Monday, April 26, 2010

A new country

We are now in Quito, Ecuador. It is one of the world's highest capital cities at 9,800 feet (3000 meters) elevation. We are staying in the Old Town part of Quito. Some of the buildings are 450 years old. The buildings have huge carved-wood doors. There are also a lot of churches in the Old Town. The San Francisco church was built in the 1500's. Two Sundays a month there are no cars allowed in the Old Town. We were there on one of the Sundays. It is nice because you can just walk in the street. There are also lots of people on bikes because when  there are cars, there isn't any space to ride a bike. We walked to the Basilica Del Voto Nacional. It is a 1920's church were you can climb up the tower. The tower is 17 stories high, and you can climb right up to the top.  There is also a restaurant on the 9th floor and a gift shop on the 8th floor. The tower doesn't look very big in the picture, but the clock is about 12 feet (3.5 meters) across. You can see the whole city from the top of the church.  We took the cable cars up a mountain just outside of Quito. In ten minutes, you go from 9800 feet to 13451 feet. It was the highest place I have ever been. The air was very thin and you got out of breath just walking around. The view over Quito was amazing. You could see Quito and the surrounding hills.

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