Sunday, August 31, 2014

Centro Historico

I have now been in Quito one week and I am basically a local! I am really starting to get the hang of using all of the buses and taxis, both to get to school and around town in general! I have spent the last two days exploring parts of the city that I don't know, mostly the Old Town and trying to figure my way around Mariscal.

On Saturday, I started out the morning with coffee in La Mariscal at a cafe called Kallari that specialized in chocolate. Then I found my way to a small craft market, a popular tourist spot in La Mariscal, just down the road. However, I didn't buy anything, because I am holding out for the huge Otavalo market in a couple weeks!

I took a taxi from La Mariscal to Parque Itchimbia, a small hill suggested to me by my host mom for its amazing view of Quito. 

On Sunday, the Oregon group of students went on a City Tour of the Old town as well. We toured many Catholic churches and cathedrals around El Centro Historico.

Iglesia de Santo Domingo

Iglesia de San Francisco

Iglesia de la Compañia de Jesús
This church was built before Quito was even a city. It is so beautiful inside and nearly everything is gold plated. They talked to us about the importance of symmetry in the church and how every angel look exactly the same. Unfortunately, we were unable to take pictures inside. 

Basilica del Voto Nacional
This church was donated the one and only time a pope came to Ecuador. The coolest thing about it is that instead of being guarded by gargoyles, it is guard by animals of the Galapagos Islands.
See that pointy structure to the right side of the picture above?
The picture to the left is me stand at the very top of it. It only
took me 20 minutes to climb the ladder, but I made it! 
This is me at a much lower, but still high and just as scary, terrace at the Bassilica. You can see the Angel at Papallacta in the background. 

Last, but certainly not least, we were able to visit the Presidential Plaza and the President's House. Although the president does not live there, he has living quarters and has his office there. The palace was beautiful fill with gold plated china, giant chandeliers, Guayasamin art work, and more.

The Ecuadorian Flag
The Presidential Plaza

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