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ARTICLES OF INTEREST - ECUADOR
In the outskirts of Quito...
A monument in the middle of the planet. A 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.
"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 with 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.
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
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.
becomes an "atalaya", because an elevator leads to the
thin terrace that is exactly under a
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.
Back to the
city and its balconies and tiles of chocolate color, their children
that don't get tired of taking
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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