The Electric Museum and a Visit to Barranco

The sun was out again today! We didn’t intend for it happen (maybe it was meant to given the great weather) but the kids and I left the apartment at 845 a.m. with Sean to go to school and didn’t come back until 5 p.m. After class we ran a few errands. We had to find a place to have a new key made. (Someone lost theirs. Not saying who.) Then we attempted to rent a car for our upcoming trip to Paracas this weekend. (Car was rented online for half the price being quoted by the travel agent. I am sure there will be a blog post about that driving experience! Stay tuned.) Then, we all had lunch overlooking the ocean at Larcomar. Sean was in super stressed out work mode so we decided to cut him loose and sent him back to the apartment to make calls and mark documents.

After some ice cream and a coffee the kids and I decided to walk along the promenade by the ocean and ended up heading toward Barranco. Considered to be the hippest neighborhood in Lima (or so I have been told), set on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific, Barranco is filled with colorful colonial era homes, bars, shops and restaurants. It was originally a summer retreat for people from Lima given its proximity to the water and apparently slightly warmer and more sunny weather.

Oscar suggested a visit to the Electric Museum (Museo de la Electricidad) which sounded completely awful to Sofia but seemed like as good a destination as any. One of the things I have found surprising about Lima is how few sites there are to see. It’s a large sprawling city but there aren’t that many places to visit. It’s more of a place to experience through the food, culture and people than a place to sightsee. Before we left New York, I had imagined that the kids and I would visit a different place every day after school and I am now really struggling to find those places. (As opposed to London, for example, where you could live for years…like we did for nearly five years…and not get even close seeing everything.) We did and saw a lot when my parents were in town and we are waiting to visit a couple more museums when my sister comes to visit but we have covered a lot of ground already. So a visit to the Electric Museum? Why not?

It was small and free and surprisingly more interesting I thought it would be, despite having zero interest in the history of the development of power and electricity in Lima. (Interesting fun fact: Lima used to have a system of electric trams that shut down in 1965. Which is a shame given the horrible traffic here.) We saw some old televisions and telephones and the kids played on a couple of interactive displays.

After the museum we walked under the Bridge of Sighs down the narrow side street to take a look at the water. We saw some people swimming and the kids were furious at me that I didn’t have towels and bathing suits in my bag for them.

barrancoAfter all of the walking, I promised that we could take a taxi home but we first had to visit a store I had read about: the Dedalo Market. The Dedalo Market is in a beautiful old colonial building right off a square in Barranco. There is a decidedly sophisticated feel to the market which features the work of Peruvian artists and artisans. The prices are very reasonable and the items are beautiful. Jewelery, clothing, ceramics, toys and textiles are tucked away in the corners of the building, one small shop leading to another. There is small open air courtyard where you can sit and eat. Even Oscar enjoyed poking around and Sofia left determined to redecorate her room when we get back home. We didn’t buy anything but plan to go back with Sean.

In total, the kids and I walked nearly seven miles (!!) including a stop at Wong to buy a rotisserie chicken because I was too tired to cook. But, it’s good kind of tired. Not the bored kind of tired I so often find myself mired in at home but a physical and mental exhaustion that feels like I have used every cell in my body. Just like we learned at the museum today, electricity is simply a kind of energy that moves from one place or thing to another. Little did I know that today I would get my charge from Barranco and the Electric Museum?!

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