Tourist tour Quito

Yesterday we arrived, after a luckily very uneventful flight, in Quito on time. Edgar Parra, our guide, was already waiting for us and brought us to our hotel, where we got a room with a perfect view on old Quito.

View from the Hilton Colon Quit

Today we did a bit of sightseeing of Quito and Mitad del Mundo (the middle of the earth, i.e. the equator line). We first visited the hill with the largest aluminium statue in the world that towers on a small mountain over the old town of Quito. The weather was very nice and we even could see a glimpse of the snowy Cotopaxi.

Posing in front of the Virgin of Quito
View to the South – first view of Cotopaxi, which we hope to climb next week

We had lunch in a nice little restaurant “El Cratero” literally located on the rim of a gigantic vulcano crater, allegedly the only crater in the world with villages inside the crater. From there we moved to Mitad del Mundo, where we visited two musea that both claim to be located exactly on the equator. The oldest (and most famous) one, that is pictured in all tourist guide, however, was a couple of years ago with modern GPS measurements proven to be a few hundred meters off…

Joline and myself on the equator, i.e. the zero-meridian

In the new museum they had a series of fascinating small experiments to show the effect of being exactly on the equator. For instance they showed in a little basin that, when placed exactly on the equator, there was no vortex when the water was drained, but just moving it two meters on the northern hemisphere caused a nice left-turning vortex and when then moved two meters on the southern hemisphere a nice right-turning vortex.

Edgar Parra, our guide, trying to put an egg on a nail at the equator line (that’s supposed to be easy…)