After having spent almost two months at sea level I was quite excited about the prospect of travelling to an unknown city in the Andean mountains. Quito is beautifully surrounded by mountains, some of them exceed 4000m; the city itself is located just a few kilometres South of the equator at an altitude of over 2800m. Old Quito is a UNESCO world heritage site – all indicators that we should have fun. The arrival process, which in some places can be a pain in the backside (whoever arrived anywhere in India will know what I’m talking about), was super smooth: no taxi haggling, the car looked as if it was going to make the 40km into town, the driver spoke English well enough to have a conversation, the road into town was well built and devoid any potholes – it felt good. We rode through the narrow streets of old Quito towards our hostel – one beautiful colonial building after the next, the hostel was very nice – it felt excellent. Since we arrived late in the afternoon we didn’t have time to see much, but just settled and went towards the main square (Plaza Grande) to the restaurant we’ve selected through the usual process of “lonely planetting” and being “trip advisored”. We were, of course, aware, that choosing a restaurant in the most touristic spot in the most touristic area, albeit recommended by fellow travellers, was risky business. But again, it started well: the place was located in a beautiful building (a former bandit’s a.k.a. Archbishop’s palace), the waiter was pleasant enough – so far so good.
Heck, I am rambling here, but I’m trying to figure out why a city, which has got everything going for it Continue reading “Quito – Close, but no cigar”