September 14, 2011

Old Town Quito: La Ronda

La Ronda is mainly one long street, filled with bars, bakeries and artesan shops. It's geared towards tourist,  but without an overtly tourist feel to it. The reason we know this: the security guards all around that street. There are guards at each intersection and the gates to this street. They are there to keep the tourists safe, happy and willing to return.

Apparently, it's pretty fun at night, going from one bar to the next with the hot drink canelazo (although here they make it with a fruit called naranjilla which looks like a tomato and an orange combined). We picked the wrong time to go - right after siesta on a Saturday when most stores don't reopen. I'm sure we'll go again with any visitors we may have. The pictures can show you kind of what the nice part of Old Town Quito looks like - Spanish colonial style houses of various pastel colors. 

In the upper left hand side of the above picture, you can see the angel statue on the Panecillo, a hill that separates the Old Town from the southside of town. The south is where the slums are. Another teacher was telling me that there is a legend that the angel turned her back on the south and that is why she faces Old Town and the north valley. I prefer to think that legend isn't true, but I've been fairly sheltered so far in the north-central part of town.

They were having a photo exhibit in La Ronda with old photos of Quito. This was my favorite - Greg said he hoped that I'd get to see something like that in person soon.

Lastly, one side of the street in La Ronda has public games. This was a version of hopscotch and there's also a toss-the-ring type of game further down. If you look to the left, you can see a foosball table, too. In one of the upcoming posts, I'll show you what we ate while we were there as well!

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