Small streets of Cuenca
When I woke up today there was not a cloud in the sky, so I decided it was the perfect day for walking. The landscape around Cuenca is so absolutely beautiful, walking really is the best thing to do out here. If I had got a car I would have gone to the Ciudad Encantada, which is a sort of natural resort nearby, where you can hike and watch the strange rock formations. But this place is very hard to reach without your own transport, so I didn't make it there. Instead, I explored some walking paths around the town. No thanks to the tourist information point there though, they hardly have any maps and the ones they have where not very detailed...
I started my day in town though. In the hours before lunch I sticked very close to the center, taking some more photographs now the weather had improved, and also did some souvenir shopping.
Small streets of Cuenca
There is a lovely store on the Plaza Mayor where they sell handmade ceramics that were really nice. Very colorful and just what I liked. I have a bit of an addiction to buying bowls and tapas plates (not only when on holidays, I'm stuffing a whole collection up in my kitchen cabin), so this was a very dangerous place for me. I had almost bought this really big fruit bowl, without thinking about how to pack it. Luckily I didn't bring that with me in the end. Yet I do got some very nice pieces. Then I went to have lunch in the same place where I had it yesterday. They didn't bring me any fancy tapas anymore though, just chips. But the toast I had was simply delicious. I should mention that at home, I hardly ever had meat. And in Spain, I also try to avoid it because most of the ham and especially the sausages and salami are really not "clean".
That freaky bridge I didn't like walking over... :)
I don't know how to say it in English... They have large bits of fat and things in there, to me they don't look very tasty. But today I had a toast with mixed meat, from salami and pork stuff to thick jamón. I will be honest, if I had known it would have that much meat on it, I would have ordered a spaghetti or something. But thank God I didn't, because the dish was a blessing! Especially the jamón, which I adore, tasted wonderful. It must have been the first time in nearly 10 years that I had salami, but I don't regret it!
So after lunch I left my camera in the hostel to make some bigger walks throughout the afternoon. I didn't want to carry around all the weight, so I left pretty much all my belongings in my room. Yet now I am sad that I don't have pictures of the views, because they were stunning.
Peaceful roads through the hills and canyons surrounding Cuenca, warm sunshine, cool breeze. I had a great day.
I went to visit the museo Diocesano as well in the evening. Too bad I wasn't allowed to take pictures here! It is a very nice, little museum, but it has some great works, including a few El Greco paintings. Did I mention yet that I am a huge El Greco fan? Together with Van Gogh and Picasso, he is one of my favorite painters of all times. And lucky for me, on this holiday I will visit many places where his work is displayed. Not least, of course, Toledo. Apart from the Greco paintings, the museo Diocesano also has a lot of nice religious treasuries and a few remarkable sculptures from the roman en Gothic times. I really liked those. And I had the place all to myself, there was not a single other tourist inside!
The thing with Cuenca is, everybody goes there on the day trip from Madrid
, so before 11am and after 5pm, the city becomes very quiet.
I noticed this also in the restaurants, where I always saw the same people. Never were all tables filled, and waiters etc. quickly remembered who I was as basically, I was one of the few to remain for dinner. A bit strange but also a privilege. I went walking when the town got crowded and visited the museum and the hanging houses when the crowds where gone.
Talked about the hanging houses, I will not say they were not nice but please, don't come to Cuenca just to see these as they really aren't that special. What I remember most is that bridge in front, where, obviously, you have to walk on to if you want the best view of the houses. I didn't cross it all the way though, I didn't even make it half way. I found it very creepy. But that's me really, I am a sissy and I can't stand heights.
The famous hanging houses
Before returning to the hostel I went into the newer part of town to buy fruits that were, just too cheap. Much cheaper than in Belgium, that is, and so fresh! Again, thefood in Spain... What more can you ask for? I will have the fruits tomorrow on the train to Valencia
, as a pick-nick. Together with some marvelous sweets I bought. They're more like, Spanish donuts? I don't know. Rolls of dough full of vanilla sugar. So fat and so greasy and sooooo gooood! I know they are good because I had some already. It is a big bag! I will be eating this for the rest of the trip :)
So, that was my last day in Cuenca. I know I missed out on the modern arts museum... Yeah, I know it is a must see in Cuenca.
The famous hanging houses
But I don't like the kind of art that is in there. I adore old paintings and religious art but all that contemporary and modern stuff, I'm so sorry... I was not willing to pay for it. So I skipped it, very consciously. I had my walks around the hills instead, and had some art just there. Those views are masterpieces of realism for sure ;)