If only the Brits would embrace the principle of tapas. It’s not much usually, a slice of ham and cheese, a few nuts perhaps,the tiniest portion of something. But it is such a civilised gesture. Okay, roll the cost into the price of the drink. That’s not the point. The point is I think I’m getting something for nothing and you, Mr. Bar Owner, have thought that I might like something with my drink. Deal.Many, many years ago I used to end my working week with a pint in a local country pub. Every Friday evening at 6.00 pm the landlord loaded the bar with “free” food, like “raciones”. By 6.30 the place was packed and he was a happy landlord. It’s not difficult, you just have to buy in to it.
Cuenca is a day of rest for me. A UNESCO World Heritage Site that just had to be visited on this trip. It is, as the proverbial statement goes, a city of two halves. Growing up and supporting the old town which attracts the tourists is the modern city, now obviously dwarfing the main attraction ( not technically a half then, but you get the point). However, having found the old town, you needn’t go anywhere else. It is simply a special place.
The town where the houses are built into the rocks, and for the life of me, can’t imagine the thought that went into building such a stupendous cathedral when everyone around must have been steeped in poverty. The cathedral, of course, is for us to enjoy. I visited the Cathedral in the morning when the sun was behind it and then again, in early evening, to photograph the front. As I sat sipping vino blanco, watching the world go by, I was struck by the thought that it would make a great subject for a series of shots, or paintings, reflecting the shifting impact of the sun. It’s huge rusted doors and pencil columns casting different aspects as the sun swings through it’s arc.
The town was founded by the Moors as a defensive town at the confluence of the Huecar and Júcar rivers. It has seen it’s fair share of cultural fiestas, I’m sure, but what Cuencans didn’t realise today was that a little known British artist was in town who created an installation on a park bench called ” Cyclist dries his smalls and other items”. This unique piece of guerilla art only lasted for a couple of hours but was cemented in the minds of at least 3 of the passers-by who saw it. There lives will never be the same.
The old town is charming, and the Tourist office recommended route minimises your hill climbing since it brings you down the hill on it’s loop but once you get used to how close everything is you can take the incline at a run.
Enjoy my wander around Cuenca.