Cuenca – a city more my speed

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!).

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The "New" Cathedral by the town square

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A cute place I went for dinner and tea! It felt like I could be in someone's house!

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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.

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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.

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View of the flower market (recently named by national geographic to bein the top 5 flower markets in the world)

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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.

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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!

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Ice cream anyone?

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Daytimeview from on top of the New Cathedral

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Religious knick knacks and candles were sold in front of every church

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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!

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