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Published: November 12th 2013
In Cuenca, you could easily think you are suddenly in Italy and that it's suddenly spring. Actually, it is said that in Quito, and probably same applies to Cuenca as well, an eternal spring prevails. And indeed, Cuenca felt very springly with its light green trees, blossoming flowers and fresh, not too cold, not too hot, air - perfect!
Cuenca was one of the cities we really wanted to see in Ecuador, but according to our current travel plans, it wouldn't come our way. Luckily we found cheap air tickets, so we decided to take a little detour and fly there for a long weekend. We spent two full days just marvelling the beautiful architecture and relaxed atmosphere, doing nothing special but walking around and sometimes laying on the grass next to the small river reading. The atmosphere of Cuenca was very relaxed, with lots of locals sitting in parks with their kids, and when we sat in small cafés where local customers also came, it seemed like everyone knew each other, and were glad to see each other. Cuenca has lots of foreigners too, it seemed that many have come for a visit, fallen in love with the place,
and decided to stay. Some had found love with local Ecuadorians too, like the Belgian guy supporting himself selling absolutely delicious waffels at a park kiosk.
Food played a big part of our Cuenca trip, as we found the city had a lot of delicious food, probably in big part because of all those foreign settlers, who have started restaurants serving their national cuisines. We enjoyed great vegan food twice, as well as pasta, pizza, indian, waffles, sacher cake, organic coffee..yum! Have to admit, though, that customers at these restaurants (apart from cafés) were mostly foreigners; even if for us the prices were cheap, it seems for locals those places would still be luxuries. Having said that, Cuenca seemed more rich, safe and certainly having less poverty compared to Quito. The sad people trying to make a living selling tooth brushes on the streets were almost non existent.
Surprisingly, we actually managed to go out one evening for drinks and live music - usually we get tired early, but this time we got ourselves out of the hostel still in the evening 😉 Not that we had a wild party night, but we went to a nearby bar
to listen to some traditional latin live music, which was quite nice. The band had asked where we are from, and when we left while they were still playing, we heard them make comments about the Finnish amigos leaving. Hopefully they didn't think we thought they sucked or anything, it was just our bedtime, or way past it :D
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