Tag Archives: Mercado Central

Friday in Quito

Jun 14 – Today is our last day in the city, so we went back to Centro Historico to see more of the sights.

Touch the hand of San Augustine for a blessing:

Here are a few examples of wall art, which I look for wherever we go:

We checked out the Art Museum, which displayed paintings from classic to modern:

In the Plaza de San Francisco, we got caught in a flurry of pigeons:

The Mercado was small, but had plants used for botanical cures:

…and some jumbo sized pigs feet:

…as well as normal market fare:

These eggs were our supper.
If you ask for a chicken leg, you get the foot too!

Iglesia La Merced (Church of Mercy) was the prettiest church of all:

It had scenes painted on glass around the doorway that depicted the coming of the Spaniards and conversion of the native Ecuadorians.

It also had many paintings of regular people being watched over by the Madonna.

The Museo de la Ciudad (Museum of the City) showed the history of Quito using mannequins and dioramas:

It all started in the jungle…

The museum building was once a hospital.
Battling the Spaniards in the jungle.
Semana Santa – Holy Week procession
Traditional costumes in different areas of Ecuador
Me hanging with some native ladies

Thank you Quito (and the Virgin on the hill) – we had a blast! Tomorrow we’re off to Tena!


Jan 28, 2019 – It’s been a little too cold in Virginia lately, so we’ve been planning to warm our old bones with a little Central American sunshine. Thanks to the government shutdown ending just in time, we hopped a very pleasant flight to Atlanta and then one to Guatemala City with nary a hitch. Neither flight was filled, and we actually got to spread out a bit and felt like humans instead of packages in transit to a hub!

So, where is Guatemala? No, friends, we are not in, or anywhere near Venezuela where the current politics are a bit dicey, nor are we in Brazil where the dam just burst. There are no caravans forming here headed for US borders. Heaven knows we are not in Guam, despite the spelling similarity, nor in Guadalupe (see Mexico 2018)!

Guatemala (pronounced like What-emala) is just south of Mexico, with volcanos to climb and jungle ruins to explore. We only jumped one time zone, so no jet lag. We are currently at about 5000 feet elevation, similar to Denver. We are in the dry season, and the weather is temperate, with daily highs expected in the mid 70s.

The money here is the Quetzal, which is also the national bird. As a bird, it is long-tailed and resplendent. As money, it takes between 7 and 8 of them to equal a dollar. Now you know everything I learned about Guatemala online.

We found an ATM deep in the darkened airport with the assistance of a friendly taxi driver (who didn’t even ask for a tip), then called our B&B for a pickup. Ten minutes later, we walked in to Hostal Guatefriends, a very nice place indeed, with a private toilet and hot water shower. We don’t expect this level of luxury everywhere in this country.

Jan 29 – After a nice hot breakfast (eggs, black beans and good strong coffee ) we set out to see what there is to see in Guatemala City. There’s not much, and most guidebooks suggest not to bother, but we are here, so we will see. Our hostal is about 4 miles from the city center – too far to walk, and taxis depend on haggling, so we decided to Uber. Oswaldo picked us up in two minutes flat. Uber (pronounced Oovair) rocks!

Our first destination was the Palacio Nacional, which has a museum inside.

We tried to walk in, but were stopped at the door. Although Guatemalans may enter for free, foreigners must pay $6 US each, and stand outside until the next tour starts (on the hour). A guided tour for foreigners – how nice! Will the tour be in English or any other foreign language? No, solamente Español. Oh well. With 50 minutes until the next tour, we decided to move on.

Next door to the Palacio is the Catedral Metropolitana. The Cathedral sustained damage from several earthquakes, and has been rebuilt.

The Cathedral has small chapels dedicated to various saints, and paintings of the life of Christ all done by Pedro Ramirez in the 1600s.

A sad Madonna
Our favorite Apostle, St. James, with his walking stick and drinking gourd
The angel telling Mary she has been chosen

There’s also a life size Nativity tableau.

Then we walked over to the Mercado Central, where everything you can imagine is on offer. The market, formerly three stories tall, was also devastated by earthquake, and is now mostly underground.

A big part of the market is selling fresh hot food, and we picked the busiest booth, on the theory that the best food was there. Don’t know what we ate, but it was delicious!

A great first day. Tomorrow, we’re off to Antigua!