Oh, yes, we will! Cuenca was old but not creaky; bursting with energy and things to do; a great combination of urban and green space. How could we not be charmed? For us, every day brought new things to see as we explored this colorful UNESCO World Heritage Site.
During weekend days, the horses ring around the center of Calderon Park waiting for little children to saddle up and have their photos taken. By night they are rolled in to their “stable”.
Ecuador is where the true toquilla straw (Panama) hats are handmade. We watched a lady sitting in the sun on a little stool, who had just started the weaving process. As we watched, she motioned for Beth to sit next to her and give it a try. (Beth hopes the craftswoman took out the few stiches that she (Beth) made so the hat has no imperfections!)
We saw pieces that looked like contemporary art at the Museo de las Culturas Aborigenes but were many centuries older. From the street, the museum looked unassuming; inside was a large collection of archaeological pieces spanning thousands of years, most of it from pre-Incan peoples.
Several times a week we’d walk down to the Pumapungo Archaeological Park and stroll through the gardens (to see flowers, like the blooming cactus), birds, and trees.
The Belgian waffle-maker, Jan, is there at Pumapungo on Thursdays through Sundays, and we always stopped by to chat and have a $1.50 waffle.
Parque Calderon is the center square and heart of the city. Across from the park are the old cathedral (now a museum), the new cathedral, and the best ice cream place in town, Tutto Freddo. We always enjoyed hearing birds in the square – and were even happier to spot them. This one is a great thrush.
We often see musicians performing near the square, but one evening we were entertained by these little marionettes.
We’ll miss Cuenca. Our two-month’s stay was not long enough!