You may notice that the fellow on the right is standing tall and is very much into the entire ceremonial guard routine while the one on the left is a tad slovenly and would really rather be somewhere else, away from all the annoying tourists and their “photo ops”...

A few of the more persistent “won’t take no for an answer” types simply joined our group…

We headed out bright and early Saturday morning (11 am is early for some of us) on a tour of the city.  Since we numbered about 90 touristas at this point we required several large buses to move from place to place…

I think we’ll leave you folks at this point with one last view of Quito from our hotel room after dark…

Remember that at the beginning of this treatise on Ecuadorian history I mentioned that the country lies both north and south of the equator?  Here’s the proof…

The locals were apparently notified that the new herd had arrived and were waiting at every stop with baskets and armloads of blankets, scarves, hats and anything else they thought we couldn’t leave Ecuador without…

This is the Equator Monument and Museum which is located about 15 miles north of Quito in “Middle of the World City” (the name is actually much more poetic in Spanish). There is an elevator within the monument that provides access to the rooftop viewing platform and a better understanding of the equator…

Then, again, he may just have been jealous that all the hot mamas wanted their picture taken with the other guy.

There are more than 200 assorted churches and cathedrals located within Quito, nearly all are some form of Roman Catholic.  Somewhere back in time, 200 or more years back, a couple of these groups were in a battle, metaphorically speaking, to lay claim to the Quitorians (folks living in Quito) and while one group was busy building the massive Basilica of the National Vow adorned with gargoyles, cherubs and other non-lethal forms of Ecuadorian wildlife…

Here is the first in a short series of Updates detailing our recent adventure south of the border to Ecuador, thusly named because it is located on both the north and south sides of the equator.

Our 10 days of exploration began with a late Friday arrival in the capital city of Quito, located in the Andes Mountain Range at 9350 feet and is the highest capital city in the world, with the possible exception of Denver, Colorado.  Use your imagination here.

Having booked this trip through Celebrity cruises, we were met at the airport by one of their representatives and whisked away to the Marriott Hotel in beautiful downtown Quito…

One of our stops was the Presidential Palace which was guarded by the local version of the British Beefeaters...

  Mitad Del Mundo                                                   November 10, 2014

And this concludes the compulsory historical portion of our diatribe but be sure to check back in real soon for some things you simply don’t want to miss!  See y’all next time.  Hugs, CC and me

Can you imagine the feminine attention this dude is going to receive if he ever grows up?!

Quito is renowned for its plethora of sculptures of both a religious and historical nature.  Not to be missed is the monument dedicated to the First Cry of Independence…

If you look very closely you will see a yellow line which separates the northern and southern hemispheres.  This yellow line has been painstakingly painted around the entire center of the earth including a connected string of yellow buoys over oceans and other bodies of water.  Of course there are some smart alecks who just cannot resist the urge to stand with a foot in each hemisphere while holding onto planet Earth…

The other group was a wee bit more whimsical with their Cherubic statuary…

Once we arrived at a destination and began the walking/stair climbing portion of the tour, we became very much aware that we were nearly 2 miles into the clouds.  I was really wishing I was hooked up to one of those portable oxygen generators after the first flight of stairs…

Okay…now history is a wonderful thing but, in the words of John Keats, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever” …