Here are some pictures from Day 2 of our stay in Ecuador! We toured the wonderful city of Quito. I can’t believe how beautiful it is here. I never want to leave! Oh well, it’s off to Bogota, Colombia tomorrow!
We asked to go to a true local market, so our guide took us to an amazing fruit, food, and animal market run mostly by the indigenous people. Pickpockets are everywhere, but he watched out for us and we had no problem! The hustle and bustle was ridiculous and amazing to watch.
I found a puppy wandering around the market and I REALLY wanted to keep it. I would have if Amanda wasn’t there to talk some sense into me and remind me that we still have to clear customs in 2 countries here in South America plus the U.S., and that it probably wouldn’t love the Inca Trail. Juan Carlos, you are in my heart forever.
View from right outside the market. The man carrying potatoes on his back on the far right is typical of what everyone working in the market looked like. Man, and I thought I had back problems!
Amanda and I at the San Francisco Plaza, right outside our hotel. It used to be a marketplace for the indigenous tribes.
In the main plaza of Quito. The statue behind us commemorates the first battle in the fight for Ecuadorian independence from the Spanish.
On one of the most beautiful streets in Quito! This woman is standing with a statue (could have fooled me!) in traditional Easter dress. The statue shows traditional clothing worn during the processional on Good Friday each year. Sinners dress in robes with masks and cones and walk the streets of Quito to repent for their sins. Each outfit varies according to the level of sin. Some of the outfits are eerily reminiscent of the KKK.
Typical street in Old Quito, aka beautiful and hilly!
Inside the San Francisco church! Built in the 1500s mostly by indigenous slaves, the church features tons of hand carvings and gold EVERYWHERE. It wasn’t even the most ornate church we saw! Still used 3 times a day for services.
This is what the inside of a typical colonial house looks like. This one has been turned into a market with restaurants and stores, but the courtyard and balconies are typical of the homes. Our hotel looks just like this inside!
With one of the guards at the presidential palace! They sometimes smile, but not for us apparently. Our tour guide told us to go in and take pictures. We thought he meant go IN, but really he just meant look through the gate. There was slight confusion and we were escorted out by security after trying to go through the metal detectors without what is apparently a VERY important ticket.
View overlooking the city of Quito from the mountains! It is just spectacular, colorful, and wonderful.
Selfie with our tour guide for the past two days and new best friend, Jose! He has been fantastic. He’s quite sarcastic and mostly tolerates us.
We ate guinea pig (cuy) for lunch today! No, we did not pick the live one out of the box. That was just a picture from the market. It comes fried with the head and limbs still on! It tasted pretty good, but the look is not exactly appealing.
Amazing handcrafted indigenous art at a local market! The colors are out of control. It’s almost blinding. I wanted to buy everything.
This picture of Jesus (and several others) in the Basilica has neon lighting behind it that changes colors. It’s kind of like techno Jesus. It’s actually really bizarre. Even Jose agreed.
Amanda and I in front of the Basilica! It was just completed in 1985. This is the home of Techno Jesus.