Sunday, July 29, 2007

A walk around old town

After staying out till dawn on Friday, I didn't do much yesterday. There was a birthday party for Carlos, who works at the hostel, but I went to bed and didn't go out and got crap for it this morning from Carlos, who had not yet been to bed when I went downstairs around 10:30.

So no new stories really. On Sundays they close the streets of the old town to pedestrian traffic, so I did walk around with my camera this afternoon. Here's a photo tour.

This is a guy walking around the fountain preaching in the Plaza de la Independencia. The building in the background is the Palacio del Gobierno, the capitol of Ecuador.

I sat in on a little of mass at the Basílica de la Merced (I think). Listening to the readings and homily were a good Spanish lesson.

I finally found some really big markets. The Centro Comercial Granada had a huge shoe section, bigger than any shoe store I've been to in the States, but packed with scores of vendors. This is just one of several passages full of footwear. Some of the shops, like one selling watches, are as small as four feet by four feet. There are several more photos on flickr.

It's a poor country, and the streets are swarming with shoe shine boys. Sometimes you can barely walk without stepping on little boys offering to limpia zapatos for a quarter. My shoes have tan stitching that I like the look of, so I've had to shew them away. But I did give this kid a dollar coin for his photo.

A couple of old men keeping each other steady as they walked down the street. You can see the houses going up the side of the mountain.

Although was no food on display at the place I described eating at the other day, it was definitely grittier than this "food court."

You gotta love the knock-off brands. Apparently they were looking for male workers when the help-wanted sign was made, but they've decided to switch to females.

Finally, here's a night-time view from the roof of the hostal. Pretty hard to see stars in the city, but I did notice that Scorpio is straight overhead. In Ohio and California, the tail is too low to see.

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