La Ronda - this historic street through the tunnel upon leaving one of the bus terminals - steps into a time warp back into yesterday complete with wrought iron balconies and interior patios. Only, this place dates way, way back to pre-colonial times.
Plaques of its story can be read on its walls as you take in the architecture. Unless they've been taken down temporarily to paint or remodel.
Before these buildings, the indigenous aborigines made their living here, using this very street as a path to the Pichincha River, which took care of most of their needs.
Evolving in importance, this path became the way to San Juan de Dios Hospital - then on to housing all types of artists - on to a street notorious for crime, a main street for theft and worse.
Today, children play here safely, and guards make sure it stays safe for tourists.
We climbed some steps, and after eating a sumptuous meal at Restaurant La Casa de Los Geranios, a hidden gem of historic La Ronda, continued round the bend to the exiting Tunel de La Paz (Tunnel of Peace) - where the old city joined the new - way back when - through this extraordinary historic street.
The exit to 24 de Mayo Plaza comes after a shortcut through Guayaquil Street that gives you a sort of midway alternative.
These buildings remain intact in their original architecture, since earthquakes didn't knock them down.
Art galleries and little stores offer stuff to stuff your suitcases with if you feel like spending.
Celebrations of holidays here explode with parades, concerts, theatrics in the street, and maybe a few surprises mostly evenings. The action here begins after 5:00 PM
Strolling through La Ronda during the day, I found a bakery open, and an arts and crafts store with one restaurant - chapel on the side.
I feel perfectly safe, as I go with Angel Rea of Quinde Adventure del Ecuador drinking in the history or just walking alone in the daytime.
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