Last week I spent a couple days in the UNESCO world heritage city of Cuenca. This has been by far the most beautiful city I have been to yet with cobblestone streets, old churches and quaint town squares. My hostel here was right near the centre of Old Town so I spent a lot of time just wandering around (and eating icecream!).
The "New" Cathedral by the town square
A cute place I went for dinner and tea! It felt like I could be in someone's house!
Panama hats were actually first created in Ecuador, apparently they became popular when a US president was photgraphed wearing one in Panama so they get the name and glory! There were many hat shops all around Cuenca.
There was a beautiful flower market with all sorts of colours and types of flowers. I read that Ecuador grows and exports lots of roses, making them quite cheap to buy locally.
View of the flower market (recently named by national geographic to bein the top 5 flower markets in the world)
These things freaked me out. You can ride them (or rather, get pulled since the big ones are on wheels) around the square for a dollar.
It takes every ounce of willpower to not get sucked into buying one of these or something similar like an alpaca blanket. I definitely want onebut I dont want to carry it around for the next 2 months! I will have to wait til the end of my trip!
Ice cream anyone?
Daytimeview from on top of the New Cathedral
Religious knick knacks and candles were sold in front of every church
View of Cuenca from a "mirador" or lookout point. Beautiful!
Overall I really enjoyed Cuenca, though my hostel was super boring and empty. I realize I am traveling in off season, but I seem to find the really quiet hostels along the way. Sometimes this is great, but other times I just wish I could meet people! I must have been saving up because after Cuenca I took a shuttle to Vilcabamba where I stayed at my favourite hostel so far and met so many amazing people… funny how that happens. Stay tuned for more about that place next!