To the top of the dome!

Climbing Il Duomo di Firenze on top of Santa Maria del Fiore is a must-do in Italy!  We stuck it out through a three-hour-long line to get our chance.  The good thing about waiting in line with a group is that you can do shifts.  A couple of us would hold the place in line while a couple of us would wander off to explore the Piazza del Duomo, drink cappuccino, go to the bathroom, etc.  It was still a looooooong and slow-moving line!

The humongous and intricate Gothic cathedral was begun in 1296, and the dome was engineered by Brunelleschi.  The church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  You can climb the dome, climb the belltower, or visit the baptistry.  The views from the top of the dome over Florence are amazing!

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Fresco of “The Last Judgement”

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Florence is beautiful!  I can’t wait to go back someday and see more of Tuscany!

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Cathedrals of León

León is the old capital of Nicaragua and is known for being a liberal city full of intellectuals and poets.  It also has several really awesome churches.

The most famous cathedral is this one, the biggest church in Central America.  It was built in the 1700s and although the outside is a bit worn out, the inside is really well-maintained and gorgeous.

The altar
Great paintings

We saw two other really old churches in León.

Other highlights of León included some good street food, fun parties, and volcano boarding (post on that coming tomorrow)!  We also ran into an old friend who worked with us at Loki Hostel in Cuzco.  What a small world!

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At the Copa! Copacabana, Bolivia!

Okay, we know that song is not about Bolivia´s Copacabana, but still…

Copacabana Bolivia
View of Copacabana from Cerro Calvario

The town of Copacabana, Bolivia lies 8km from the Peruvian border on the shore of Lake Titicaca.  It is a very peaceful place with lots of indigenous people selling food and crafts along the streets.  In the food market you are able to get a whole fried trout, with potatoes, salad, and rice, for 18 Bolivianos (under $3).

Copacabana Bolivia

Copacabana’s cathedral is one of the coolest churches we have seen on this trip.  The inside was almost tackily-ornate, but we weren’t allowed to take pictures.

Copacabana Bolivia

Vendor’s carts surround the cathedral, selling candles, flowers, champagne and small toys.  Confused about the champagne and small toys?  One of the most famous events in Copacabana is the periodic “Blessing of Miniature Objects.”  People buy small toys and items to represent the normal-sized things they’d like to acquire in the next year.  Hence, cars and houses are the most popular toys to bless.  They then take part in an elaborate ritual involving some prayers and chants, and ending with spraying booze all over the toys.  After this, they go home sure that sometime soon a life-size HotWheels cruiser is gonna appear in front of their house.

Enjoy this post about Backpacking in Copacabana, Bolivia? Check out our archives for other adventures! Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @laaventuraproject and subscribe to our Youtube Channel.

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Las Lajas Cathedral – Catholic Colombia

Las Lajas Cathedral is a beautiful neo-Gothic cathedral outside the Colombian border town of Ipiales.  The church spans a gorge where, a legend has it, an image of the Virgin Mary appeared to a deaf-mute girl in 1754, causing her to speak for the first time.Las Lajas Cathedral

Drawn by both the spiritual legend and the glorious architecture, the church is a popular spot for Colombian tourists.  It’s definitely worth a look if you’re on the road to or from Ecuador.  It’s an easy detour; just take a shared taxi to and from the Ipiales bus terminal.  It only takes about an hour to get there and see the church.

Las Lajas Cathedral
Candles lit by pilgrims.

Las Lajas CathedralLas Lajas Cathedral

One of the weirdest/best things we’ve seen so far was stationed in the Las Lajas parking lot.  This llama in full royal/Biblical gear was just chilling, seemingly just there for photo ops!  Hilarious!

Las Lajas Cathedral

lEnjoy this post about Las Lajas Cathedral? Check out our archives for other adventures! Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @laaventuraproject and our subscribe to our Youtube Channel.

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