April 26 – Quito on Our Own

After a short nap, we eagerly hopped out of bed, threw on some clean clothes and started on our adventure.  The view from our room was a nice view of downtown Quito, overlooking a large park.


 We sauntered down to the lobby of the hotel and found that we were in time to catch breakfast.  A multitude of fresh fruits and local bakery items awaited us at the buffet.  After a great breakfast, and some fantastic Ecuadorean coffee, we were much better prepared to commence tourism activities.  The helpful hotel concierge suggested that a taxi up to the gondola overlooking the city was a good way to start the day.


The gondola took us to an elevation of over 13,000 ft.  It was very windy up there, but definitely worth the $8.50 each for the ride up.  After heading back down, we decided on a short walking tour of the city.  Giselle had her sights set on an old church we could see in the distance from our hotel room.


The rest of the day was spent walking throughout the downtown area of Quito with its many parks and beautiful ornate Spanish architecture, mixed in with many modern hotels and office buildings.  We made it to the church but were not allowed inside.  We hiked around and followed a different route back to our hotel.  We arrived back tired and hungry.  Later in the day, Giselle’s friend Bruce, whom she knew through a co-worker, took us out for dinner at a fine Italian restaurant.  The Pisco Sours were excellent, as well as the food and company.


So ended our first day in Ecuador.  We were tired, but excited for what awaited us on the rest of the tour.