Updated 3 months, 1 week ago

Quito and the hidden treasures

As if they had signed a nonaggression pact, Quiteños live in peace with active volcanoes covered with snow. How many? The truth is still to be said: some say 98 and others more than 100 ... Of course, occasionally shake to change position and when the deal starts to falter, because men do touches grab their belongings and leave areas that are filled with ashes. Then again, to make peace, and settle back into their skirts.

The Cotopaxi, Cayambe, Pichincha and Cotacachi volcanoes are home, life and beauty of Quito. Imposing, improve the landscape of this colonial city, which has one of the largest historical centers and, why not, best preserved in Latin America. Its streets are home to treasures literally filled with gold. It not for nothing was declared by UNESCO, along with Krakow (Poland), the first Cultural Heritage, on September 8, 1978.

True to its Spanish and Catholic heritage, Quito hosts dozens of churches. They are not ordinary places of worship. Outside, the facades are modest. Some white, some stone. But inside, however, they surprised by its vastness, its details and the materials they are made.

It seems incredible, but the Church of the Company, one of the most important baroque expressions of the continent, its interior is covered with sheets of gold leaf 23 carats, which were carved individually by the artists of the Quito School. All in the golden color shines in every corner. Angels beckon with face painted indigenous inhabitants of the colony. Today, because of its historical significance and its gold, it is an invaluable asset.

Like the Company, other spaces such as the Basilica del Voto Nacional, which stands out for its Gothic architecture amid a Spanish center ceilings and pale walls. In fact, it is ranked as the largest Gothic church in Latin America. It was built in 1883, aiming to raise a monument to remember the consecration of the Republic of Ecuador to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

There are two things you can not ignore: note that outside animals decorating the temple are not only mythological but are part of endemic and Ecuadorian exotic wildlife such as turtles Galapagos, the blue-footed boobies, the armadillos and howler monkeys. Inside, its huge stained glass windows decorate the gray of the high walls and illuminate the huge altar.

From the tip of the Basilica is the center of Quito. And a little further back is the hill of Panecillo, only 3,000 meters. Its attraction is the huge statue of the Virgin of Quito posing on a vantage point from where the entire city, from end to end is. But it is worth climbing the hill on foot, visiting the houses invaded their green and today are part of one of the most famous postcards of Ecuadorians, and feel the gentle wind that colors the cheeks.

After this stop you have to enter the center. There curiosities to sell, but probably one of the most striking is the street La Ronda, a short block away where multiple businesses coexist installed in colorful houses. Honey, spinning tops, ice cream and typical food sold in this traditional full of music and smiling people space, which will show the best of Quito tradition.

On the slopes of the Pichincha volcano

Pichincha is one of the active volcanoes that are part of the landscape of Quito. To be closer and cross it, you have to get by cable car and climb up to 4,050 meters above sea level to the top of Cruz Loma. Today this transport is one of the highest in South America. It feels and it shows: as far as that goes, he realizes how small and cozy which is the capital of Ecuador, as admired in its entirety. the ears are also covered and the cold can not be avoided if not wearing a jacket.

This active volcano has brought them such great scares and the quiteños. One of its summits, the Rucu Pichincha, has erupted more than nine times since 1534. The last occurred in October 1999 and the capital was covered with ash. However, as the crater of the Guagua Pichincha is open to the west, its lava flowed in that direction. The volcano kept his nonaggression pact with humans, who no longer suffer much because they decided to get tattooed skin an encouraging phrase: "You dance with tremors and sweating with volcanoes."

Some are satisfied with the view on the first viewpoint. Others consider worth following up, walk, wear comfortable clothes, water, without pause but without haste. A feeling, an intuition that does not fail because in the end the reward is invaluable. Quiteños fortunate because not only sleep between volcanoes, also walking, the living, care for them.

By mistake, and fortunately, we covered more than forecast. The reward for having come so high we still clutched in memory, such as children when they embrace her mother amid the nightmares. More than 5,000 m lucky we face the most solemn landscape we have ever seen. Quito tiny looked between the three volcanoes, which were to be seen thanks to clear weather. Three huge snow peaks, Cotopaxi, Cayambe and Cotacachi, reminded us of our place in the universe. I could swear we all feel the same: fatigue, satisfaction and understanding that we are a minipartícula in the world, but we have the good fortune to inhabit it, to appreciate it, to go through it. Gratitude.

In the Middle of the World

The feeling of experiencing something unique is a constant in Ecuador. And we volcanoes, but lacking we feel that we are literally the navel of the world, an addictive tendency happens to us elsewhere, but the city is gaining strength in Middle of the World.

This place is home to a monument that highlights the location on the equator, from which the country takes its name, and highlights the Franco-Spanish geodesic mission eighteenth century placed the approximate location through which passes the equator.

Although here does not pass the latitude 0 ° 0'0 '', Ecuadorians decided to paint a yellow line and lifting a block with a sphere at the tip, pretending that there passes through the Earth Ecuador, ie the plane perpendicular to axis of rotation of the planet, through its center and as we were taught in school, divide the surface of the Earth into two parts: northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere.

In the city there are plenty of sights to amaze visitors. For example, just by looking at the shadow that partially covers the globe monument, you can determine the season in which all countries are.

But this is not the only attraction. The State has built a fun space, a planetarium equipped with a universal projector ZKP-2 German manufacturing, which allows the best view of the universe; a replica of city bullring and a church event; and pavilions from France, Spain and Quito, in which the history of Ecuadorians and the contribution of the other two nations shown to achieve draw the line of Ecuador and preserve the art of Cologne.