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MIDDLE OF THE WORLD


In the outskirts of Quito...


A city in the middle of the world

A monument in the middle of the planet. Ecuador Pictures - Travel to Ecuador - PhotosA sign that announces the latitude 0°. A yellow line that separates two hemispheres: the north and the south; then you just need to take a step to enter in one leaving the other one, in an unique experience that can only happen in the middle of the World, picturesque "city" of colonial reminiscences, located in the outskirts of Quito, capital of Ecuador.


The planet is a heavy brass globe rests in the summit of an immense monument; but it doesn't rotate, Ecuador Pictures - Travel to Ecuador - Photosit is immobile, maybe caught in the highest point of this discreet, picturesque city, almost unreal, with its houses of colonial shades, its temple wrapped by the sober silence of the faith and dozens of little streets that join, mix or entangle, however they take you always to the middle of the World.

"Here, the people, the animals and the objects, lose their shadow a couple of times a year", combing his beard and smiling with enigma and mystery, one of the few inhabitants of Mitad del Mundo, the city of the latitude 0°, according to the studies of the members of the Academy of Sciences of France that, in 1736, carried out a geodesic expedition to Ecuador.

Silence. The man looks at the sky, the brass world, the balconies and chocolate color, the boulevard Ecuador Pictures - Travel to Ecuador - Photoswith the brass busts of all the scientists' of the expedition brass -among them Charles de la Condamine and Pierre Bouguer - and to the mischievous children that "fly" above a yellow line; then, he stops smiling and breaks the fragile silence:

"Here one just need to take a step to be in the north hemisphere or in the south hemisphere"... and the children continue in their hemispheric flights around the monument to the equatorial line that is the heart of the "City of Mitad del Mundo" complex, located less than 30 kilometers from Quito.

North to south, south to north. Boys don't stop to jump from one side to the other of the yellow line. They pant, sweat and laugh, when seeing their shadows dancing in the cement of the city. "That would not happen during the equinoxes of March 21st and September 21st", says the solitary inhabitant that is not longer combing his beard neither smiling enigmatically.

"In those days neither people neither the objects project a shadow. It is a very strange phenomenon", the voice goes out, the man vanishes; suddenly, a tremendous din, a shooting of photographic clicks starts next to the colossal 30 meters high monument with its 5 tons terraqueous globe built in 1979, according to Luis G. Tufiño design (1936).
And the shooting expands to the north hemisphere, and there are more clicks in the south hemisphere until an isolated click -with a smile included- pointing to the little signs that reads: latitude 0°0'0", Western Longitude of Greenwich 78°27'28"... and there is not more remedy than to recharge the camera, because "one can not be in Mitad del Mundo that often and there is enough time left to visit the boulevard, the balconies and the tiles... and so many details more."


Under the planet

It is nor March neither September. The golden rays of the sun create infinite shades and forms. The city "boils" at noon. There is life, the stores open up and the delicious smell of the fritada (fried pig meat) and the llapingacho (puree and cheese cakes) escapes of the kitchens of the restaurants... Ah, even the monument is not a titan of armed concrete and refined stone anymore, now it is an affable and welcoming giant that opens its doors to receive visitors.

The monument becomes an "atalaya", because an elevator leads to the thin terrace that is exactly under Ecuador Pictures - Travel to Ecuador - Photosa world tired of rotating, where one can observe the lines and forms of its continents and its seas, species of tattoos in a strange "skin" of brass color... but there is more to observe: the hills that surround the city, the spongy clouds, the little boulevard, the yellow line that seems to be a serpentine.
When descending one will find plenty of surprises. The insides of the concrete colossus, are a wide variety of the cultural richness of the diverse ethnic groups that inhabit the three regions of Ecuador. Costa, Sierra and Oriente, diversity of objects and customs, legends and myths, traditions and parties that allow you to discover the essence and the spirit of an entire country.

Back to the city and its balconies and tiles of chocolate color, their children that don't get tired of takingEcuador Pictures - Travel to Ecuador - Photos hemispheric jumps and the last clicks of the photographic shooting... the only absent one is the man of the enigmatic smiles. Perhaps, it was only a shadow, a confused illusion in Mitad del Mundo.

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