We both woke up feeling a bit off. We took it easy and had a leisurely breakfast downstairs and then headed towards the square to take an hour and a half city tour. When we arrive we were told it was $5 per person – what a terrific price! We boarded the typical double decker bus and sat up on the top deck for the best view.
It was a great tour for us to see more than just the few blocks close to our hotel. We toured the old historic part of the city and then across one of the four rivers to the newer sections of Cuenca.
The city is situated in a beautiful green valley with huge mountains surrounding the entire city. Cuenca is also referred to as the red city for the sea of red tiled roofs. Overlooking the city from one of the higher neighbourhoods, the views are spectacular!
The architecture in all areas of the city is beautiful but especially beautiful in the historic area, an abundance of Spanish colonial and french architecture and colour. The city is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Trust Site for it’s many historical buildings. There are 52 churches, one for each week of the year, the population is over 560,000 and was founded in 1557.
We returned around 12:45pm and went back to the Forum Hotel for their lunch of the day. Today’s menu was cream of vegetable soup, tree fruit juice (tastes similar to orange juice but more bitter), mushroom and chicken risotto with salad and white chocolate mousse for dessert. It was delicious and, are you ready for this, it was only $5.80 per person!! It would be very easy to leave here on a reasonable salary.
Following lunch we decided it was siesta time. I normally can’t sleep in the daytime but today I slept like a baby for two hours. Around 6:00pm we walked back to the square and decided to take the city tour again during the evening. Some may think we are crazy, but it was a whole different city at night and I was glad we did it.
We stopped at a local grocery to pick up fixings for tomorrow’s lunch as we will be on the bus for six hours. We changed our itinerary and are heading to Riobamba tomorrow and then to Quito the following day. We need to be up for 6:00am, so we headed back to the room early to pack and get a good nights sleep.