Destination 2: Cuenca’s Magical Mountains

While Madrid buzzed with life, Cuenca buzzes with history–really ancient history. But it’s all new for Ronda, and exploring it with Vidal is a highlight of her trip.

CUENCA

Walking through the streets of Cuenca feels much like stepping into Medieval Europe. Castle ruins dating back to the 14th century are still open for exploration. An ancient convent, Bishop’s Palace, and almost 500-year-old bridge (the Bridge of Saint Paul) all add to the historical mystique.

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Casas Colgadas in Cuenca, Spain

By Tamorlan, Creative Commons

Because of the town’s rocky situation on the edges of gorges that line the Huecar River, homes and buildings hug the tops of cliffs that overlook the river’s banks far below. The overall impression is of an ancient walled city with gorgeous unexpected spots to explore around every turn of the cobblestone streets.

Cuenca holds a lifetime of childhood memories for Vidal, who visited the town and its surrounding countryside each year when he was young.

We took trips every summer with our grandparents. We camped, went to the beach, and spent the summers traveling all over Spain. They wanted to make sure we didn’t forget where we came from.

–Vidal, Two Weeks in Spain

In Cuenca, Ronda and Vidal enjoy the peaceful contrast of country life after a week in the city of Madrid. Cuenca’s colorful countryside and historic, cozy feel provide the perfect counterpart to a week in a city that never sleeps.

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