lundi 29 août 2005

How to scare the hell out of you in Quito: A guide

Ok, I have no clue why i decided to do that today... I was walking in the centro Historico, and I was trying to get yet another picture of the beautiful Plaza Grande, but from a higher point of view... and there it is, a building about 4 stories high, with a couple small towers on each sides, facing the cathedral... of course, tourists are not allowed on such places, usually, but that one building, he highest in the Plaza Grande, is in complete renovation; they will make an hotel out of it... As it happen, they're working on it right now... so i went to the side door, to talk with one of the workers... and after a little chat with his boss, in charge of the constructions, i had the freedom to wander around for a few minutes... So i went to the stairs with the intention of climbing up to the 4th floor... well, the stairs are made of concrete, with no ramp whatsoever, and each floor is filled with blocks and broken bricks from the old walls of the place. They are working on the demolition part, keeping just the skeleton of the building... So i climb a few sets of stairs, and after the fourth, i realize there's more... so I keep goin... and reach a kind sixth floor, which is a platform between the two little towers on top of the building. Wow, what a incredible view of the Plaza Grande! Hehehe... once again, not in a guide book, uh? So i took a few pics from there (probably more than there was need to, but hell, when do you think i'll go back there?)...
And went back on the ground floor and left the place, not without thanking a lot my new friend and his boss.
So... all happy about that move (actually, i've spot the place several days ago, but there was nobody, and yesterday, the site was close, since it was sunday)... I went as planned to call my friends and see what they were up to. After the call, and having made some plans for tomorrow, I still had a couple hours to kill in this late afternoon...
So... I decided to go back to the basilica that I've visited last week, and, hell, climb to the top north tower. I have to tell you that last time, I went as high as possible, but was too scared to climb the last part of that tower... So i don't know what got me, but i decided to go. And if I was to pay a second time (ok, it's just 2 bucks, but even), I'll go to the highest part of it, scared or not!
I walked in, confident about my abilities, and went right to the third floor where you can take a look to the centro Historico from a mirador between the two high clock towers of the basilica.
Ok, from that level, there is a little wooden bridge that crossed the whole building on the rooftop (yeah). At the end, you're standing at the foot of the north tower... which can be reach by climbing three sets of stairs... well, ladder is closer to the actual thing. And at about 85 degres (no kidding), and in open air, with no ramp, nothing to protect you... So I went to the little platform of that tower, half-scared to death (I have some... issues with high places like that, especially when the space around is tiny)... I then took a few pics (let's hope I wasn't shaking too much, uh?)... and tried to get back without falling and killing myself in the process.
Obviously, I've succeeded! Yeee!!!
And I crossed back the tiny and unstable wooden bridge, and i thought, well, that wasn't so hard after all (but I was happy to be back on some more solid ground)...
And that's when I saw something... see, there's a little souvenir shop in the thrd floor, and last time, I didn't really botherd going there, the prices are always too high in that kinda place... But this time, I saw one of the guide and two girls getting out out the shop, by the side of it (?)... so i went in and checked that out... and saw the stairway (to heaven? hehe)... to the belfroy.
Oh. My. God.
Yep. It's possible to get there... so why not going for it, it's just about 15 meters higher than the north tower... hehehehehehehe (nervous laugh, here)... So i went, at first, finding it less scary than the other tower, since it's just a stairway after all. Ok, tiny, and steep, but well, it's inside, there's some wall... until you reach a platform, with a glass door, and well, you're outiside again, at the same level that the norht tower... yeah, so funny, a couple more pictures!
And what's next? Let's see... a spiral metal stairway to go higher... actually, to reah the clock level... hahaha... the damn big high clock of the tower... wow... and of course, they never bother putting some windows or railing, bastards!
From the little floor of the clock level, there's yet another three sets of ladders, yeah, ladders... out in the open, to reach the bell's level, just that... Jesus Christ - oops, sorry, I forgot that I was in a church :)
So I went all the way to the top of that fucking tower, yep! (By the way, you can click on that small pictures to have a larger view and be able to read the comments, just in case you haven't figure it out yet :)
Eighty-Five fucking meters high, shit, I hope the pics will be good enough... I have at leats one with my scary face on it, hehehehe....
And I managed somehow to get back by the same way without braking my neck. Hurrah!
But let me tell you something, all that basilica thing scared the hell out of me. Shit, at St-Peters in Rome and at Notre-Dame in Paris, there's secutiry stuff, you know, like railings, and the floor are stable, and the building itself isn't falling appart (yeah, the Basilica isn't a century old, and still not finished yet, but it's somewhere between unfinished and in needed of renovations)... There's nowhere else in the world touristswould be allowed to do that kind of climbing, only in latina america, my friends, only in latina america... but they may be right about it... see, God was kind with me today, or He was just in no mood to have me around yet! :)

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire

L'Esprit Vagabond vous remercie de vous identifier (ou signer votre commentaire). Assumez vos opinions!
L'Esprit Vagabond est un blogue privé et ne publie pas de commentaires anonymes.