Thursday, March 28, 2013

Basilica del Voto Nacional, Quito Ecuador - Basilica's view / climb to the top with an 8 year old

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Yesterday we went to this church and climbed halfway up the first viewing tower.
But we had no camera.
So we decided to come back the next day, armed with camera - so here we are.
We are charged $2 each - the ticket office entrance is hard to find.
You need the side gate, then go to the back outside courtyard.
We then head up a lot of stairs to get to the balcony overlooking the inside of the church.
You can read my previous blog on this separate visit a few weeks ago. 
This church took over 100 years to build.
It is the larges in Ecuador and is amazing architecture.

There is a huge pipe organ on wheels.

Most of the lead-light is intact. The whole place is glorious and reminds me of Westminster Abbey.

We head up to the clock tower first.
It strikes whilst we are inside there - pretty crazy to be there at that time.

We then head up a spiral staircase.
The top of this has no handle and is really hard to get up.
I get a bit freaked - but it is worse when I go to head down.
Finally get myself safely positioned, only to have to exit up again as it is single file traffic.

The view at the top is pretty wild. Right over Quito. 

 Each direction is amazing in this tower alone.
This is the easy climb tower.
I suggest you do this first.

We try to get up to the bells - but there is a locked gate.
So down we go again.

We knew there was a lovely coffee shop.
We are there alone.
The lady is lovely.
She has little variety of food available.
Much of the menu is not served.
It does worry me - there is a huge selection of hot wine and other alcoholic beverages.
Not a safe thing for before a climb - maybe people need it after? 

We then head back down a level so we can go up?
There is a walkway that is not well built across the roof inside.
My son swings this - yipes! 

He then heads up the first ladder.
Trust me - this ladder is easy.
It is protected and inside.

 Not so easy is the next ladder - in fact it is the worst.
It is only welded and there is no protection from falling to your death.
Given time again, there is no way I would take any child up there.
But we have people behind us, so we have to go forward.
I freeze partway - it really, really is scary.
However, my son is safely wedged between two adults the whole time.

We make it to the top.
The third ladder is easier.
It is protected at the top.
The view is incredible.

I tell my son to hang on for dear life - he does. Good boy! 

I am amazed at the places people graffiti.
How they get there is crazy. 

We head down.
Down is worse!
There are a couple that help me safely with my son.
They encourage him and ensure he can't fall. 

Partway down you can see detailed architecture.
All the birds are different on the side of this building. 

As we finish our couple of hours here, we walk back to our hotel.
We get to buy lunch for $2. 
If you walk in front of the church and down one block there is a street full of cheap cafes as you head to the park with the observatory.
We decide to feed the a stray dog.
We also hand out food to the poor.
Then we have a bag of toiletries from the hotel - so my son enjoys finding ladies to give these to who are begging - he comments on how good it feels to give.

We wander back and realise how comfortable we feel in this city.
Soon we will be on our next big journey.
But we will be back!

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