On the 19th I arrived in Quito at eight thirty AM, an hour ahead of schedule. I first found a reasonably nice hotel and then went about searching for an English language guide book for Ecuador. It probably wasn’t crucial, but it is handy for locating good restaurants and the maps can be very useful. The rest of the afternoon was devoted to resting; as the previous two days were quite chaotic.
After breakfast, on the 20th, I grabbed a street car bound for El Centro Historico (the old Quito). I wandered around the rest of the afternoon, shooting lots of pictures. Although I have been there many times, as this is my eighth visit in Ecuador; I still found some vantage points where I haven’t been before. One of them was from atop of the Centro Cultural Metropolitano’s rooftop terraces, overlooking Plaza Grande, the main square of the colonial city. Another was from the Basilica del Voto National, a huge cathedral style church. After climbing what seemed to be endless staircases, it changed to a series of ladders which finally ended in the clock tower. After climbing back down to the third level there was passage through the attic. It was a wooden bridge suspended above the church's concrete gothic arched ceiling. It went the entire length of the sanctuary and at the other end there was another series of ladders. The last two were hanging on the out side of the belfry. The views of the old city were incredible. Going back to the third level I encountered a coffee shop. I had a nice lunch with a panoramic view of El Centro… Sweet!