Approximate reading time: 7 minutes
Harmony. Zen. Balance. Peace. Don’t we all strive for that? There is one single place in the world, where you can have guaranteed equilibration. To go there, you need to visit Quito in Ecuador, the highest capital of the world. If you don’t have an own car, it’s a real odyssey to arrive their with public transport. I needed three different busses and two hours to get to the middle of the world.
Quito itself is in between the Andean mountains and therefor stretched horizontally. Approximately 22 kilometers away from the city center is the equator situated. The urban area is due to the narrow valley not wider than two to three kilometers and extends longitudinally in north-south direction more than 30 kilometers out. So actually the middle of the world is not in Quito itself, but close to it
Before the trip I heard several people speaking about the middle of the world. It’s one of the most visited tourism destinations of Ecuador. People told me about the real and the fake middle of the world and recommended to me to visit ‘Museo Intiñan’ instead of the renown monument itself. So after two hours of an exhausting bus ride I walked a bit to access the museum. Finally I can tell, that it was really worth it to travel that much.
How are museums usually from the eyes of a visitor? You have to be silent when you walk around, are not allowed to touch anything and pay quite some money to be allowed to enter. But this museum is something special, it’s comparably keen and there are several interactive things to do for a visitor, that it doesn’t get boring there. You will have a very motivated tour guide that explains even the most complicated physics of the odd features of Ecuador in an easy manner so that a fool like me will understand it as well. And yes, you can even learn something for real to be able to brag with your knowledge to others. For instance that your weight in Ecuador is one kg less than in other countries of the world:
“In Ecuador your weight is less than in your country of origin, because it is the most width part of the earth and we are far away from the centre/core of the earth. Therefore the gravity strength is less.”
Great for everyone who wants to boost his/her diet plans! Apart from that there were several other interesting things to see:
One of the most interesting moments was to see the equator itself. The feeling of being at the middle of the world is also psychologic a good one and gives a boost of motivation and confidence. The psychologic advantages are carried on physical disadvantages. If you are exactly on the equator line you will not be able to shift from one foot to another with closed eyes because your sense of balance is interfered because of the missing attractive force of the poles. Another malus is that you can’t resist if someone pushes you away from your stand. You simply can’t stand still because of the missing attractive force and will be slightly pushed away. But for taking a rest at the middle of the world it’s quite suitable.
Another highlight was for me to balance an egg on the head of a nail – Nowhere else in the world is something like that possible. It took me several attempts and a lot of patience to accomplish that mission. And everyone who knows me good will confirm, that patience is not my specialty event.
But after ten minutes and with the power of the Ecuadorian football jersey it finally worked out for me:
Have you ever thought, that even a water current is dependable of the attractive force of the poles? Check out the following three videos and you know what I mean:
So depending on where exactly you are in the world, the water flows down either clockwise, vertically plummeting or counter-clockwise. How shocking is that? And I always thought, that the Simpsons episode with Barts phone call prank with an Australian boy was just shenanigans. But lesson learned!
What you can see on my finger tip is the fake middle of the world. The monument itself was built from the Ecuadorian government, when they found out, that the museum was attracting many tourists and visitors. Their first idea was: “We want to profit from that as well”. And so they declared the term ‘middle of the world’ as a public possession and built their own attraction 200 meters away. Apart from that, they forbid the museum to have this term as well in their name. The museum changed therefor its name to ‘Museo Intiñan’ and every visitor needs to pay 5 Dollar to access the monument. And the monument is not even on the latitude zero.
My advice: Don’t miss the museum ‘Museo Intiñan’ (Inti = Sun. ñan = path). You can still go after that to the monument and if you have five dollar spare you should invest them. But the museum itself should be of your major interest and attention.