Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fun being tourists

Yesterday was one of those fun-tourist-y days that just happens!

We went downtown for lunch -- we had a hankering for Mexican food and decided to try out lunch at Azteca...it's across the street from the Santo Domingo Church on Gran Colombia.

Great chili con carne burritos with lots of great guac and the chili/salsa sauce is wonderful. Dinners here are good, too.

After lunch, we joined our friends Bruce and Charlie (fancy running into them at the Square!) We thought we'd just hang out, do some errands with them...

That is, until the double-decker red tour bus just happened to be there, ready to leave... So, we decided, real spur of the moment, that it was 'our time' to do the bus tour! We'd all been wanting to do that for awhile.
(These pictures are in no particular order...just will give you a flavor of the City.)

We were the only ones on the bus for the 2-2.5 hr ride around town... us 4, plus the driver, guide (and a gentleman selling drinks and hats). $5/ each, plus a tip at the end. We think you can usually catch the bus in front of the old cathedral -- not sure of the normal schedule.

What a fun ride! We saw parts of Cuenca we haven't seen before... and many scenes we haven't seen from the 2nd story. Amazing how different some things look when you're up a story...And, the guide pointed out some historical sites (and told the stories -- in pretty good English!).

(Statue of man coming out of a volcano.)

One thing to look out for if you decide to take the ride and take the upstairs seats... the overhead wires are LOW in some parts of the City, so you have to duck to stay safe... and be sure to wear your sunscreen... we had a sunscreen stick to rub on our noses and it really helped (we brought it from the States, not sure if you can buy them here or not)... and Rich bought a ball cap on the bus for $2...

Right behind the Central Bank Museo (at Huayna Capac y Calle Larga), there are some excavations of Inca Ruins, and some agricultural representations of the time... and llamas!! Definitely going back to see up close... We've been to the museum and it's well worth a look again, too.

Tour ends up at Turi Hill for an overlook of the city (wow, Cuenca IS big!). The bus takes a break for about 20 minutes, so you can wander and check out the views, the church and the gift shops. A woman was cooking and selling 'meat on a stick', just in case you needed a snack.

(Boys had fun being silly with their hats.)

Church on Turi... very colorful inside, almost like folk-art.

After our tour, yes! We admit...we did end up with ice cream treats at the Square (which replaced our dinner!) This time we ate ice cream (and even tried out their delicious cakes in the bakery area) at a new (to us)place located at the corner of Simon Boliver y Luis Cordero on the main square. There is a pretty courtyard in the back and a very nice looking restaurant upstairs, with white tablecloths, over the courtyard. The menu looks great! It might have been the hour (about 7pm), but not a soul in the place, except for the waiters, kitchen staff and hostess (who all were very nice to us as they showed us around).

One of the tables, which we HAD to try out!,
that window between us with the flags overlooks the square.

We'll definitely be back ...

What a fun day!

No comments:

Post a Comment