Monday, April 14, 2014

Cuenca's Birthday and Our Anniversary!

On Friday we celebrated our 5th anniversary quietly. We had lunch with about 20 friends (none of whom knew it was our anniversary, it was just a fun gathering) and then we walked down to Doce de Abril (12th of April) street to check out the paintings for sale. Cuenca was having a long weekend celebration for their 457th birthday.

From a local newsletter:
This area has much more than 457 years of history, although the colonial Spanish named it Cuenca then. There is evidence of hunter/nomad society in the area since 8060 BC, continuing through around 500 AD, when it's generally posited that the Cañari people established Guapondeleg (roughly translated as "land as big as heaven"). Their society continued for centuries (much of it in a matriarchal manner), until the late 1400's, when the Cañari mounted a notably fierce resistance for years to Incan conquest before being "assimilated". The Inca renamed the site as Tumebamba ("plain of knives"). A mere 75 years later, the colonial Spanish settlement of Cuenca was founded, in part lured by the possibility that Tumebamba was the legendary city of gold, El Dorado.

Stu bought two small paintings and I saw several larger ones I liked but wasn't up to spending quite as much as they were asking. Here they are on the bench at the end of our hallway, their resting spot until we find the right wall for them.

While we were there, several fire engines and rescue trucks came roaring past to stop just up the road from us. Stu snapped a couple of photos as we left.

From there we walked back to the other side of the river and revisited the vendors. We were there on Wednesday but they were still setting up. That trip I bought a gorgeous Saguaro made beaded necklace ($12) and a little beaded hummingbird ($5) to hang in the kitchen beside the one I got in Honduras. This trip and I bought another necklace ($12), this one to wear with black tops on dressier occasions.

We tried to snap a couple of photos of the big E that is in the plaza, part of the "All You Need is Ecuador" tourism campaign. Neither of the ones taken with us were that good, the best was the one at dusk. They even had a bouncy climbing wall (with a rope for those who needed it) that drew all the kids. We also watched two young men weaving custom made name bracelets.

We enjoyed a quiet dinner at Magnolia Caffe, sitting outside and watching the people take their photos at the 'E' and wander the vendor tents. There were two couples sitting beside us with an 8 week old Golden Lab puppy...adorable! Stole our hearts...

Our Happy Anniversary dinner!

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