Cuenca, Spain

December in Spain has a LOT of holidays. Not only are we looking forward to winter break, but there are 2 holidays in the beginning of month celebrating Constitution Day and Immaculate Conception. This year the holidays fell on Wednesday and Friday so most schools had a super long weekend. I normally tend to work during these holidays since it means more people can have classes, but I decided to take a day off yesterday for a day trip out of Madrid. It has been super cold lately so I’m not so happy about that, but it was nice to be outdoors for a bit.

Cuenca is a city located in the community of Castilla-La Mancha, about 2 hours by car southeast of Madrid. There wasn’t so much traffic but it was a pretty boring drive. There were a lot of people there even though it was so, so cold! One of the most popular attractions in Cuenca are the Hanging Houses, which can be best seen from the Bridge of Saint Paul. The bridge is very tall so I was pretty scared being on there, but the views really were nice, as you can see from the photo above!

the view of the other side from the bridge of Saint Paul
the Old Convent of Saint Paul is located at the other end of the bridge
the hanging houses are pretty, but I don’t know if I could be on that terrace
casas colgadas = hanging houses (my Spanish is rapidly improving)

We didn’t go into any of the museums or the cathedral, but walked around a bit enjoying the pretty views. I really liked the colorful houses in Plaza Mayor and surrounding streets. Unfortunately the Town Hall was being renovated so no pictures of that.

the front of the cathedral
the view of the cathedral and colorful houses in Plaza Mayor. I would love to live in the yellow building!
the cutest street ever!
i don’t know who this guy is

After lunch, we were off to Ciudad Encantada (Enchanted City) which is a geological site where rocks have been eroded to some pretty interesting shapes. The drive up was really nice because of all the great views. The rocks there are limestone and dolomite and while some of the rocks takes some real imagination to see the shapes, some of them were pretty funny! They offer guided tours only in Spanish so we walked around ourselves which took about an hour to get through which was good since it was getting late/dark.

the first rock formation, which is supposedly the most recognized. I can’t remember what this one was called but to me it looked like a tornado!
my favorite one – the dog
the slide. it really reminded me of the Zion narrows.
my second favorite – the man’s face

Today it was back to work as usual and I’ll have a few classes spread throughout the weekend too. It’s nice to keep busy when it’s cold and to save up some money for the holidays since I don’t know how many classes I’ll have when winter break rolls around (people take their vacation super seriously here).

 

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