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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Churches of Ecuador

This is a shortie.  Little text and lots of photos.  YEA!!   I love architecture.  I grew up in the Pacific Northwest where homes were different shapes, sizes, colors, and styles.  At 18, I moved to San Diego (14 years) and Los Angeles (3 years).   I loved the older Spanish-styled homes, but developers increasingly abused the style in lieu of the almighty buck by flattening hills and filling in gullys then constructing hundreds of homes that all looked alike...stucco with red-tiled roofs.  The gamut of colors ranged between white to off-white to cream to beige.  Every 3rd house was the same architectural style and floor plan as the 3rd one before it.  UGH.   

When I (twice) travelled throughout Europe, the architecture is what I sought out.   I loved the castles, cathedrals, and hundred+ year-old buildings because...back then....builders were not typically thinking of squeezing dollars.  They had visions of character and making a statement that would last a lonnnng time into the future.   The products they created contributed to the identity of the town.  Think of what San Francisco, New Orleans, London, Paris, Bareclona, or Amsterdam would be like if it weren't for the builders of yesteryear and what they created and perpetuated.  

I am always in awe when I walk into a church/cathedral that was built long before technology, trucks, cranes, hydraulics, etc.  HOW did they do it?  Such INTENSE MANUAL labor that, in many cases, took years to build.   And, the knowledge that was necessary for the sheer engineering of it all!!  In some cases, I ask 'why?'...such as a HUGE cathedral in the middle of a little hamlet that probably could never possibly fill it to full occupancy.

The good thing is, we still have many of those structures with us to enjoy every day.  I think it's pretty cool that a person can say 'I built that' and generations to come will see the work that person did to contribute to the character of the community.  That's one of the reasons I chose to live in Cuenca...because of the Spanish Colonial architecture, much of it dating from the 18th century, and the preservation of many of the buildings by being designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

With that in mind, enjoy the photos I took of various churches and cathedrals in my travels exploring Ecuador.

Dano

Across from the San Francisco market square in Cuenca.



Cuenca

Alausi

Ambato...a more modern version.

Inside the Ambato cathedral.

Azogues

Also in Azogues, located in the town square.

In a rural area outside Azogues.

Banos

Inside the Banos cathedral.

Outside of Cuenca in a neighborhood called 'Banos'...not the same as the town of Banos in northern Ecuador.

A large cathedral desperately needing restoration in a very small town called Cajabamba.

Chunchi

Chordeleg

Gualaceo
Known as the 'new cathedral' in Cuenca (though hardly NEW!!!)


Cuenca



Cuenca

Cuenca

Giron

Guayaquil

Hmmm...the Coneheads headquarters??? (SigSig)

San Bartoloma

Malacatos

Quito Basilica

Quito

Quito
Quito


Quito




SigSig

Vilcabamba


Dunno


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Anniversary To Me!!

On February 15, 2011....one year ago....I started my new adventure in Cuenca, Ecuador after leaving the Seattle, Washington area.   Just 11 days later, I wrote my very first entry in this blog.  Boy, it went FAST!!

So, what have I done in the past year since I moved here?   What are my accomplishments?  What have I seen?  Where have I been?  What are my goals?  Ugh...let's skip that one.  Reminds me too much of the annual performance reviews in my former corporate world.  BLECH!!

