Sunday, February 19, 2006


Ahh, beautiful Cuenca!

The most beautiful city in Ecuador is Cuenca (KWEN - ka). It is an old, old city occupied, first, by the Cañari Indians, then the Incas, then the Spanish and now it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is renowned as a cultural center of Ecuador. We love Cuenca for the beautiful colonial architecture and the wonderful people.

Cuenca is south of Quito in the Central Highlands of Ecuador. We flew from Quito to Cuenca. It is a short trip by plane—less than an hour, but a long bus ride on the PanAmerican Highway, so well worth the airfare. We haven't taken the bus, but Cayo and Emily do, from time to time, and I think they say it is about 7 hours. We wanted to spend New Years in Cuenca and visit some of our favorite people and places while we were there.

Our son-in-law, Cayo, is from Cuenca, where much of his family still resides. We are always treated to such great hospitality when we go to Cuenca. Here is Cayo, with his mother, the amazing Chela, who is warm and funny and the best cook in Ecuador.

The heart of colonial Cuenca is Parque Calderón, the central plaza in front of the new Cathedral. You can have your picture taken, have your shoes shined, or sit and eat an ice cream and watch the Indigenous women, in their colorful embroidered skirts and panama hats, stroll through the plaza or the schoolgirls in their uniforms.

The architecture of Cuenca never ceases to impress me. The old buildings and grand homes along the river make Cuenca one of the loveliest cities in all the world to me.

Wow, that looks like a truly beautiful city!
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