Yesterday was an extremely restful and even lazy day for us. It turns out Sunday is a family day throughout this lovely city. Most restaurants and stores are closed and the streets and parks seemed almost deserted. It is a very Catholic culture here, hence all the many, many churches. But what I find most touching about the Cuencono’s is how evident it is that family is cherished.
On Saturday night we decided to walk to Park Calderon which is the main plaza in the city. I wanted to sit on one of the many park benches in this very pretty park and just people watch. It was probably about 9 or 9:30 in the evening and there were many people doing exactly what we were doing, enjoying the evening together. So many families strolling around hand in hand. Fathers surrounded by their children holding the hand of their wife and looking quit pleased with life. I can’t get over the teenaged kids out on a Saturday night with mom and dad and often even an elderly grandparent in tow. There were these two kids running around with a very happy, smiling baby in a stroller just giving the baby the ride of his life. They would stop every few minutes and the sister would run to the front of the stroller and check to see that the baby was happy then off they would go again with gleeful sounds coming from the lucky little guy in the stroller. Mom and Dad were watching from afar and enjoying time together. It warms my heart to witness such family connection. It seems walking around here in Cuenca, there are couples walking hand in hand or arm in arm everywhere we go. I said to Scott the other day, ” these people love to love.”.
Yesterday, as I said before, we were lazy. We did take a Walk to the Super-Maxi, which is their Safeway. We were happy it was open on Sunday. We thought buying some food and maybe a bottle of wine sounded like a splendid idea. Sitting by the river on the grass and reading our books while enjoying a glass , or even a plastic cup, of wine sounded like the best plan ever! We had no problem finding some salami, cheese, crackers , oh, and a little cutting board and knife for the Gouda, they had a yummy piece of chocolate cake to satisfy Scott’s sweet-tooth. But sadly, we discovered Sundays are DRY here !!!! What! No Wine!! Darn! Well….. Agua will have to do :(. Pic-nic procured, off to find the perfect spot by the river to continue our lazy day lounging & reading! The weather has been so perfect. I had looked at the forecast before we left and it said rainy and cloudy every day….. Wrong! It’s not rained at all since we arrived.
In the evening we weren’t sure if we could find any restaurants open on a Sunday but off we went, up those nasty 89 steps again…….pant, pant, up, up,up! man, those last 18 are a killer, we are really out of breath every time we get to the top of those suckers! We always have to stop at the top and catch our breath before continuing on our journey . I feel like I’m still a smoker! So , as we expected it was quite, deserted on a Sunday evening
, this is gonna be interesting?! If all else fails we had the remnants of our picnic to eat so no worries, we probably won’t starve. But we figured since we lazed around so much a walk would be good. There were a few small places open, totally empty, but open. We had eaten at two of the places that were open, one is called Monday Blue and it was not too good. They did have an interesting contraption on all the tables, three buttons one for ordering and one for when you were ready for the bill, the third one we weren’t sure, maybe it was the ejector button for if you needed to make a quick exit? But we thought it was a very funny concept for a culture that doesn’t really focus on customer service. The other place that was open was the middle Eastern place with the yummy Gyro’s. But we thought we’d just continue on our way and try to find some place we hadn’t been to. And Jackpot…… We found a place called El Jardin. This was such a nice place and guess what! They had wine for sale with dinner! Yippee! So I had the veal cordon bleu, with veggies & mashed potatoes and Scott had lamb chops with risotto and veggies. This place was over looking The newer area of Cuenca, a great view. We spent a lovely evening enjoying a great meal and a delicious bottle of wine. Of course followed by a nice passionfruit cheesecake , and very good coffee. The perfect end to a lazy day!