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// SEPTEMBER 2016
Unspoiled Beauty
Thessaloniki
Bogotá
Bogotá
Cartagena de Indias
Cartagena
Quito
Otavalo
Sigchos
Laguna de Quilitoa
Alausi
Sibambe
Alausi
Cuenca
Guayaquil
Frankfurt
Zipaquirá
Zero point
Quito
Cotopaxi National Park
El Nariz del Diablo

Quito


22nd of September
"Zero Point"

We started our journey to Quito. We passed by Cayabe, where we found the fist monument of Ecuador.
 


We continued to the famous “zero point”, (the location of latitude 0). Zero degrees latitude is the line designating the Equator and divides the Earth into two equal hemispheres (north and south).
Latitude 0 0 0 is the earth’s center point – 0 degrees latitude, 0 minutes, 0 seconds.
We saw the monument Mitad del Mundo and took photographs of ourselves (a common practice for all the visitors of the area) standing with one foot on the north hemisphere and with the other one on the south hemisphere!!!
 


We arrived in the capital of Ecuador, in Quito, which sits high in the heart of the Andes, at an altitude of 2850 meters, on the eastern slopes of the volcano Pichincha (4.783 meters).


We saw it all!!!

We managed to find our hotel, Hotel Real Audiencia, situated in the heart of the historic center, parked the car and went for a walk to become acquainted with the old city, which is the oldest capital of the country and famous for its churches, palaces and aristocratic mansions. The historic center of Quito, one of the largest, least-altered and best-preserved historic centers in the Americas, is among the first World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO (1978).

We walked up the cobbled streets,
 


explored the narrow roads with the wonderful buildings, excellent samples of colonial architecture, we photographed churches and mansions 
 


 

and tried traditional delicacies on the street markets.
We practically saw it all!!!
The oldest of all of Quito’s churches, the Church and Monastery of San Francisco, which dates back to 1534…
 


The awe inspiring and beautiful Plaza de San Francisco, crowded with pigeons...

The amazing church Basilica of our Lady of the Merced which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1660 before rebuilding began a few years later (in 1701). Some of its more unusual aspects include pagan motifs, such as the stone pillars at the entrance with images of the sun and the moon, and a fountain featuring a statue of the Greek god, Neptune… 
The church Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepción…
The Independence Square (Plaza Grande-Plaza de Independencia),

 


lined with buildings and churches that date back to Spanish Era. The square is flanked by the Governmental Building (Carondelet Palace, built on the 17nth century), the Municipal Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Archbishop's Palace… 

The Church of San Agustin…
The Santa Catalina de Sienna Church and Convent…
The square Plaza Huerto San Agustin…


 


 

The Theatre Square with its Teatro Sucre, where we were lucky enough to watch a performance…
 


 

where we were lucky enough to watch a performance…
So, indeed, we saw it all…or almost all…

The famous church Basilica del Voto Nacional, the largest of all Quito’s churches, inspired by Bourges Cathedral in France, we could see all the way, during our promenade, with the predominant and breathtaking sculpture of Virgin Maria of El Panecillo to watch us from above.
 


 

El Panecillo (little loaf of bread) is a steep hill in Quito’s southern Old Town, named for its resemblance to a loaf of bread, and also one of the major landmarks in Quito. An urban legend wants the statue of the Virgin to face the people who live to the north side and to offer them its blessings, while its back is turned to the south. This underlines in a way the major differences between the two parts of the city…

Having taken a rich taste of the historic center of Quito and filled with amazing images, we returned to our hotel as soon as the afternoon rain started. We were hoping that, we would have a second chance to see whatever we had probably missed, after having returned from our journey to the Galapagos Islands!

 

 

 

 

 

Country: Colombia
Date: 2016
Route: Colombia-Ecuador
Cities: Thessaloniki, Bogotá, Bogotá, Cartagena de Indias, Cartagena, Quito, Otavalo, Laguna de Limpiopungu, Sigchos, Laguna de Quilitoa, Latacunga, Alausi, Sibambe, Alausi, Cuenca, Guayaquil
Duration: 10
Difficulty:
Population: 49.473.456
Rating:
comments
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comments
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Country: Colombia
Date: 2016
Route: Colombia-Ecuador
Cities: Thessaloniki, Bogotá, Bogotá, Cartagena de Indias, Cartagena, Quito, Otavalo, Laguna de Limpiopungu, Sigchos, Laguna de Quilitoa, Latacunga, Alausi, Sibambe, Alausi, Cuenca, Guayaquil
Duration: 10
Difficulty:
Population: 49.473.456
Rating:
comments
VIEW
Country: Colombia
Date: 2016
Route: Colombia-Ecuador
Cities: Thessaloniki, Bogotá, Bogotá, Cartagena de Indias, Cartagena, Quito, Otavalo, Laguna de Limpiopungu, Sigchos, Laguna de Quilitoa, Latacunga, Alausi, Sibambe, Alausi, Cuenca, Guayaquil
Duration: 10 days
Difficulty:
Population: 49.473.456
Rating:
comments
VIEW