Thursday, January 5, 2017

Christmas in Cuenca

This year, we spent our two-week Christmas break in Cuenca, Spain and had an enjoyable time despite some problems with our flights. Although this part of Spain experiences true winter with occasional snow, we were lucky to have sunny weather for the majority of our stay. Daytime highs ranged from 8-18 degrees Celsius, and this proved to be good conditions for climbing and other outdoor activities. We chose to rent an apartment in a small country village, Valdecabras, about 15 minutes outside of Cuenca, and it was a peaceful spot from which to start our daily activities. We saw cats, ate lots of Spanish pastry and enjoyed touring the region between days on the rocks...

On the 11-km loop hike behind our village on Christmas Eve.

A sunny, roadside cliff we frequented on cold days.

Great climbing in the gorge near our village.

We saw lots of cats, but only one let Elise pet it. The village cats were skittish.

Elise on the castle wall in Albarracin, a gorgeous village near Cuenca.

Narrow streets in Albarracin.

Elise photographing pictographs in the rocks near Albarracin.

A local climber from Madrid.

Our village, Valdecabras, in evening light.

We rented an Opel. It had some very odd features.

The church in Valdecabras in late-day light.

Elise on Christmas morning. She got Lego!

Petting ponies on Christmas Eve. One put it's head on Elise's shoulder.

Strange rock formations on the same hike. Elise in view.

Above our village on a beautiful day.

Elise climbing well on a route in Cuenca.

Unknown Spanish climber in Cuenca.

Interesting sink hole formations south of Cuenca.

Monastery in Cuenca that doubles as a hotel.

The old village had many narrow streets.

Detail of cathedral in Cuenca.

Fountain in the old part of the city.

The Cuenca archaeological museum had many interesting local artifacts.

Falling climber.

The river gorges had wonderful hiking trails and pathways.

Kayaking was very popular in the rivers.

Spanish climber on "Puss in Boots", Cuenca.

These routes were on giant boulders.

Overview of the Jucar River gorge, the area we frequented when climbing.

No trip would be complete without a great pastry shop. "Marisol" in Cuenca.

Happy New Year to you all!
Marc, Pam and Elise

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