Quito

May 6, 2014
Quito is Ecuador's capital, the city sits at 9,350 ft. Making it the highest capital city in the World. It's second in population to Guayaquil, but Quito seemed larger. The historic center is the most preserved in the Americas. On Sundays it shuts down to vehicle traffic; this is when we visited. La Mariscal neighborhood is such a hotspot for travelers it's known as Gringolandia, it was our least favorite area by far. New town was fun with new trendy restaurants and bars. Overall, the city felt very Americanized, which is likely what made it my least favorite... too much like home, without being home.

We stayed three nights at Eugenia Hotel, I booked a king size bed, but the room originally given only had a double. We were eager for space, so we got it sorted out with the front desk and we were moved to larger room, with a king bed. Accomodations were decent, the shower had great water pressure, but later in the day there was no hot water. Thankfully, we were up early each day so it was never a problem. Breakfast was included, however, it was terrible. Frank only went down for coffee the following two days. WiFi was down, more often than it worked. We found it funny that we had no access to the outside world in the city that was most bustling.

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Old Town

Quito's historic center is the most preserved in the Americas.

Old Town, Quito.

Quito

Old Town, Quito

Old Town, Quito

Quito

KFC was hugely popular in Quito, and Guayaquil.

New Town, Quito. KFC was hugely popular in Guayaquil and Quito.

Quito

Quito at night

Old Town, Quito

Old Town, Quito

Old Town, Quito

Old Town, Quito

Basílica del Voto Nacional

Basílica del Voto Nacional, Quito.

Basílica del Voto Nacional, Quito.

Basílica del Voto Nacional, Quito.

Basílica del Voto Nacional, Quito.

Basílica del Voto Nacional, Quito.

Basílica del Voto Nacional, Quito.

Basílica del Voto Nacional, Quito.

Basílica del Voto Nacional, Quito.

Basílica del Voto Nacional, Quito.

Each state had a flag on display, inside the church, with its saint. This is the flag for the Bolivar Province, and their saint.

Basílica del Voto Nacional, Quito. Each state had a flag on display with its saint. This is the flag for the Bolivar Province. Basílica del Voto Nacional, Quito. Bolivar's saint.

Quito

Quito

New Town, Quito.

La Mariscal neighborhood, aka Gringolandia

La Mariscal neighborhood, aka Gringolandia

We had lunch at a terrible deli in La Mariscal. A beggar came up for change while we were eating, and asked again after being told no. This was the only occurence in the whole country. We wandered all around, but we didn't care for this area... at all. We did locate a cigar shop, but they were closed when we got there. There was notice on the door to try their other location in the Swiss Hotel. We walked over there, and that location was open. However, it was $47 for one cigar. The cheap Ecuadorian cigars were ten bucks each. Talk about highway robbery. It was a complete waste of our time.

Fortunately, we did find a tabacco shop on the bottom level of the Mega Maxi. Brand name cigars weren't for individual sale, and the boxes were very pricey. But Frank settled on a variety of Ecuadorian cigars for $3 each. We eventually learned that the clerk spoke great english, turns out she goes to Chicago twice a year to visit family. We found it amusing that we ran into someone from Chicago in every city except Guayaquil.

Our other meals were had near our hotel in the trendy part of new town. You could tell this area has been recently revitalized. We had dinner at Zazu on our first night. It had the feel of upscale restaurant in the Southern California. Prices were nearly the same too. We started with crab ceviche and suckling pig taquitos, we had risotto and gnocchi for our entrees. My gnochhi was not good, it was complete mush. The taquitos and risotto were the better dishes of the night, but overall it was pretty lackluster.

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The next night we had dessert for dinner at Crepes & Waffles. Frank liked his nutella and banana waffle more than I liked my spicy chocolate crepe. The crepe could've been far more tender.

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The following night we went to bar, D'Vinci Rock's, for pizza and wings. It was a fun space, we were able to watch the final game of March Madness. The eats were ok.

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