Monday, March 23, 2015

Tiring of Quito Tours

Being close to La Ronda, a special landmark heavily marketed in the tourism literature, we decided to give it one more shot. When we were here last, we visited it twice on two different occasions and at differing times, only to find it disappointing. It does not live up to the hype.

Shown as the home of many poets, musicians and politicians of Ecuadorian history, the street is supposed to be alive with restaurants, artist workshops, cafés, and informational signs relating the history of the area. These informational signs were apparent two years ago, but they seem to have disappeared over time. In spite of multiple tour companies bringing hordes of people to the street, the vast majority of the restaurants, souvenir shops and artists’ workshops were closed in the early Friday afternoon.

As much as we like Quito, we started to tire of the "Landmarks Walking Tour" when we attempted to find the special cemetery on the list only to be chased by the tourist police. Apparently, to get there, you have to walk through some tough territory. When the officer realized where we were going, he escorted us part of the way and then stood guard as we continued.

When we realized around the bend meant scaling a major hill, we decided to turn back or risk a burial when we made it to the land of the dead. Other spots on the list were plazas or convents we had already visited. This list overlapped with the Religious Sites Walking Tour.

Santo Domino Church, La Compania Church, Church of San Francisco, Convent de la Merced, El Sagrario Church, the Quito Cathedral, they all blend together after a while. Of all, I liked the cathedral the best. Here you can see St. Christopher’s last stand and statues with shower caps.

On Sundays, the crowds in the Old Town area are horrendous. You see some strange characters out on the streets.

Traffic on our street backs up most days. 

We discovered the ‘holy’ breads for Holy Week. We bought a lyre, but it was pretty stale.

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