Potosi is the highest city in the world of its size, at 4,070 meters. And it once was the largest and richest in all the Americas. In the go-go days, starting in 1545, silver mining created local fortunes, and the grand colonial city was built.


Perched on the side of Cerro Rico, the mountain that yielded these riches, Potosi was one of the most important Spanish possessions. The city was one of the world’s biggest consumers of luxury goods from Europe, Asia and the Americas.


All food had to be imported from elsewhere in South America, as not much grows at Potosi’s altitude.


We really enjoyed seeing the fine Spanish buildings, and stayed in a converted villa. Many homes had Moorish balconies, like those in Salta.


The local cathedral is old and grand. It has a Christ made of cactus.


And a picture of Saint Jaime of the Birthmark.


And you can climb onto the roof for a great view.


A marching band came through town to celebrate independence.


Locals lounged in the square.


Jason bought a new coat, hat and scarf at the local outdoor market.

One night we had dinner at a well designed restaurant that I suspect was Dutch-owned. The decor was so sophisticated you could have been in New York; there was nothing else like it in town. Decor included these interesting wall cutaways boxes with dried flowers and grain.


Sometimes I wonder what kind of inspiration strikes… we see so many expats in the most unexpected places… ¨I´m tired of Amsterdam. Hmmm… maybe Tokyo? Or the South of France… Wait, I know — Potosi, Bolivia, the highest city of its size! And there are llamas¨

Unfortunately, my stay in Potosi ended with a minor bout of food poisoning, but not from the Dutch place.