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Cuenca: Downtown and Ingapirca

After coming back from the Panama hat factory, I dropped my hat box off in my room and headed down to the central plaza, Parque Calderón, to start seeing some of Cuenca's sights. First I saw and walked through the Catedral Nueva, which like all old South American churches was simply gorgeous inside and out:

catedralnueva

From there I wandered up another block or two, to see the flower market (Mercado de las Flores) and the church it stood in front of, the Iglesia del Carmen de la Asunción. Ecuador is a HUGE flower exporter, especially of roses. My guidebook tells me that the market started in the beginning of the 20th century as a way to occupy womens' free time.

mercado

From there I did a lot of aimless wandering. I hit a few bumps in the road: I couldn't find the museum I wanted to go to, I tried to find a few other places as mentioned in my guidebook but it seems the information I had was outdated, and so forth. I did find a number of things though, like the cool pathway along the Tomebamba River, where I had lunch at a little café, and I did find another market square, from which there was a great view of the spires of the Catedral Nueva:

spires

After several hours of walking around, I finally decided to call it a day in the late afternoon, when all the places of interest were closed up. Gotta relax these last few weeks while I can!

On Sunday, given that most everything is closed, I got a tour guide to take me to the Ingapirca ruins outside of Cuenca. The site is believed to be both from the Cañari indigenous tribe, and then from the Incas when they invaded regions of Ecuador, including the lands of the Cañari. There was a little museum at the site that told about the site's history, its discovery, and that displayed some artifacts found there. Both my guide and the museum exhibits were able to tell me about what each section of the ruins is believed to had been used for.

ingapirca1

Here's an image of me at thepart of the site believed to be used for religious ceremonies, found at the far side of the above picture:

ingapirca2

From there, we headed back to the hotel, where I did some work before catching my flight back to Cuenca.

This blog is about the last of my adventures. My internship is over, I'm about to leave in two days, and I'm trying to get a little bit more resting and relaxing in before I jump head-first back into responsibility as soon as I get back to the States. Stay tuned for one more blog of reflection from me!

Catherine