THE CITY TOUR IN QUITO AND STANDING BETWEEN THE EQUATOR
Quito Travel Blog› entry 2 of 22 › view all entries
(THE MIDDLE OF THE WORLD OR MITAD DEL MUNDO)
WOW I slept like a log. I only had 4hr sleep. We have a long schedule. A city tour in Quito, lunch at the EL CRATER, going to the “middle of the world” park which is where the line of the equator is, dinner at a theater, and maybe meeting up with Catalina. I hope I have time to blog and repack my stuff tonight for the Galapagos Islands. We need to have our luggage out by 5am and leave at 7am. GOOD GOD I’LL NEVER TO SLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We had breakfast, but first I need my tea. I have adjusted to the altitude very well.
After breakfast we waited patiently for others to join in the tour.
We headed out to “old town Quito” our first stop was the:
The Basilica del Voto Nacional, or simply ‘the Basilica’.
San Francisco church, this church and it's departments conform the most antique set of Quito. The temple was built between 1536 y 1580. It's architectural features mix elements, which are baroque and mudejar outstandingly. The result assembles great harmony and beauty. The set views the square which is named samely, facing the rising sun. The atrium includes almost the whole of the esplanade where once the old aborigines had a market place.
El Centro Cultural Metropolitano, this mildly interesting museum is worth a visit if you love colonial art; otherwise, I recommend a visit only if you have an extra hour on your hands.
Centro Historico de Quito, Plaza grande, which has the government buildings such as the president’s parliament and the Chilean embassy.
La Compañia de Jesus is situated right across from El Sagrario. La Compañia de Jesus is one of the richest churches in South America. The splendor that meets yours eyes as you enter it is unforgettable. The vaulted ceilings and walls are beautiful with moorish ornamentation. Perfect harmony is represented in the main altar and the Salomonic columns of the facade.
After all the churches and city centres. I was looking forward to lunch and going to the equator. We all jumped in the bus to have lunch call the el crater restaurant which is about 10,000 feet above sea level. Some of the people, including my mum were feeling the attitude. As it is Quito is about 9,000 feet above sea level. The food was good. We were served traditional Ecuadorian food. We were all served a soup called the potato and cheese with avocado, cheese empanadas, and a choice of entrée, grilled chicken, beef tenderloin, and chicken with wine sauce.
Mum and I chatted with the other passengers at our table. One couple is from Canada and other is from Rhode Island, USA. Both are nice people. We all had some laughs. From where I was sitting, I had a breath taking view of the valley. I must take some photos before we departed. Mum did some window shopping while I was taking photos. I was more looking forward to go to the equator.
It was 10min bus trip down the road inside this wide gate and floral display of “Ciudad Mitad del Mundo” in white flowers. I could not take photos of it cuz, I was in the bus. I was pretty excited when I walked the middle of the road to the monument. There were stores, eateries, and museum about the equator. I would love to go to the museum where they did the water demo.
I was anxious to take a photo of me on the equator with one leg on the northern hemisphere and the other on the southern hemisphere. Of course, getting my passport stamp with the lat 0’ 0” 0’, all I had to buy was 2 postcards. That was not a bad price.
The Mitad del Mundo (Spanish for Middle of the World) is a tract of land owned by the prefecture of the province of Pichincha, Ecuador. It is located in the San Antonio parish of the canton of Quito, north of the center of Quito.
The grounds contain the Museo Etnográfico Mitad del Mundo, a museum about the indigenous ethnography of Ecuador.
The pyramidal monument, with each side facing a cardinal direction, is topped by a 4.5 meter diameter, 5-ton globe. Inside the monument is a small museum that displays elements of indigenous Ecuadorian culture, such as clothing, descriptions of the various ethnic groups, and examples of their activities.
A small town surrounding the monument at the Museo Etnográfico functions as the tourist center, replicating a colonial Spanish town and called "Ciudad Mitad del Mundo" (Middle of the World City).
The area in the north of the province has been the object of a number of studies attempting to determine the exact location of the equator, with the first result being obtained in the early 1700s by Charles Marie de La Condamine. At the end of the 18th century, General Charles Perrier, from the French Academy of Sciences, was sent to lead a mission to verify that result. Later, in 1936, with the support of the French American Committee, Ecuadorean geographer Dr.
In 1979, the monument was moved 7 km to the west, to the town of Calacalí. Today, a new and much larger monument, Museo Etnográfico Mitad del Mundo, constructed between 1979 and 1982, stands in San Antonio de Pichincha. Made of iron and concrete and covered with cut and polished andesite stone, it is closer to the true equator than earlier attempts, but still about 240 meters south of the correct line.
Today, with the development of GPS technology, the actual location of the equator in this region has been finally determined, and the Intiñan Solar Museum was built to mark the true location of the imaginary line. Within the museum, visitors can perform various experiments that are ostensibly possible only on the equator. However, most of these experiments are fakes. For instances, Solar Museum guides demonstrate water flowing both counter-clockwise and clockwise down a drain, and balance eggs on end, claiming that this can only be done at the equator.
After, all that we all went back to the hotel to get ready of a cultural dinner at the Theatrum, a restaurant in the theater district of Quito. Where we ate and listen to a local singer sing opera songs. It was a long night, I wanted to blog but, I was tired. Catalina and plan to meet that evening however, we both decided that it was 10pm and It was too late for me to hang out. We had a 3am awake up call to catch a plane from Quito to Quayquil to the Galapagos Islands. We both just agreed to meet up when I come to quito on april 27th, if catalina doesn’t find a flight to NYC for the meetup.
Afterwards, I just blogged and added entry on the information a retained from the city tour, then I IMed a couple of TBs and off to bed a go. I really meant it jus time.
WOO HOO GALAPAGOS ISLANDS HERE I COME………………………
WILDLIFE COUNT: 0
LOCALS WHO CHARGED TO TAKE THERE PHOTO: 13