Alright, So this was the day where we actually started our tour, and since we were in Quito, we started there.
We went first to Old town Quito, this included the Basilica, the Gold church, the San Francisco and the original and new town square.
Our Guide explained to us that Quito had the most churches within the city coming in second compared to the Vatacan. In other words there were a lot… a LOT of churchs in this city. But we only hit the major ones and called it good.
The first one we went to was the Basilica. This was a Gothic looking cathedral; much like the ones seen in Europe there were a few differences from the those European churches: mainly in the age and what decorated it. The church was built only a hundred years ago but the decorations are what made it stand out to me. Originally the Cathedral had gargoyles adorning the outside which was to be expected but the locals said that the gargoyles were too frightening; so they took them down and in stead put up animals that were indigenous to the area. So there were caymen and anteaters and turtles on the sides of the church. Very unique!
We then went to the original city square which was the center of town before the Spaniards came and took over. Then we went to todays city’s square where there was the Presidental palace and it had a few ‘yeah for Ecuador’ stuff, honestly it is like going to the white house, you see it say ‘cool’ then you move onto the next memorial.
The next church we visited was awesome though, the whole of the inside was gilded in gold. Almost every in was covered. It was amazing, they asked us not to take photos inside…. So my sister took a few, (well she didn’t hold back at the Jade Buddha in China, why would she hold back here?) It was really cool to see though, and aparantly it housed its own miracle. They had a painting of the Madonna that at one point blinked… yep that is what is considered a miracle today, a blinking painting.
Anyways, our group moved onto the last church which was the San Franscisco and the only thing that stands out to me about this church was that the insides were being devoured by termites and the front doors had a picture of Christ whipping the money changers; which was fun compared to all the little sellers of candles and such right outside the doors of the church. Hmmm, yeah they didn’t get the lesson.
After all the ABC churches we all jumped into the bus and headed to the Equator!
Oh, I almost forgot! On the bus ride over to the Equator our guide stopped the bus for a surprise for us. ICECREAM!!! Yep we stopped at an ice cream shop and there were a ton of new tasty flavors, I got Taxo and Guinabanananna…nana I can’t pronounce the last part but it was super tasty and they showed us how they created ice cream. For them they used to go to the mountains collect ice and bring it down to the valleys then they would stick a big copper bowl in the ice and pour juices and cream into the bowl. As they stirred the contents, it would freeze and become their ice cream. They had a demonstration and we got to try the fresh ice cream. So good, Dad even tried to give it a go.
Alright, back to the equator, that is right I have stood on both sides of the globe. It was pretty awesome! There was a memorial and a bunch of shops surrounding the location. Which according to Dad is a wonder; cause when he was here last the place only had a six-foot monument and a bunch of tents. Well now there is a building a shops. OK, yeah after taking the pictures that is about all you can do at the equator is walk and shop. I was still happy to be there though!
We then jumped back into the bus to head to our next hotel; on the way we stopped at a shop where our guide got us to try Ecuador’s chocolate; which was pretty tasty; I think it could compete with the Swiss kind but I’m still biased to to it.
We finally get to our Hotel which is the little out of the way place where you are staying in little cabins next to a lake and at the base of a Volcano. The scenery was so peaceful. There was a mini golf course in the center with a small creek going through it and they had a bunny pen. Also as you walked a crossed the little bridge over the creek you could see a hummingbird flying around the lilies in the water. It was like out of a picture book.
After the walk, we had dinner. I had this tasty traditional potato soup with a chunk of avocado in the center of it then for the entre I had trout. Tasty, traditional, but normally I only eat trout while camping so it was pretty unique eating the campy fish at a nice hotel. But apparently it was a traditional meal, so I’m all for it.
Another fun thing we did, there was a presentation on what the traditional garb was for the area. And tasha was selected to dress up.
We finished off the day by sitting in our room listening to my dad share mission stories. Perfect ending for the day! Oh, also they had built a fire for us and also left a hot water bottle in our beds. Divine!