|New Cathedral with Calderon Park in foreground|
We headed first to the Parque Abdon Calderon. Seated between the New Cathedral, started in 1895, and the Old Cathedral, which is now a museum, the park is a great spot for people watching. First-rate ice cream, cappuccinos or traditional Ecuadorian food is available at restaurants across from the park, which we visited on more than one occasion. Restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries or ice cream shops seemed to be located about every 100 feet or so. No lack of eating out options in the city.
Professional shoe-shine vendors are situated in front of the Raymipampa restaurant, and offered to shine Alan's shoes one day. When Alan pointed out that he was wearing sneakers, the man insisted that they needed to be cleaned, and he wasn't mistaken about that. A few minutes later, Alan departed with "clean" sneakers, but they were now a bright blue, they had been gray. With Alan's substantial shoe size, he looked a bit like a giant blue-footed boobie.
Another highlight of the city is the walkway along the Rio Tomebamba. Considered the most important of the four rivers running through the city, this waterfront area provides a well-maintained green space, with lots of shade and occasional benches for hanging out. While the path along the river is level, access to the path necessitates maneuvering down (and obviously back up again) the 90 steps to get there, but it's definitely worth it. At over 8000 feet, everything seems to be a a little bit more of a challenge!
|Ruins, looking up from the plantings|
We've covered a lot of territory during our visit to Cuenca, so I'm dividing the story into 2 parts. More to come soon.
|Mirador de Turi, an old church looking down on the city.|
|Alan getting his sneakers "cleaned"|
|Gold leaf altar and pink marble in the interior of the New Cathedral|
|Natures best lawnmowers at the ruins|