Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Season in Cuenca, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Parades are a Very-Big-Deal here during the Holiday Season.  We saw our very first one this Season late November and we're sure we haven't seen the last!

Cuenca is known for the GrandDaddy of all Parades on Christmas Eve.  We love to attend each year!
This Parade goes on for hours...the planning and organization must be tremendous.  To the uneducated eye, this year's Parade went off seamlessly, as they always seem to.  Congratulations, Cuenca!

Taking a break in the shade.

This year, once again, thousands of participants, including many children and adults, with vehicles and animals and many Baby Jesuses, marched through the streets of the City. 

Each year it gets bigger, according to officials.  We read somewhere that just about every child in Cuenca dressed up and joined in, to give you an idea of the sheer size!

Folks come from far and wide to watch.  All flights and hotels booked up early, as usual.

Actually, the Big Parade is made up of many smaller ones, each representing a Community, Church, School, Family.  Each has a Baby Jesús. 

The smaller groups come together each year for the Big One, as well as march on different days as their own.  In past years, we've seen smaller Parades right up into February, so all can participate.

Here are more pictures as we roamed the City this Holiday Season.

Right down Av Solano.

At a neighborhood Church.

Our first Parade of the Season.

Last minute instructions for the drummers.


We are in our Summer now.  Hot for Cuenca (almost 80 degrees F on Christmas Eve!).  Windy most afternoons. 

Beautiful skies this time of the year.
Intense sunshine.

The skies are so beautiful, we are planning on washing the windows soon.  Can you imagine even thinking of washing windows in December?!?  No snow here!

Flowers are doing really well.

We're sure we'll have more pictures of the Season later, so stay tuned.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Nativity at Las Conceptas Museum

We went with friends to the Las Conceptas museum, primarily to see the special, historic nativity scene on display this year.

We have been to the museum before and loved it -- not too big, not too small, just right, with lots of treasures!  We love the old architecture and history, too.  This complex is the oldest colonial in Cuenca, restored in the mid-1980's.

The museum occupies a small portion of the block-size building.  The rest of the property is still home to cloistered nuns and not open to the public. 

There is a modest entrance fee for the museum.  We mention this, in case you want to check it out.  Not free like most museums in Cuenca, but still a bargain! -- about $3

The day we were there, photos were allowed of the inside, but no flash.  We did our best.  But, no comparison to seeing the art ín person'!  Also, the printed info at the exhibits is in Spanish, English and French now.

For a previous visit and more info, see

Pretty courtyard in bloom.

This  museum houses one of the most special collections of old religious art, some dating back to the beginning of the convent, 1600's.  Much of the art was donated by the wealthy families of Old Cuenca. 

One of Nancy's favorites...lady and her sheep.

Displays of life in the convent.

A simple bedroom.

The nativity scene! 

About 30 pieces, originally from Italy, 19th century.

We both wish a Very, Merry Christmas to You and Yours!  May your Season be filled  with Peace, Joy and Love.

Happy Solstice, too!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sunday Walk in Uzhupud

Our Sunday walk at Hosteria Uzhupud was peaceful and full of birdsong early morning.

We love to explore the grounds there, so lovely. 

No winter snow here, so many plants bloom year-round. 

We see multiple plantings of crops each year.  An Ecuadorian friend tells us that he can get 3 crops of corn in a year's cycle!

Gorgeous gardens and pathways.

Vegetable and herb garden for the Hosteria's restaurant.


Beautiful fuchias in the neighborhood.  Can you believe this is our December?! 

Another delightful walk in the country.

 We're looking forward to doing it again soon!