Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Quito Goodness

I now love Quito.. at first, I would definitely say I was unsure about how long I could spend in this city!

Dana left with her Dad to go on a trek for 5-days, so I was left to figure out what to do with myself.

On the first day, I wandered around the quaint streets of Quito for a good 5-hours.. and even then, I wasn’t really finished. I visited about 4 different Cathedrals, all of which were very different, the Compania being absolutely covered with gold on the inside, the others being your typical city historical cathedral, and he Basilica. The Basilica was awesome, everyone had told me about the ‘scary’ steps up to the clock towers.. but for some reason I imagined just a bunch of tiring stairs that lead up to them… wrong-o! After walking up about 8-flights of stairs, I thought I was finished… not impressed with the view or the ‘scary’ walk up because the stairs were all indoors. Then, when I was about to leave, I saw some people climbing the wall in the very far distance… well they weren’t really climbing the wall, they were going up a ladder.. I just couldn’t tell because I was an entire sanctuary away from them. It was wicked, they have a wood ‘bridge’ that allows you to walk on top of the roof-ish of the sanctuary (so you can see how the rounded ceilings are made). At the end of this walkway, there is a ladder that heads up to the top of the church, that part wasn’t too scary.. it was the next two ladders that were a bit sketchier because it was windy outside and it felt like you could easily just be blown off the ladder. But the view was gorgeous and I could see the El Banesillo angel statue that I had just visited… happy days!

Before I visited any of the cathedrals, I wandered around the small historic super cute streets around Centro Historico… I would have been satisfied just doing that the entire 5 hours! But, in the car when we had arrived in the Center, I noticed a huge angel statue on the top of a hill that was really close to the downtown district, I immediately knew I’d be headed there for some awesome views… I just didn’t really know how to get up there. There were tons of houses located on the hill, and many different stairs leading their way randomly up the hill. So after wandering the streets, I worked my way towards the hill, when at the bottom of it, I couldn’t quite tell exactly where the angel was, so I just started walking up some stairs.. about a quarter of the way up I realized that it probably wasn’t the best of ideas. I was honestly just waiting to get robbed, because I was the only person, let alone white girl, walking up through this neighborhood. BUT luckily, my angel was looking out for me and nothing happened. When I got to the top, I was expecting NO ONE to be there, since I hadn’t hardly seen a single person, but there were heaps of people (mainly in tourist groups).. I found out later that all of the travel books recommend that you take a taxi up because it isn’t safe… welp I didn’t read that part! It was a seriously lucky day, and I was able to see all of the volcanoes and massive snow topped mountains surrounding Quito. It was SO breath taking, and really made Quito seem more special to me than ‘just another city’!!

Hernan (the local from the Galapagos Islands that I hung out with practically the whole time I was there) flew to Quito for a couple of days to hang out with me and to run some work errands. We had a fun time roaming around the city, I think I’ve been to about every neighborhood now, and we also went up the cable cars of the Teleferiqo. He warned me that it was going to be cold when we got to the top and to bring my jacket.. I kind of laughed, but brought it anyways. THANK GOODNESS, we went up to 4,100 Meters within about 15 minutes.. and it was CHILLY! There are trails at the top that you can wander around and get different views of the city way down below and of Volcano Pichincha. We goofed off for a bit, and realized it was definitely time to go when it started to hail and the wind started acting a fool.. it was a bit sketchy on the way down, but we’re still alive!

It was sad to say good-bye to him and pretty much know that I wouldn’t ever see him again.. although I do think I’ll see him again because I plan on coming back to Ecuador and to the Islands…good-byes suck… one of the unlucky things about traveling! It’s making me a stronger person though!

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