My Accomplishments (in no particular order):
  • I moved here
  • I brought my kids down (Gracie, Bozo, Chip)
  • I bought a house
  • I remodeled the house
  • Obtained my residency Visa
  • Bought a car
  • Sold the car
  • Bought another car
  • Took Spanish classes
  • Visited the US for my Mom's 80th birthday
  • Wrote 83 blog entries in 2011 and 7 more thus far in 2012
    • Over 27,000 views!!!!!
Where I Have Been/Visited:
  • Loja
  • Vilcabamba
  • Biblian
  • Azogues
  • Banos (Cuenca)
  • Banos (Ecuador)
  • Giron
  • Guayaquil
  • Salinas
  • Montanita
  • Puerto Lopez
  • Gualaceo
  • Chordeleg
  • SigSig
  • Quito
  • Riobamba
  • Malacatos
  • Ambato
  • Cajas National Park
  • Paute
What I've Seen:
  • Dozens and dozens of Churches/Cathedrals
  • Dozens of waterfalls
  • Dozens of rivers
  • Mercado after Mercado after Mercado
  • Museums
  • A Doctor
  • A Dentist
  • A Dermatologist
  • A Tarantula on my patio
  • Cemeteries
  • Artesa pottery manufacturing
  • Flower market
What I've Experienced:
  • Zip (Canopy) Lines
  • Diarrhea (8 days)
  • Met dozens of people from other countries who've moved here (known as Ex-Pats)
  • Cuenca Symphony
  • Festivals
    • Carnival
    • Christmas in Cuenca
    • Corpus Christi
    • Cuenca Independence Days
  • 30+ restaurants (yes, I track them!!)
  • Bars/Discos (one inside an airplane!)
  • Entertained visitors from Seattle USA, Antigua Guatemala, and Cali Columbia
  • Been in a short film
  • Rose farm tour
  • Various spas of thermal pools, turkish steam rooms, and mud baths
Geez....I guess I should get off my ass and DO something!!  After all, I'm in ECUADOR for cripes sake!!   hehehehehe.   Putting together this list makes me wonder what the heck I'm going to do for my 2nd year!!!

So, here I am at the end where I normally insert photos.  Hmmm.   Got it.   I'll insert ones I've had sitting around not knowing where they fit, thinking someday I'll have a subject where I can use them.  Now is a good time!!

Dano

Challuabamba...an area outside Cuenca...a favorite of Expats to reside.


A LIVE  critter saundering into my kitchen from outside!!!   See the prongs on his back end?   UGH!!!
Don't know what it is, don't care, don't like it.


My baby boy (one of).  Bozo.  "Hola Grandma!!"

Gracie with her favorite toy 'Squeaker'

Chippy....the little sneak.

We're all pooped out.


A HUGE banana palm on the grounds of the Museum of Modern Art.  I can stand under the lowest leaves!

Adobe building on the grounds of the Museum of Modern Art

San Sebas cafe, located across from the Museum of Modern Art.   The owners, from the Portland area, did a great job remodeling the space and serve good food at a low price!

Looking up at the ceiling of the San Sebas Cafe.

One of my $3 lunches...at the awesome vegetarian restaurant 'Good Affinity'.

The photo I purchased from the back of a car, at waterfalls outside of Banos, Ecuador.   That's myself, Elaina, George, and Raul in the hurling basket, along with the boy and his dog that rode the zip-line next to us.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Trip - Banos Ecuador - Part 3

Now for the last segment of my stay in Banos, Ecuador.   Shots around town.

I don't know what it is, but there are water slides winding down the outside of it.

In-town waterfall with the main thermal baths/pools facility below it.

Public laundry facility.  I'm not kidding.  Water from the falls, flow into them.  The slanted spots are to scrub the clothes then rinse them in the fresh water tubs next to them.

Volcanic thermal pools.

Town of Banos

Yet ANOTHER (ho hum) waterfall on the way up to a hosteria (hotel).

Hosteria

I drove to the hills on the other side of town.  Looking back at where I had just been in the prior 2 photos.  The falls you see in the middle of the photo is the same falls as in 2 photos back.

Main river headed to the dam.

The road I travelled, in the hills on the other side of town, was only slightly wider than my car, yet it has a CENTER LINE????    C'mon!!!  Each lane couldn't have been more than 4 ft wide!!  And, when i was going up, I met a BUS coming down!!!


The main river squished through a narrow stone passage then, widens out afterwards.


This kooky vehicle tows other carriages around town full of party people.

In a popular club....a sign informing you where the bathroom is.

About Me

My photo
Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador
This is all about my transition from an American lifestyle and culture to my newest adventure, life in Cuenca and greater Ecuador. I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live here.

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