Sunday, January 16, 2011

Our Casa & Our Vecindad (House and Neighborhood)

These are the people in our neighborhood. . . .  Well, we haven’t really met anyone yet except a woman in the next building and the security man, but we are making a serious attempt to get to know the neighborhood.   

 Our apartment is in a complex known as Altamira II (I think it means High View).  The “II” would indicate that there is a “I” and that complex is next door.  We have one flight of stairs to enter our apartment which is good because there are five floors in the building, and there is no elevator.  The complex is in the shape of a letter “U” with the interior of the “U” used for parking vehicles and the entrance to the “U” is gated with 24-hour security people.  Our bedrooms overlook this courtyard and our kitchen and dining room views are of the hill side below us.

Altamira II - our casa
Small park across the street from Altamira II
Since we are in a basin and we are basically on a large hillside,  we look down on a car dealer from our kitchen window (see pic), and when on the street in front of the dealer,  you can see our apartment above (see pic).  Of course, there are people that are looking down at us (see pic of “casa grandes” on the hills above us).

View from our kitchen window includes a car dealer.  
Altamira II from below
"Casa Grandes" that look down at us
 Cuenca has four rivers flowing through this basin and the long name for Cuenca is “Santa Ana de los Quatro Rios de Cuenca” where “Cuenca” means the “confluence” of four rivers.  The main river is the Tomebamba which is a short walk from our casa – see pic of Julie by the Tomebamba.

Julie and the Rio Tomebamba
Very close to us (1/4 of a block) there is the “Punto” (Point) restaurant/bakery/butcher shop, and then about two blocks away, we have the SUPERMAXI in a shopping center.  However access to the Supermaxi for pedestrians is a challenge since between us and the store is the “Avenida de las Américas” which is a very busy thoroughfare.  Oh well, we navigate it anyway – quickly!

Punto - a bakery, meat counter and deli - very close
Small shopping mall with a large grocery store - but a challenge for us to get there


  1. Looks like you're in a nice part of town.

  2. Isn't "SuperMaxi" a funny name for grocery store, especially by our American standards?

    We were in Cabo San Lucas for NYE and on the way in from the airport we requested the cab driver stop at a store. When he said the name of the store he'd stop at, I thought he meant "Maga", as in some Spanish (which I don't speak) derivative of "grand magasin," or grocery store. Well he turned into a mini mall where there was a Costco on one side of the street, and then a big, modern, all glass, grocery store called "Mega..." I chuckled at my internal thought process that tried to make a Mexican tourist haven way more exotic than it really was.