Monday, May 11, 2009
LA MITAD DEL MUNDO
We left our apartment in the Centro Historico of Quito and headed for La Mitad del Mundo – the Middle of the World. The equator is 22 km from the center of Quito. 22 km in a city this size equals 90 minutes travel time (on public transportation). At home this is the distance from our house to Tri-County mall (30 minutes tops, by car). And thanks to the makers of Dramamine = No bus sickness for our three ladies. Yay!!
We arrive at La Mitad del Mundo and first observed the famous monument that has the “line running through it”. We all had our requisite photos taken straddling the equator, one leg in the Northern Hemisphere and the other in the Southern. That's what you do here, take pics to prove you were here. It wasn't great fun, but you can't visit Quito and pass it up. How fun can a “line” be, anyway? We finished our photo shoot and headed into the monument/museum. This small, but nice “museo” gave descriptions of the various indigenous peoples of Ecuador. To add to our experience, we also viewed a room size scale model of Colonial Quito. The girls were bored with an exhibit of the history of the “Making of the Equator," but I really enjoyed it. It went from the need of the French king in the 1700's to settle a scientific dispute between the theories of Sir Isaac Newton and __________(can't remember name) regarding the shape of the Earth, to the eventual naming of the new nation Ecuador after this imaginary line running equidistant between the poles. Good exhibit for Marty = Geeky.
A side note. We met a nice family from New York. The father was Joe Berlinger, a documentary film maker. His most famous film was “Paradise Lost”, about a trial of three teenagers for murder, simply because of their dress style and music preferences. He and his family were in Quito because his current documentary “Crude” was the opening film at an International Film Festival being held here. It is an inside look at how Texaco polluted the Amazon and tried to get away with it. Watch it at your local theatre.
After a day of being equatorial, we headed back to Quito with the “equation” La Mitad del Mundo = Good Day