Linda and I spent the morning with Danette exploring a couple of the many churches in the area. I’ll write more about them when we return to Quito after our four days in the Amazon. We will be on the border of Yasuni National Park in the northeast corner of the country. We have a 45 minute plane ride followed by a 2 hour canoe ride to get to the lodge where we will spend the next three nights.
|A restaurant we will eat at next week. La Ronda was an arts center centuries ago and is once again home to traditional arts. Very quiet with shops during the day, it supposedly is hopping at night. We will see.|
We had hoped to see the cathedral on Plaza Grande, but it was closed for the day. This has been a very busy day for Quitanos. The last Friday before Christmas is not officially a holiday, but we saw numerous informal parades and all three squares in the area are having festivals with music.
|The main courtyard at the Cultural Museum. The train is both part of the Christmas decoration and symbolic of the Endara works (I think).|
We did spend some time in the Cultural Museum. We enjoyed the art even without being able to read any of the explanation signs that were in abundance. Few of the places we have visited so far have much of anything in the way of guidebooks and almost nothing in English. This is quite a contrast from what we often see at home and in Europe where things are printed in several languages. One large gallery had about 40 paintings by Gonzalo Endara Crow. He is a contemporary artist whose works were worth the time. His precision is excellent. Most of his work is a cityscape highlighting the adobe buildings and tile roofs. One series of seven has a train crossing the sky dropping various fruits and other objects to the town below. We did see that there is symbolism in this because one of the signs explained the symbolism of the various colors. Our Spanish was just good enough to figure that out.
|Daytime views of El Panecillo|
The real highlight today was the taxi ride we took to the top of El Panecillo, the hill overlooking the city as the sun went down. Atop the hill is the Virgin of Quito, a huge statue overlooking this part of town.
|The Virgin of Quito|
|The view from El Panecillo. Notice the grid pattern of the Old Town. The newer part is more haphazard.|
For Christmas, the city has added a number of beautiful lighted objects. The taxi ride up took longer than normal because they are also having a festival. In fact, I am still listening to the band on Santo Domingo Square from our room as I type this.