Climbing to the Top of Quito

Posted by on Oct 26, 2011 in Ecuador | 0 comments

When traveling in South America you might as well have a passion for buses. We’ve traveled almost exclusively on them. Only once we choose a flight over a bus because the flight was 45 minutes and the bus ride to the same destination was 24 hours. So we could justify the extra cash for the flight. You might think this a good time to read a book, or write a blog… fat chance. The roads are constantly winding and the driver only understands two things full brake or full gas.

So I thought we needed to have a picture of what we see for a good chunk of our trip on the blog.

That’s it! pretty exciting… Sometimes you get a nice crucifix hanging from the rearview. Or maybe some stuffed animal which looks oddly misplaced. If you are unfortunate there will be a big speaker right there playing music for 10 hours at full volume.

Immediately when we arrived at the Quito bus terminal we knew we were going to love this city. The station was bright, clean and open. The views of the countryside were magnificent. Lush mountains of green surrounded the bus station.

We took the tram into the city and confirmed our first thoughts. There was a colonial feel and plenty of color on many of the houses. The architecture was splendid. Pictures can describe best.

By far the most amazing thing we saw and did in Quito was visit Basílica del Voto Nacional ( Basilica of the National Vow). This building was massive! In fact its the largest building of its type in the world. Pope John Paul II blessed it in 1985. Here is a picture of Leah taking a picture next to it.

Entry to the church is grand and is almost a spiritual trip in and of itself. An intricate red and white walkway brings you to two gigantic brass doors. In between the doors is a bronze statue of Pope John II with open arms welcoming us.

The inside of the church is decorated with brilliant stained glass windows. Here is a picture from the back of the church.

What sets this basilica apart in my mind is the opportunity to climb the towers! For a meager two dollars you can walk across this little bridge way up over the domes of the church and then climb a succession of ladders to a small viewing area.

Absolutely amazing. We took countless pictures atop the church tower and stayed there for some time.


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