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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cuenca Independence Day - #3

No, it wasn't the 3rd anniversary of CID, it was MY 3rd time being here to be part of the celebration!!

People from all over EC come to be a part of the CID festivities that span almost a week.  My friends the Gabors, however, head out of Dodge to their beach retreat to shun the hordes of people and paparazzi.

There are so many events it's hard to know what's going on and where.  There's parades, indoor and outdoor concerts, tons of food vendors lining streets, the carnival, the 4-H'ish fair, parties, and blocks and blocks of tented crafts booths.  Coinkidinkly, the Day of the Dead celebration starts the whole thing off. This is where thousands of people go to the cemeteries to visit the long-gone, clean, and adorn their gravesites.

One of the BEST events I went to was a performance of the Cuenca Symphony.   They did two concerts, one outdoors in a large park, and the other outdoors in a plaza behind the Central Bank next to the Pumapungo ruins.  I organized a small group of friends to have dinner at a nearby restaurant none of us had been to.  We do a lot of that here...always trying out new (to us) places.  Afterwards, we simply walked a long block to the site and wound back behind the bank and museum to find the site of the performance.  It was perfect!  The site was surrounded by colonial architecture, arched colonnades, and palms.  The concert included performances by the Army band and a 12-member Mariachi group.  Added to the spectacle were canons and fireworks.   And...........................it was all FREE.

Here's some photos from the concert:

Approximately 1,000 in attendance on 2 levels

Cuenca's Symphony orchestra

The Army band (with canon lower left)

Another event coinciding with CID was the opening of the brand spanking new Planetarium.  Parque de la Madre was gutted and completely rebuilt over the past year-plus, including an underground 200 car parking garage.  But, what wasn't completed when PDLM re-opened was the new Planetarium.  The old one was demolished and a new one, resembling the planet Saturn, was constructed.  There are several shows daily. Cost? .............................................FREE.

Our new Planetarium theater.

Here's photos from more of the Cuenca Independence Day (CID) celebrations:

Each of these 'animals' are entirely made of foam.

Look at the size relative to the people!!!

This creature walked about (see human legs)

See the speakers near the feet of this 'thing'.  It roared 'GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!'

The CIDAP museum.  I soooooooo want to have this kind of place for my house!!!!

Vendor tents selling alpaca clothing, leather, artwork, and other kinds of crafts.

Very creative vendor 'stall'.  Inside were the handicrafts of various artisans.

A live mockup of the new lightrail train under construction in Cuenca.

Daddy....I want a PONY!!!!

I LOVE this.   If you wanted a glass of sugar-cane juice, these guys will squeeze one for you.  Notice the guys pushing and rotating the tree limb, while the cane is fed through one end, sqoooshed by the gears to get a cup-o-juice.

Am I an Alpaca, or a Llama?   THAT is the question!!!

Typical example of what would NEVER be allowed in the USA due to liability, lawsuits, and money-grubbing lawyers.  Here, anyone can ride a bucking bronco...or...bucking lamb.  Depending on who wants to do it, the team selects the appropriate animal.   Here, a young tyke takes on a bucking lamb....but gets hurled off.  She was ecstatic for the experience.

Yummee.  Not sure what it is...but...YUMMEEEE!!!

In the old stadium where bullfights were held (now illegal), horses and their trainers exhibit their ability to jump fences.



I'm thinking of writing my own piece called "I See Dumb Dogs":
Oh no you're not Gracie...Now get outa my blog!!!!


  1. Much better reading when your not as negative or angry Dano. Well done.

  2. Aren't those girls too close to the action. AND where is Gracie?

    1. She's there now. She just wanted to see if anyone missed her. ;-)

  3. It's called mutton busting here in SD. Kids ride sheep

  4. Great photos! thank you, Dan.

  5. Love the photos Dano!!

  6. Dano is an amazing host! Not only was the apartment in which we stayed (Rio Blanco building) more than comfortable, the services he provided us went beyond any tenant-owner relationship; we have found a friend.

    First, the apartment. A two-story unit, the layout, amenities, and sophisticated artwork makes it home as soon as you enter. Dano makes sure the frig has the necessities for the next day's breakfast, and a nearby grocery store let's you choose between eating in or stepping out. Because of the location, restaurants are in walking distance (including Pizza Hut one block away for those inevitable moments of weakness for the more familiar), and countless taxis are at the ready to take you anywhere in Cuenca. (The most we paid for a taxi ride was $2.50, but $2.00 is the norm.) However, walking is also an option. El Centro, which is the historic section of town and where Parque Calderon, the center of Cuenca's social and cultural life is found, is a 20-30 minute stroll. Countless stores, restaurants, bars, and churches will meet your every need.

    Second, Dano's personal touch.

    Dano is a fountain of information on Cuenca and its surroundings. Depending on how long you stay, don't be afraid to take a day trip outside the city. While the city will keep you entertained, Dano can suggest the many other options that exist for the day-tripper. He can also be your driver, and with his knowledge and enthusiasm for sharing Ecuador's many charms, he is the best deal in town at any price.

    We could not recommend staying at one of Dano's apartments with greater ardor. In addition to a home away from home, your Ecuador experience will be fuller and more complete, and, you might just find a new friend.

    Kevin and Bill Moen


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About Me

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Palma, Mallorca, Spain
This is all about my transition from an American lifestyle and culture to my newest adventure, life in Spain, in the city of Palma on the island of Mallorca in the middle of the Mediterranean sea!! I moved from the USA to Cuenca, Ecuador, South America and lived there for 7 years before moving here to Spain in early 2018. To read about my adventures in Ecuador, check out my other blog "Ahhh Cuenca!!". I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live in Europe....across the pond.

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