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Quito in the Sun

sunny 23 °C

Quito is the highest capital in the world and, although its suburbs actually brush the equator, it occasionally gets a powdering of snow. None of the white stuff for us though. Despite the Met office predicting two days of rain, the sun came out and showed us the sights of this Andean metropolis ten thousand feet in the sky. This is the Presidential Palace…
Nearly three million people live in the rarefied air of this capital and, it appears, almost all of them have a car. Despite the government introducing a scheme, similar to both Bogota and Athens, where car owners can only use their vehicles on alternate days of the week according to their licence plates, we saw little evidence of this at work. Devious drivers simply take off their plates and calculate that the police will not catch them on the narrow clogged streets. Fortunately, some of the streets in the historic centre are pedestrianised, though getting through this crowd took some fancy footwork…
The historic city centre, (one if the first designated as a World Heritage site), is entirely colonial Spanish and is said to be the most authentic of all the cities founded by the conquistadores in the 16th century. This is the vast Plaza de La Indepencia…
The Plaza itself simply bustles with life. The majority of the population are distinctly indigenous and their Inca ancestry is very obvious…
People-watching is one of our favourite activities; however, these young Ecuadorians were on the lookout for us. They had been tasked by their English teacher to find foreigners to practice on – not a difficult mission in Quito…
Quito, with its low coast of living and year-round temperate climate, is a very cosmopolitan city and the foreigners have brought their food with them. Indian, Italian and Mexican restaurants rub shoulders with The King’s Cross pub, The Toronto bar, The Quebec restaurant, and numerous American steakhouses and burger bars. Foreign hotels are equally invasive and we are staying here in the Turret suite of the Cuba Vieja, (The old Cuba Hotel)…
The hotel is actually quite new, but the designers have done a great job recreating a bit of old Havana. While Quito has a large number of modern office towers and apartment buildings it also has more than its share of abandoned, part completed, buildings like this…
Despite its numerous parks and green spaces, Quito is a crowded city which is hemmed in by mountains on all sides. We have no idea why such valuable real estate has been left to rot – maybe we will find out in the next couple of days.

Posted by Hawkson 16:00 Archived in Ecuador

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Love the beautiful costumes. I imagine many women spending hours creating them.

by The Vickerage

?How do you cope with the height there? I found it hard to breath in Bogota and that isn't as high as Quito Jean

by JeanMcLaren

Love the color of the costumes.

by Samchow58

What wonderful adventures you are having and we are sharing. Gorgeous photos that make your travels come to life. Thanks so much. Xo

by trudy

The turret suite? Sounds posh (and looks posh). Your own balcony and what I assume is a wonderful view.
Poutine in the Quebec restaurant?

by R and B

This comment is from one of the Ecudorian students who spoke to us in English in Quito.

Thank you for helping that day and I apologize for not having mentioned some time ago but what we mean is that you are very nice people and really hope you enjoyed the diversity and beauty of my country Ecuador. We want to tell you that if you wish to return sometime, the Ecuadorians will be ready to welcome you with open arms again. Thank you very much and we wish you existos in later life.

by Michelle Vela

Good luck in your trip, Enjoy Ecuador. Thanks for your review on tripadvisor. Congratulations for your blog - very interesting,nice pictures.

by Javier Trujillo

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