Here is a quiz that will be answered later in this post. Two weeks ago I didn’t know the surprising answer. What is the official currency of Ecuador?
We went back to Quito old town today. It is a UNESCO world heritage sight. We started at the basilica where there were holding a mass to bless the police.
Then we walked down hill to visit Quito’s cathedral on the Plaza Grande.
Then we took a tour of the Numismatic Museum in the Central Bank of Ecuador. It was fascinaing to learn how Ecuador’s currency has developed with the history of the country. In the late 1990s Ecuador faced hyper inflation. Towards the end of the tour there was a plexiglass box about 1ft by 4ft by 5ft. It was full of coins in the old currency, the Sucre. When Duke was here about 35 years ago he thinks 1 sucre was about 20 cents. The box contained about 5,625,000 sucres. Today they are all worth $15.
In any case when the value of the sucre went almost to zero Ecuador changed their official currency to the U.S. Dollar!! So we are using our $ here just like at home.
Our last stop in the old town was the Church and Monestary of San Francisco. It is Quito’s oldest Church.
We had a late lunch in the old Archbishop’s Palace which now has shops and restaurants.
Tomorrow we head by bus to Latacunga about 40 miles (98 km) south of Quito.
If you would like to see our itinerary with links to previous posts it is available by clicking on the link below. .
Today was a relaxing day. We took a taxi to Capilla del Hombre and Museo Guayasamín. It is the museum of the work of the painter Oswaldo Guayasamin and the home where he lived.
The art gallery was amazing. Guayasamin designed it and had it built for the art. It was beautiful and moving. Although his paintings in the museum were about the suffering of the people of Latin America there was still a sense of hope and strength. I think it would be worth visiting Quito just to visit La Capilla del Hombre!
His home was just as he left it including his studio and his art collection. This is the view from the house.
We couldn’t take pictures in the house or the museum but I’ve included below a couple of pictures of postcards.
These pictures are in the garden.
The Capilla del Hombre and Museo Guayasamin were high on a hill above our hotel so although we took a taxi to get there we walked back to our hotel.
For dinner tonight we went to a wonderful restaurant not far from our hotel. It was called Urko. The octopus was nothing like we were served in Spain. But the flavors were oh so good!
We ended with espresso.
And now the Guayasamin postcards. It would be very tempting to buy a print.