Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cuenca Street Scenes

Cuenca is a beautiful, colonial city in the southern highlands of Ecuador. Smaller than the capitol of Quito, it does not have the high rises or the fast pace of the big city. Quito is a modern, active city and lots of fun. But Cuenca is more laid back and it is not hard to see why it has become popular with ex-pats. I didn't have a lot of time there, and one day was taken with the trip to Ingapirca, but I enjoyed strolling the streets in the central part of town. I was a bit taken aback however, when police cars with lights flashing and army trucks came rushing through. I was even more alarmed when I saw men in fatigues, carrying weapons, jump from one of the trucks. I don't speak Spanish, and the woman in the shop door spoke no English, but she sensed my alarm. "El Presidente" she said, and smiled. And just then, a cavalcade came around the corner, and I waved and made eye contact with the President. But I failed to take a photo. Guess I was surprised to have him so close. I had a similar experience, years ago, in Mexico, with my cousin Bonnie. We had spent the day in Tlaquepaque and were returning to Guadalajara only to be met on every corner by armed soldiers. It was a meeting of the the governors of the states of Mexico. I've seen the security in the US for leaders, but somehow it is always a bit scarier in other countries, where you are not familiar with customs and language to see such activity. But only for a couple minutes. As soon as I realized all the people on the streets were calm, I knew I needed be alarmed. Street markets are the norm.

This is an inside food market. The stalls have the same umbrellas one expects on the streets, but the entire area in covered with a plexiglass type dome.

Huge tile mirror on government building which depicts the live, crops, crafts of the region

note the baby on the back who has grabbed the scarve of the woman who is not the one carrying it.
cell phones are ubiquitous. Never do we get away from the ringing, the conversations. Guess I sound like an old geezer, but there was a time when you left home or the office, you could actually get away and have some peace and quiet. I still have it at Yellowstone, but cell phone service is coming to the Lake area. AGH!


the tom and nancy roadshow said...

Hey there Ms. Betty...great photos! Thanks for the update finally...We're still in Ajo and off to Tucson Friday...Travel well and hope to connect soon.

PhotoDon said...

Thanks for sharing Ecuador! What a colorful country and the cloudy skies are so dramatic!

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