I had exactly one day to do all the touristy things in Quito! And sadly it was a bit too little.
But here´s a review of what I experienced in the Ecuadorian capital:
First in the morning I went to the “La Mitad del Mundo”. It is the place situated ON the equator, but actually there is two museums/monuments both claiming they are on the REAL equator. I visited them both, and made this picture from one of them:
The Mitad del Mundo grand-complex was actually a bit boring, it had some small ordinary/neutral museums and a planetarium – nothing special, and of course A LOT of souvernier shops, all selling the same usual crap. (I have nothing against souvenirs shops, but they DO sell a lot of crap). But the smaller museum (Inti nan) 240 m away at another equator was better! I got an English-speaking guide, and we (+2 americans) went through many exhibits of Ecuadorian culture and some equator-line projects. For example, AT the line the water “sinks” right down through a sink, but 2 meter north or south it will either spin clockwise or counterclockwise. I’ve read that it’s because of the Coriolis effect, but I’m unsure if it works on so small items as a sink of water and only 2 meters from the equator (maybe some of the Hydro-studying people that read this can ask their professor?). Anyway – the presentation worked, and the other equator-tricks were fun as well, although I think there is some kind of trick to them all… :)
(The San Francisco Cathedral in Quito - Internet photo)
Back in Quito I decided to follow the walking tour suggested by Lonely Planet, but in my search for McDonalds (I really craved for some safe, language-trouble free, cheap and fairly nice tasting food) I got lost. But I saw the main plaza and general old historical buildings around in town but not a suggested “La Ronda” from a friend. Then I suddenly found myself in the middle of a catholic worship (Norwegian: gudstjeneste) in the San Francisco Cathedral. The Cathedral was beautiful, and it was interesting to attend the worship. Just see how different it was from an ordinary Norwegian worship and to get a bit spiritual refill. When the worship was over it was getting dark outside, and rule number one in every city at this trips is to newer walk alone in the streets (at least not for long) during nighttime. So I walked back to my hostel, and concluded that I had to come back to Quito another time (as with many other places I’ve so far visited)