Exploring Quito Ecuador

There is no better excuse to visit Ecuador on a whim than to visit a friend. Started this four day journey in the city. Having explored many European countries, as I begin my exploration into South America, you really start to feel the impact of the Spanish colonial era when in some cases the art, engineering and architecture can be so stunningly similar to Europe. The catholic influence was a powerful era in much of South America’s history. I realize this has shaped much of its culture and its people.

The first entrance into the city is really special because despite all the traffic and people, the air is so crisp, clear and refreshing. The energy of the volcanoes embraces your presence as you explore its nooks and crannies. I started in Mitad del Mundo and ended up in the Historic Center of Quito. There are many churches to explore for $2-5 entrance fees. I recommend to explore them to really study the Baroque architecture. Enjoy the photos during my adventuring through the city. By the way, the bus system is really great to get around. Easy budget travel.

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Mitad del Mundo, the middle of the world. Between the fresh air and being surrounded by volcanic energy, it was an energizing starting point for the day, straddling the hemispheres of the world.
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Reaching the view point, the panoramic of the mountains is incredible.

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There really is something special living between the mountains and volcanoes. These powerful giants protect your energy, yet at any moment can completely change the landscape.
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Enjoyed fresh juice and sandwiches for lunch with a nice view to people watch and enjoy the crisp air.
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Walking around the historic center really exemplifies the European colonial impact in its architecture and art. You will see plazas and churches are central formats for the city structure. Pictured here is Virgen de Quito illustrating a powerful narrative in the bible of the Virgin of the Apocalypse. She became a popular cult image during the Spanish colonial era (1700s)
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Pictured here is Church de La Compañía de Jesus. If I didn’t know where I was, I would’ve thought I was in Rome. This is one of the most complete Baroque style churches I’ve seen outside of Europe.
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A magnificent door exemplifies the inside which nearly every inch is gilded with gold. The entrance is $2-5 for churches. I recommend to enter if you admire architecture and sculpture.
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The facade is an incredible sight filled with iconic Baroque designs, including concave and convex forms, overdone decorative relief, solomonic pillars alluding to the famous columns in St. Peter’s Basilica.
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Next stop is Basilica de Voto, which I recommend going first because it is a steep walk uphill from the other churches.
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The sides are flanked with grotesques of armadillos and tortoises. It is noted to be the largest neo-Gothic basilica in the New World.

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The insane facade could not be captured without a fisheye.
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For a $2 entrance, you get to climb up to the very top, right underneath the bell in the towers. Just get here before it closes at 5 PM!

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An immense rose window with stained glass at the second floor.
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Some great lighting showing the colors of the stained glass.
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I think this climb provides one of the best views of the city.
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Virgin of Quito standing clearly between the Basilica’s bell towers.
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Sat on the edge of this window feeling the incredible prowess of this mammoth building. Through blood, sweat, and so many tears of the city and its people, they old people of Quito poured their soul for this building at one time. Now it stands as the incredible monument of its Spanish colonial days.
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detail shot of the architecture.
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On my way back, you work up quite an appetite from the climb. Stopped to buy some fruit and I realized how amazing the bananas tasted. I had capture this moment because it tasted so good! I miss the fruit so much :(
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Visiting my best friend, Diane in the city we went to a great little restaurant called Laboratorio, where we watched the Ecuador vs USA game. (USA won 2-1)
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Nothing beats good food at a good price. Eating is pretty inexpensive in Quito.
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