12 march Baños (ECUADOR)

The center is dominated by the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Agua Santa, just to the Virgin of Holy Water are attributed many miracles in the area. The ancient and dusty aisles are adorned with huge paintings depicting votes and favors received since 1700...

We walk round and round and we feel this city more and more ours!

13 march Quito (ECUADOR)

Today we return to Quito, we leave behind us this Amazonic landscape and we go back to the colonial history in three hours by bus.

The Central Terminal is full of people and we struggle to catch the "Trolebus" directed downtown... Eventually, packed like sardines, we reach Plaza Santo Domingo and our hotel.

We leave everything in our room and we dive into the Ecuadorian capital!

Sitting on the benches of the ancient Monastery of San Francisco: some tourist looks curiously around, some old ladies in traditional dress is kneeling, with closed eyes, turned towards a very dark and tired Jesus...
I wonder how many millions of prayers, desires and demands He must have heard in these 500 years... again I feel so small...

We continue our tour through the Church de la Merced, Compañia de Jesus up to the Cathedral.

We are not far from Mariscal Sucre, the modern part of Quito and guided by our Lonely Planet, walking slowly, here we are!

We find a completely different city from what we used to know. The old colonial buildings are replaced by large modern buildings; instead of  "mercados de fruta" and vegetables, there are stalls, carefully numbered, selling all sorts of souvenirs; there are not tiendas for comida or almuerzo but KFC and McDonald's...
A bit disappointed by this strange globalization, by Trolebus, we return to the hotel!

We spend the evening in one of the most characteristic and nice area of Quito: La Ronda, next to the emblematic Plaza de Santo Domingo, a path along beautiful houses of the colonial time...

14 march Quito (ECUADOR)

After a royal breakfast at the "Cafeteria Modelo", near Plaza de Independencia, as two "Quiteños", we head to the bus terminal, to the "Mitad del Mundo".


Near the town of San Antonio, 22 km north of Quito, this is the place where in 1736, the expedition led by Charles-Marie de la Condamine, made the measurements that showed that this was indeed the equator: latitude 00° 00 '.

[Stefy]: "We return to the hotel  passing through the Mercado Amador where many natural products from Amazonia were sold... there were maggots and giant snails, never seen so huge ones before!

 

I will always remember these places full of history and mystery, its colorful and friendly people, the sweet noses of alpaca, the “poncho suizo” in Ecuador and the pisco sour in Peru and Bolivia; markets boisterous, nausea in Nazca, the wonder in Salares, the effort to Machu Picchu, all smiles received, the chubby cheeks of the children, braids of women, their skirts, the quinoa, the 100 asparagus soups!"

14 march Quito (ECUADOR)

[Stefy]: "We go out for breakfast when most of the shops are still closed. I love to go around in the early morning, to see the shops that flow dampers, sleepy children going to school, the smell of freshly baked bread.
We go to our usual café and order the usual orange juice, croissants with butter, scrambled eggs, coffee and a homemade cake. We relax and enjoy the comings and goings from the window.

We dive in the San Francisco Market, many women ask me to be photographed and are so happy when they review themselves in the small screen!

We feel the South American air, all the shops put music and people are smiling and joyful.
We pass between heads of pork, cow’s trotters, fruit, vegetables and flowers.

We visit the Palacio del Gobierno, we see the rooms where the main events take place, the balcony where the President overlooks on Monday morning for the changing of the guard, the room with paintings of all the presidents in the history of Ecuador, it’s all very interesting!

Sitting in the central square we enjoy the images of Quiteño’s everyday life streaming in front of us...
We are stopped by various students for interviews in English and by groups of a photography course for pictures taken very close to our faces...

Last scenes of life in Ecuador... in the afternoon we have our long flight that will take us home!"

Gracias Ecuador
 

 

 
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