I would recommend booking the ticket online as soon as you know the date you are going. We took the Perurail. There are 3 classes of the train, the cheapest is Expedition, then Vistadome, then Hiram Bingham. I honestly don't think the Vistadome is worth the extra money, and I can barely notice the difference. As for Hiram Bingham, this is absolutely the most luxurious ride to Machu Picchu, as they provide onboard meals, with wine and entertainment. We of course went with the cheapest option. We found a travel agency in Cusco, and we purchased tickets from them, which includes taxi from our hostel to Poroy station, and then the train to Machu Picchu Station, then the entrance fee to Machu Picchu, the mini bus ride up to the Machu Picchu (quite a scary ride), and a tour guide to help explain the historical features of the ruins, and of course all the transportation back to the hostel. It was very nice that everything was taken care of. For those who have the time and energy, you can always chose to go up by walking the Inca trail!
The Machu Picchu was thought to be unfinished and abandoned as a result of the Spanish conquest, and because of its location, it wasn't found until about 100 years ago, and thus it is so well-preserved. The whole site can be divided into an agricultural sector (terraces) and an urban sector (houses), as well as an upper town (temples) and a lower town (warehouses). It was built using the classic Inca architectural style of polished dry-stone walls, and this technique is called ashlar. Blocks of stone are cut to fit each other perfectly without mortar, not even a knife can go between the stones. The Incas are masters of this technique, which we still do not understand how they did it! 
We climbed all the way up to the top to get the golden shot of the machu picchu, and the weather wasn't very good that day, so it was too foggy that we could barely see it! (picture below) I was beyond sad..... I mean, it is not a place that you come to every day, and honestly, the train ride costs quite a bit too...... So, we decided that we should wait and see if the fog goes away, and an hour later, it DID!!!! OMG!!!! Once it did, I just kept clicking my camera non-stop!! A lot of friends would say, you can always get a picture online.... I was like WHAT?!!! For me, it feels sooooooo different when you took the picture of the place you visited. That's just priceless. 
It is definitely an experience to be able to see this with your very own eyes and touch this with your bare hands (Everything is original!!). It is amazing how the Incas could have gone all the way up here, and built a whole community right on the cliff of the mountain. This is definitely one of must-go places on earth.