Today we went on a double-decker bus tour. We had a couple of obstacles, knowing where to catch the bus and being there on time. We eventually caught it, and it was very cool. Here are some of my highlights:
#1 – Basílica del Voto Nacional
The basilica is the largest church in the county. It has two towers extending 115m above ground, which Alex, Dad, and I climbed. In order to get to the top we took an elevator part way, climbed 3 flights of stairs, and then 3 steep ladders. I was shaking while climbing the ladders. I’m normally not scared of heights, but this thin ladder, more than 100m above the ground, made me a little scared.
#2 – El Panecillo
For some reason we made the wrong decision to drive up a steep hill on the top of a double decker bus, in the pouring rain, to see the Virgin Mary statue. The higher we got the more scary it got. The road was really narrow with barely enough room for two cars to pass. When we got to the top we didn’t see very much because it was raining and the elevation made my hands freezing.
#3 – Plaza Grande
Plaza Grande, also known as Plaza de la Independence, was a great place for us to spend our time. On Sundays, it is known for festive celebrations and people watching (one of Alex’s hobbies). The president, Rafael Correa, lives in the Plaza Grande Palacio. One of the main attractions is on Monday at 11:00am when Rafael comes out on the upper balcony of his palace. We had lunch in a small café, and because of the cheap prices we each got an ice cream. We were warned a few times to watch our stuff. Apparently there is theft here.
#4 – Mercado Artisanal
The market, Mercado Artisanal, reminded me of the Otavalo Market. Although the size was nothing to compare and the prices were more expensive here, it sold all the same stuff. Alpaca shawls, blankets, scarves, and sweaters, plus leather and llama items were the main sellers. Something else had caught Alex’s eye though, light pants. I had wanted a pair for a while and I finally got them. In fact Alex, Anna, and I all got them. $22 for three pairs, that meant $7.33 for each. A great price because she started at $12 each.
We had a great day full of adventure. Next, Christmas!