Friday, March 14, 2008

Basílica del Voto Nacional

Yesterday and today I went into the old Colonial part of Quito. It’s an easy ride on the EcoVia bus for 25 cents! I found it pretty interesting in general, with some very old churches and nice views. The eagle is from one of the churches. My absolute favorite was today when I went to the Voto Nacional Cathedral. It was built in the 1920s, and it is decorated with Ecuadorian animals. The gargoyles are fantastic! I posted just a few here, but I took tons of photos. Some of the doors also were Ecuador-specific, and one of them had a nice llama on it.

For $2 you can climb up up up into the clock tower. The climb went up about four flights of dark stairs, and then – you come to a gift shop! It was weird. The next floor had a café. After another flight of narrow stairs you come to several sets of even narrower metal spiral stairs that take you into the bell tower proper. And THEN you still have four rebar ladders to go up, if you want. The views were fantastic.

Halfway back down and on the same floor as the gift shop you can walk the plank. The boards go across the top of the main part of the church, above the ceiling, but below another peaked roof so it was enclosed. It was pretty cool to see the top side of the arches you usually see from the church floor. At the end of the planks was another set of three or four ladders on the outside that take you up to another tower. I loved the whole thing, but it was a good cardio and thigh workout, especially with the high altitude (of Quito, not the tower!).

I also visited my Mom’s school today, which was fun to see. Tonight we go out to dinner, and tomorrow to the Black Sheep Inn eco lodge!


Petula Darling said...

Is it really called The Black Sheep Inn? Do they offer sanctuary to family members who lack acceptable social skills and are tossed out in the cold?
(not that that's why you'll be staying there, of course)

I'm very jealous of your exotic vacation!

Patti said...

Awesome photos!!! I love reading about your trip. Be safe.