Wednesday, May 18, 2011

138: elevation 9,200 ft

Breakfast was always eggs, fruit, bread, and a fine selection of juices.


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Then we had a whirlwind tour of the Spanish-colonial part of the city. The presidential palace complete with ceremonial guards and protestors.


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Can you tell which person isn't the tourist? There were women, dressed in Andean attire wearing fedoras, selling lottery tickets. It's hard to see in this photo but most of them were carrying a child on their back in a wrap. All you could see were the feet dangling out the bottom.



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Then we went to the Santo Domingo church. The portraits of the martyrs were quite graphic and morbid.


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They hold high school in the church.


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In this little chapel we got to listen to the monks chanting and singing.


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Our tour guide told us a story about how women aren't allowed in the church. Way-back-when the head priest discovered that the young, unwed ladies in the city were becoming pregnant. He disguised himself as a bum and went to find out what was going on. He discovered that secret tunnels had been built that led from inside the church to the outside. Those naughty priests!

Our group. We were in a group with two other universities: one from Boston and one from Portland.
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The streets in the colonial section of the city were so narrow and steep. In some places you could put your arm out the window of the tour bus on either side and touch the walls of the buildings.


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We drove past a big church called The Basilica. It was adorned with animals.


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The city is jammed packed. 2 million people live here. It's the second largest city in the country.


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Next we visited the Equator. There is a little "museum" and the guides let you perform tricks that "can only be done at the equator." I think it was all a scam.
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Then we visited the mall for lunch and last minute necessities for our trip to the Galapagos tomorro. Rick wanted to get some Dramamine for the boat trip. I had quite a time trying to communicate what we needed to the pharmacist, but we finally got it worked out--I hope! We walked back to our hotel from the mall. There is graffiti everywhere. They use the dollar in Ecuador. A bottle of water is about $0.35. Fifty limes for $1!
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We had some time before dinner so Rick, the other group leader and I decided to take a taxi back to The Basilica to check it out more.
I didn't see the no photos sign on the inside. Oops!


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Some construction workers were taking a break and played a game of soccer in the courtyard.


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It was starting to get dark so we tried to get a taxi back to the hotel. They all had passengers. A man finally stopped and offered to give us a ride. I was quite wary, but Rick talked me into it. Luckily we made it back safely.

6 comments:

Arlene (CO Kid) said...

So excited to see your pictures! You're amazing. I love how happy the locals seem to be in your pictures. :)

Cool...cool...cool!!!

Deborah said...

Thanks for taking me on your trip with you through those incredible pictures! Can't wait for more!

Kimberly said...

Such amazing pictures!

Carolyn (Dragon) said...

What is Rick eating, looks like pineapple, watermelon, and something pureed. It took me a while to decide the pink stuff was watermelon it looks like some kind of meat.

Love following your trip through pictures. Were you the official photographer for the trip?

Clammy said...

What a neat experience.

What were the 'scams' that could only be done at the equator?

Oh and those armadillo animals on that building are kinda freaky. lol!

Shauna said...

At the equator you could balance an egg on a nail, they showed us the water draining in different directions depending on which hemisphere you were in, and they did a strength trick to show there is less resistance on the equator.