Cliffs in Cuenca

(Bridget)

As you can probably also gauge from the names of the blogs so far, we have been travelling to a lot of places starting with ‘C’ and get a little confused as they are all small towns which we spent one night only in (Coimbra, Cuenca, Cordoba, Cudillero…).

The drive from Cordoba to Cuenca (Spain) was a long one, around 450kms through desert, corn fields, mountains, and sunflower fields. Unfortunately, we were about a week too late to enjoy the sunflowers in full bloom as all of the petals were shrivelled and the heads drooping. Me, the eternal optimist, tried to find some good about the fact that we had drive through 100’s of kms of dead flowers, telling Alex that it was OK to miss the flowers blooming because all of that bright colour would have hurt our eyes. He still struggles to see my logic as to why this is ‘glass half full’ thinking.

Cuenca is a small village perched on the edge of a cliff up in the mountains in the middle of Spain. Once we got up there, we were blown away by the landscape. Sheer cliffs on either side. It was very different to anything that we had seen so far, although its location on a hill meant more climbing up and down (more about that later).

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For the afternoon we basically just soaked in the view, enjoyed the sunshine, then once the sun started to set, we went in search of dinner.

In the old town, there was a main square full of restaurants. We found a place which had paella and were sold. The starter which came out was some fried miscellaneous meat which we are guessing was rabbit, but not 100% sure. Whatever it was, it was delicious. The paella came out on a huge rustic pan and was every bit as delicious as we had hoped.

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After dinner we decided to take the advice of the lady at the hotel and find the bridge which was lower in the gorge where you got nice views of the town all lit up at night. Trying to find this was definitely a challenge, with no signposts and streets which I am sure do not correspond to what was on the map we were given. After about half an hour of powering up and down the hill, uneven steps and all and stuffed full of paella, we finally stumbled across it. The bridge was incredibly rickety and high up but as promised, the views of the town were spectacular.

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That morning we planned to get up and watch the sunrise, so set the alarm for 6am. When we checked outside, it was still pitch black. The same at 6.30, the same at 7am…. in the end I think we were out the door around 7.45 and still had to wait a good 15 mins for the sun to come up (admittedly from behind a mountain). Now that we have been in Europe a while, I am more and more convinced that they have their time zones wrong. This must be why no one gets up at a reasonable time ever.

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As this was only a short stop. it was back to the hotel and on the road again to continue our great adventure!

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(Alex)

I absolutely loved this place, I think it is probably one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been. Imagine an old european town, made dramatic by being built on top of a cliff, and then spliced into Yosemite Park. That’s Cuenca.

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