We are in Peru. We know this because there is a message etched on the face of one of the mountains — Viva el Perú — and what a greeting this is! We are in Cusco, about 11,000 feet above sea level. Air is thin here, and the people hardy and colourful.

Cusco is the historical site of the ancient Inca empire. This close to the Urubamba Valley, the view of the Andes mountain range is spectacular. Near the town centre, the Plaza de Armas is bustling with tourists and the locals who sell them souvenirs and offer to guide them to Inca ruins.

We are tourists too, of course. Next up will be Macchu Picchu and the Lake Titicaca. And like most tourists, we’d like to rest and grab a coffee, preferably with a decent view. Well, there’s one spot where one could get an unparalleled view of the Plaza de Armas: Starbucks.

Yes, there is a Starbucks café even here. In fact, it’s the highest Starbucks in the world. And sitting at the balcony looking down at the town square with the mountains in the background, it’s not hard to believe this.

The coffee? Tastes the same as any Starbucks; we’ll let you decide if that is a good thing or not.

庫斯科城是我們抵達秘魯的第一站。
這個海拔3400公尺(11024英尺)高的古老城市被安第斯山脈所環繞,
四周山巒疊起且空氣稀薄;它是古印加帝國的首都,也是印加文明的搖籃。
兵器广场則是庫斯科城的核心。
這裡曾是印加帝國時的文化與宗教中心,而現在四周酒店林立,
加上許多的旅行社和餐館,是旅客的必經之地。
我們是遊客,當然也不會錯過這裡。
在買了一堆紀念品后,我們走進了這家據說是世界海拔最高的星巴克。
夕陽西下時,頂著高山的冷風,手裡捧著杯熱咖啡,站在星巴克的陽臺上,
看著兵器廣場與周圍古老的建築,還有層疊起伏的山巒,
彷彿間,有種時空交錯的奇異感覺。
手裡的咖啡好喝嗎?那已經不重要了。


Starbucks Plaza de Armas
Calle Loreto 115, Cusco, Peru
Sun-Thu 7am-11pm / Fri-Sat 7am-11:30pm
+51-958-192-161
www.starbucks.com.pe/contacto/tiendas/provincias/cusco

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January 17, 2014

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