Just my thoughts
There are so many things that I love about Quito. Mostly because this is where my parents are from. Most of my family is still here and I think its important to know what your roots are about. I have visited Qutio so many times and each time I learn and see something totally new.
I love the way the family enjoys telling us the folk stories and they want us to know our country. It was very important for me to have brought my kids here just as my parents brought us here. I hope that my children will bring their kids here and that the tradition continues.
Whenver we arrive in Quito it seems like the whole family comes to greet us at the airport and when we leave, its the same thing. Leaving is hard.
The older I get, the more I appreciate the culture and the people and the customs of the land of my parents.
I do see why my dad left in search of a better place, of work, of opportunity. I see how the corruption in Ecuador can be so disheartening and so frustrating.
Sometimes it seems like some people wont work unless they are getting a bribe of some sort. If you dont bribe them they dont do anything that needs to be done. I have seen it first hand. It sucks. Not everyone is like that but its everywhere.
There is so much beauty in this city, then there is so much poverty. In a sense its bittersweet. My fondest memory in Quito is of course being with my family. My cousins a nd aunts and uncle go so out of their way for us, I want them to know how we appreciate it. We love them so much. I was glad to have brought my dad on this trip. It had been along time since he had seen his family. It meant alot.
Catedral de Quito
Built between 1550 and 1562, originally of adobe walls and a straw roof, the Cathedral boarders one side of the plaza. The outer walls feature plaques of the founders. Inside this elaborately decorated church are examples of the Quito School of Art and the independence hero, General Antonio Jose de Sucre's tomb. Visiting hours are 8am-10am and 2pm-4pm daily.
If youre on the Avenida Amazonas on New Years Eve you will first notice the crazy amount of people there. This is because the universities and other schools and just about anyone will go out into the streets and build these large protests. It could be protesting anything, the Cuba/US trade relations, the War, anything...
There will also be alot of music and venders selling food and souveniers. The people will go out to check out whats going on.
A word of caution, there will be so many people out on the streets and right up next to you so ladies dont even bring your purse out, men watch your wallets.
Hiking up Pichincha is no small feat. I am a very active young man (I row on a daily basis, do not smoke or drink and eat a very balanced diet) and yet the combination of the cold, the sun, the thin air and the incline meant that I was often drenched in sweat from the hike up and, a couple of times, short on breath. It can take about 3 to 4 hours to go all the way up from the terminus of the TeleferiQo to the edge of the volcano (or as far as they will let you go) and then come back down again, with the trickier of the routes being the way down, as the melting ice and snow make part of the way quite slippery. It’s a good idea to have solid hiking shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty here. You should also have lots of sunscreen, something to cover your head and dress in layers. It may be cold enough to keep the ice and snow in a semi-solid state, but the altitude and the thin ozone means that overheating and sunburns are more than frequent. Oh, and don’t forget your camera, since the views are spectacular!
Avenida 24 de Mayo
Avenida 24 de Mayo is, easily, not part of the general tourist scene in Quito, and the only reason that I ended up here is because I decided to wander about on my last free day in the city. This large thoroughfare is, in a way, the end of the Colonial section of the centre and there are many stores and hang-outs along the street that are of a seedier nature. Nevertheless, the street offers spectacular views of the city, the mountains and el Panecillo, and it's worth a visit if you are looking for great photo opportunities. There are a number of monuments and churches along the street, including one called Iglesia del Robo (I have no idea if that's its official name, or if it's just a nickname) with an interesting dome.