Altitude: 2 miles above sea level
So after a long busy summer of waiting, I´m finally here in beatiful, sunny Ecuador! After getting about 4 hours of sleep on Tuesday (2 more than I expected) most of Wednesday was spent in airports and on the planes. We arrived in Quito´s international airport at about 12:10 in the morning and got to the hotel by 12:30 and passed out after a long day of traveling.
We woke up, had breakfast, and headed out for our tour of the city of Quito. During our tour, we saw the newest, and oldest churches constructed in the city, as well as a church which had the inside completely covered in gold! Unfortunately, due to the crazy computers and my not understanding my camera, I haven´t figured out how to upload pictures here yet, but there will be pictures as soon as I figure that out (except for the church of gold, they didn´t allow cameras). We also saw the house of the president of Ecuador, which is easily bigger than the White House (supposedly about twice as big!) and took pictures of soldiers guarding the gates that had to remain still all day.
After finishing our tour, we went to the monument that marks the equator and stood in 2 hemispheres at once. There is also a huge monument in the middle with the Earth and the cardinal directions engraved on it. We also ate lunch there at a place that claimed to have “the best of typical food”. They served baked guinea pig, a delicacy in Ecuador that ironically is supposed to taste like chicken. I was going to order it until I found out it was 18 dollars for it (Ecuador uses the US dollar) and instead ordered a filet mignon which cost 6 dollars. Turns out the steak was just a big piece of cooked hamburger, but it was still delicious and came with fried bananas.
Our final stop for the day was an art museum known as “la capilla del hombre” or the chapel of man. It is an art museum dedicated to Latin America´s “greatest and most prolific artist”, Guayasamin. All of his paintings and sculpture are about either the suffering, pain, or hope of humanity. He believed that suffering was not something religious, but a pain of humanity that was common with every person on Earth.
Finally we arrived back at the hotel for the night and I went out for local pizza and ice cream. I`ve always heard that Italy has the best ice cream in the world, but I don´t think anywhere could be as good as Ecuador! Now I´m back at the hotel and about to go try my luck at the casino…hopefully I won´t regret it!
Next time I post, I should have pictures from my first day here, and more from Otavalo, Ecuador´s biggest and most diverse market place.
Posted on August 27th, 2009 by gregory-maggio
Filed under: Gregory Maggio