This morning we headed back to Old Town for our tour with the Police. Our tour guide spoke very good english and did a great job explaining the tour. Unfortunately we were asked not to take pictures inside the museum's and churches that we visited, so I only have a few photo's to show you.
Our first stop was the square outside the Presidential Palace. Where she explained the significance of the statue in the middle of the square. It represents Ecuador's strength, courage, independence and freedom. It was made in Italy and shipped to Quito.
Our next stop on the tour was the Church of Gold, almost the entire interior of the church is covered in gold leaf. They are currently doing a small restoration project on the church to get rid of some water damage and mould. If you Google Church of Gold Quito you will be able to find a few pictures of the inside.
This is the outside and doors of the church.
The street we were on is called the street of 7 crosses, meaning essentially there are 7 churches on the street and each has a large stone cross outside it.
This picture is a historic building that was on our tour route but I thought it show off some of the architecture of Quito very well.
Next we headed to the San Francisco museum which is part of the San Francisco Church and square.
Our next stop was the city museum, which used to be a hospital. There was some of the old pharmacy bottles on display.
The city museum is has been beautifully created. On the tour we went through some of the old surgery rooms and hospital areas. The rest of the museum has been dedicated to showcasing Ecuadorian life. While going through the museum we were shown 2 beautifully created hard wood floors depicting the city of Quito. It was hard to believe that we were allowed to walk on them. Each piece of wood was cut polished and place by the artisan's hands. My explanation isn't doing it justice.
We ended our tour in the La Ronda district which used to not be safe for tourists. But in recent time has been cleaned up and police presence increased and now is a beautiful area to stroll through. Lots of restaurants and little shops to peek in.
We stopped in a little pub for lunch and Vaughn tried to order roasted Cuy (guinea pig), but they had not yet got the large forno oven going for the day.
After lunch we wandered around La Ronda and found a little bakery and chocolate shop. The owner was grinding the cacao beans by hand, which she did 30 times in order to make her 100% cacao for her chocolates. She would then reduce the 100% down to 85%, 75%, 65% for the chocolates that were being made that day. She added spices, passion fruit, coffee and other ingredients to make her wonderful chocolates.
We had a little treat and ended our day in old town.