November 21, 2015
I made it to Cuenca and by some miracle, the wind came and blew all the clouds away – really, truly! It was raining when I arrived – and it was quite the struggle trying to hold an umbrella, eat a sandwich, and take photos all at the same time. Thank goodness it is now sunny and blue skies.
I managed to find myself to the town center despite aimlessly walking because I didn’t have a map and the tourist office was closed for some strange reason even though it’s Saturday afternoon and I’m sure there are lots of tourists in town. The good thing is that Cuenca is quite small and I think I’ve already mostly walked through the main bit of it. It’s famous for its ‘hanging houses’ (Casa Colgadas) which seem to be clinging on to the rocky slopes for dear life. Apparently they are a UNESCO World Heritage site. There is simply something very old-town charming about Cuenca. Maybe because of the ancient cobble stoned streets, and the picturesque alleyways, and turning corners to be greeted by cats with blue eyes. I think I’m in love with all the colourful buildings – very nice shades of blue, pink, and yellow. The colours are really uplifting to one’s mood. We need more colour in this world, I think.
My train home is not till 7:14pm. I think it’s a good day-trip city but even as a day trip, I almost wish I had booked an earlier train home because I don’t want to go to any of the museums and there’s not much else to do other than explore by foot. It’s okay now because the sun is out, but I don’t know what I’ll do in the evening when the temperature drops and it gets cold…
Only about three hours left here in Cuenca. I’ve really just been wandering and roaming to my heart’s delight. There was only one public washroom and it was closed (why is everything closed today?) so I wandered around some more trying to decide which restaurant bathroom to use. Also on a side note, I’ve yet to figure out what “WC” on all the washrooms stands for and I’m too lazy to look it up or ask someone so I’ve been going around calling them “Woman Crush Wednesdays” in my head. The only logical thing I could think of is “Washing Centre” but I don’t think that’s right…
I’ve found some lovely viewing spots. Going behind the cathedral, I walked across the Puente de San Pablo which offered beautiful views of the hanging houses and the town in general. I walked across it twice – once when it was full of people and once when it was just me, the girl in the red coat. Today marks the first time I’ve worn my winter coat this season and there’s always been something special and significant to me about putting on a winter coat for the first time. I guess summer is finally over – good bye! I’ve also nearly been blown away a few times by the ferocity of the wind. It makes me so happy though to see the leaves blowing in the air and finding a temporary home in my scarf, and to smell the familiar wintry smell of a real, wood stove burning. It feels so much like fall today – ah, crisp fall days, how I’ve missed you! My hands get a little cold every now and then, but I stuff them into my pockets to warm them up.
After wandering up and down this colourful street (Calle Alfonso) multiple times, I eventually sat down in the sunshine of Plaza Mayor and watched this couple take wedding photos. The girl must have been freezing! I always feel bad for men in the summer when they have to wear suits in the heat and bad for women in the winter when they have to wear sleeveless dresses for wedding photos.
Now I’m sitting on a bench in a park eating an apple despite being allergic to them. Almost every single person who has walked by has asked me for directions and I hate not being able to help them…
On the train ride home! In the evening, I went to a bar/restaurant down by the train station and watched the Madrid vs. Barcelona football/soccer game. It made me miss the atmosphere of watching hockey. It was so exciting!! I’m glad it is nice and warm on this train – at first I sat in a compartment with no heater so the attendant told me I should move to another one. Now I’m sitting here looking out the window trying to see but it’s too dark outside. Sometimes the darkness is scary but sometimes, like right now, it’s comforting. I like that.