Wednesday, May 29th, 2019.
“Cuenca – Hop On Hop Off Bus
At 09:30 am make your own way to Parque Calderon to SIC Ticket for the South Route bus.
Today you will explore the colonial city center of Cuenca by going on a scavenger hunt. The hunt includes questions and tasks that lead you to the town’s must-see places. For today you will also receive a day pass for Cuenca’s hop on/off bus tour.”
I get up and have breakfast in the hotel. The room was very creaky, the bed, too. If you move, you are awake. The breakfast room preparation was not loud.
The breakfast is simple, the coffee has no coffein. I get a pot for my cereals as I ask for it. They bring me fruit and soft boiled eggs.
I go Calle Gram Colombia to the main square to the hop on hop off bus. Beautiful colonial or tepublican houses line up along the street.
The people at the hop on hop off bus know nothing. They do pictures of my app, of my passport. And they will call. I call, too. They will call back. Aha. Again. Another Bamba Experience experience. So I take a free walking tour through the city at 10.00 for 2.5 hours.
We start at the “new cathedral”. It is not built as planned, as the catacombs reduced the static. In the building phase the wall above main door cracked, so they stopped to build on the towers. The crack is still visible. It is a huge church. The blue tiles of the roof came from Czech. The church was build 19./beginning of 20. Century. The old cathedral is used for theaters now.
Then we go to through Bishops palace and the former court, today all shopping or restaurant areas for the tourists.
We walk through the streets, try sweets, to the flower market in front of Carmen de la Ascunion monastery. There some people were queuing up to buy a drink, made by the nuns of the monestary, which is said to heal everything, the aqua de pitimas. It is made by the carmelites since more than 309 years, they say. I give it a try. It is made of herbs, such as chamomile, something lemon and of course sugar. Of course flashy pink red colored. Naja …
In the church there is a turning table, where the cloistered nuns sell their products. A lot of people buy.
Some more churches, there are a lot here, to the main plaza, then to the mercado. Vegetables, fruits, there is tei I havenot seen or tried so far … Zambo and Babaco. I try the roast pork with potatoes. Delicious.
We go to Panama Hat (which is originally from Ecuador and produced only on Ecuador) but because of a mistake from Theodore Roosevelt, who used on a visit of the building of the Panama canal, is now known as the “Panama hat”.
Down to the river, a coffee. Tour finished.
After the tour I go to the market for lunch. Soup and pork roast.
Then I walk to the broken bridge, to Pumapungo museo (from Banco de Ecuador) with its shrink heads of the shuma and the inca ruins.
Then I go to a angelus coffeehouse for an opera cake.
Accomodation: Hostal Posada del Angel, Cuenca