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So, I kept a tiny little secret from you all for the last few weeks. Since January 3rd I’ve been in Cuenca, Ecuador for a mix of work and fun, and just got home on Saturday. I had a really fantastic time, and I can’t wait to share some of my experiences with you all!

I flew into Quito, arriving just before midnight. Since I had to fly on one of Ecuador’s airlines, I had to wait until the morning to leave. I stayed at the Garden Hotel San Jose, and found it to be a great place to stay!

IMG_5872The hotel was on a cute little compound with a spa, and beautiful lawns and gardens.

The next morning I flew to Cuenca, Ecuador where I stayed for the week. I gave four hours of lectures while there , and enjoyed meeting with students and faculty members. The rest of the time was spent getting to know people in the city, spending time with people I already knew who live in the city, and touring around. And eating. Lots and lots and lots of eating. Enough eating that I’ll do an entire post just on the amazing food that was put in front of me almost every hour of the day.

One of my favorite things to do while in Cuenca is to walk around the old city. The tiny shops, women and men in traditional dress, and the cobblestone streets create a quaint and authentic experience.

DSCN6540The New Cathedral (made to be a duplicate of the Vatican)- if you ever go to Cuenca, make sure to walk up to the top of one of the towers. You’ll get a great view of the city, and an up close view of the domes!


Nativity display set up in the New Cathedral. They had Christmas songs playing via recording, and when I took this picture “Santa Clause is Coming to Town” was playing. Yes. Seriously.


Cute little signs on the bathroom doors


Women at the market. From what I could understand, they would hit the various plants on little children as they would say something specific. Some parents bring their children regularly for this experience.


The San Francisco market. There is a long row with maybe 12-15 of these little shops. It’s the perfect little place to buy souvenirs, especially scarves. I get a few scarves every time I go to Ecuador!


Outside a cute little cafe (called Un Buen) on “the porch of Cuenca”


Sunset in Cuenca over the Andes Mountains.

So there’s a quick little snapshot of my time in Cuenca. I’ll be doing a few specific posts about different events and things that happened while there!

Now it’s your turn to share! Have you ever been to Ecuador? Where’s your favorite place to travel?