We arrived in Cuenca, Ecuador via Quito a couple days ago. Before I started planning this trip with Joan I had never heard of this city of nearly 400,000 residents set high in the Andes of South America. At around 8,200 feet above sea level it’s not for altitude challenged. The real draw here is the Spanish colonial architecture that many regard as some of the best preserved in the world and the entire “centro historico” has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The stunning architecture, colorful indigenous Americans, and all-around general vibe make for a wonderful place to visit.
I’ll admit, upon arrival I was tired and didn’t really understand the attraction here. But it only took a few hours to see that this is really a special place. This entry will have a lot of photos for the mere fact that it is a photographer’s dream. Not that I’m a photographer, but it certainly gave me plenty of reasons to think that I was.
Of course we saw the beautiful architecture. We also had some wonderful meals (a couple of bad ones too). We visited more churches than you could shake a stick at but probably the most memorable experience of our visit here was the political demonstration on some sort of constitutional amendment.
The local police prepared for it all day! And they sure did pull out all their toys for the event. We saw everything from cops dressed in armor that looked like it was from a Star Wars set to cops on armored horses, to cops with rather friendly looking German Shepherds. However it was notable that very few actually had guns. I even saw one particularly macho looking “polizia” assisting an elderly lady around some barricades that had been erected. He treated her with a gentle touch. Here are some photos from our riot.
This morning we found a local food market. It was here that I got some good photos of people that I especially like.
Of course there was the food!
Here are some other scenes from around town that just caught my eye. Late this afternoon we fly to Quito which the country’s capital. Stand by for further reports and a new person added to our travelling party. Francisco will be showing us all the sights in Quito and the surrounding area. Should be fun.