Loja is a fun city of almost 200,000 people at about the same altitude as Durango. We spent a few days there and enjoyed it all.
Highlights of the city which was founded in 1548:
We did a city walking tour by a company that had only been in business less than 6 months. The owner is very ambitious, starting the company in his mid 20’s, a few months before graduating from college. He has researched his subject well and we enjoyed the tour.
Most interesting were stories about the Jews who were among the early residents, shaping the town. There was a statue to one of them and he said that the leaf design in a Catholic church and on some buildings was Jewish in origin. I had never seen/known about this but perhaps it is so.
There is a monastery where the cloistered nuns have no contact with those who are outside the grounds. To earn money, they grow herbs which are sold via a rotating window to prevent contact with their customers. The medicinal herbs are very popular with the locals.
People frequently carry very heavy loads on their heads. I would think that would be tough on their necks!
Random picture of a car in front of a more modern church; we couldn’t figure out how it got where it was parked.
Fun bridge that literally has sides of a bus mounted on the bridge!
Have wheelbarrow, have a chair!
Special parking for pregnant women next to handicapped parking.
Tile plaques are mounted on walls on streets in historic area.