Last full day in Ecuador: looking for a backpack, Old Town and great dinner :)
Quito Travel Blog› entry 11 of 14 › view all entries
August 17th, 2009 – by: yadilitta
Plaza Foch looked so quiet without all the bright lights and people inviting you to enter to the restaurants and bars. Although a couple of places were open, they changed their signs saying "Happy Hour" for "Breakfast" ones, hahaha. But not many were open, the one that couldn't have been missing was the 24hrs coffee house, hehehe.
Mmm, since this was a touristy area there should be backpacks' stores. I saw a couple open and started to ask for prices. I'd like to buy a big backpack and maybe I could do it here. Oh well, not many places were open yet, but I could always come back later. I found the firefighter station, a police station and then I realized it was getting late. Before going back to the hostel, I found a cabin to make a phone call. I talked to my colleague, who was in his way to Lima. I had to be honest and let him know I was in Ecuador, hehehe. In case he wanted to call me. But I assure, I'd be back in town tomorrow morning and we'd meet at noon. Just don't say anything to my boss or people at the office, shhhh.
I arrived to the hostel and Shawn and me went for breakfast just 10min they stopped serving it, ufff. It was a good one. There were coffee, tea, milk, bread, butter and jam for you to take as much as you want. A lady prepared juice and eggs for every guest. Usually people at a hostel are superfriendly, but this lady was the exception. She even said: "Tray! Is almost time to close!" OMG! So rude... Definitely, I didn't want to make her upset, hehe.
Anyway, Shawn and Jen would go to the teleferiqo, while I would go to a mall - how boring... well, I'd go there to look for my big backpack. I want a Colombian brand that I can't find in Lima, but they have stores in Quito.
Well, a mall is a mall and I didn't have much luck, since I didn't find the backpack I was looking for. Oh well. I'd look for it in Lima. I talked to Shawn and they just arrived to the Teleferiqo, so I still had plenty of time before we met for lunch. So, I decided to go back, but not to the hostel, but to the "Casa de la Cultura", which is a complex where you can find different museum. That would be nice. By this time, I was an expert with the trolley and found my way easy ;)
This complex is located in a park and you can easily see a big glass building.
I was leaving and thinking how to go to Old Town, where I should meet the guys. That was about 15min walking from there, but I had plenty of time. So good I decided to walk since I found another building is this park. This one was called "Casa de la Cultura" and was an old house where there are exhibitions of new artists. Nice! It was open, free entrance, so let's go there and check it!
There weren't many people there... but the ones I met here were friendly.
It's was fun though walking along the 6 de Diciembre Ave. This part of the city wasn't touristy at all. There are some public buildings like the "Justice Palace", "Job Ministery", "Estate Contralory", etc. And as everywhere in the world, these places were crowded, people waiting outside, lines and some food street vendors too. It was already 12:30pm. That was why I was getting hungry, lol. I talked to Shawn (it's so good having a local number) and he told me that he and Jen would go back to the hostel. She wasn't feeling well. The altitude was too much, ughhhh.
It would be a long walk, but I was thinking it'd take the guys longer to arrive to the hostel. Last time I wanted to visit the "Parque Ejido" a big park, but was close. Hopefully this time, I'd be able to see it, but no luck. They were building something underground, so this would take a long time... anyway it was nice walking along it. There where some wholes and I was able to take a look inside. Hehehe.
Going back took me longer than expected, since I found the backpacks' stores open and started to ask for prices. Also I found one and started to talk to the clerk, who didn't have any clue where I was from, hahaha. Well, we both were foreigners. He's Cuban, recently moved to Ecuador, but he works in Puerto Cayo at the coast.
Finally I arrived to the hostel. Jen was taking a nap. Shawn told me she started to feel sick when they were going up the hill. So bad, she couldn't enjoy much the view of the volcanoes. I was thinking about having lunch, but better give Jen some time to feel better. I started to pack and by the time I was ready, Shawn and me were starving, hahaha. We asked Jen if she'd like to eat something and she was feeling much better now and agreed to go for lunch with us.
We didn't have any idea where to go.
Food was very good and we were ready to leave. We didn't have to wait for the waiter, since here you pay right at the entrance to the cashier. Jen was feeling much better now. She might have needed just something to eat and a good nap. We'd go to Old Town. It was getting a bit cooler, so better going back to the hostel to grab something long sleeves just in case. But before going there I stopped at the backpacks' shop and left my business card to the owner.
We took a cab and went to Old Town. I was thinking about going first to the Plaza Grande (main square), but Shawn suggested me to go to the Basilica first, since it was on a hill and we wouldn't have to climb back when we visited it, good idea!!! I have already visited the Basilica, but it's always impressive. Something that caught my attention, was the fact that under the Basel there are many stores, small business. Most of them like hardware stores and even a remote controls' store, hahaha. Last time I went inside the Basel through the main door, but now it was closed, so it was fun to use the side doors, sweet! something new!
This Gothic building is amazing itself, but the highlight is to climb it and get an amazing view of the city.
I saw some stairs and wondered where do they went. Then I read, that the Ecuadorian presidents were buried there, mmm. Don't know how long I spent just admiring the Basilica. It's really pretty. Then I looked up and saw Jen & Shawn taking pics, very very tiny, hehehe. Well, they were still 1/2 way to the top, so I had some time to kill. There is a cafeteria at the courtyard and it had restrooms! hahaha. So let's go there and grab something.
Now, start walking to Plaza Grande, after a small detour we arrived to it, hahaha. It was 4 something and it was a bit cloudy. It's a shame since it looks really pretty when it's sunny, but anyway it was nice and crowded. Shawn and me were the locals, showing Jen around and I was pointing all the main buildings to her, hahaha. Jerry was a good teacher ;) Then I saw a building with the Ecuadorian flag. I remember that last time I didn't notice the President Residence, but this time I did.
There was the Cathedral. After the Basilica, the Cathedral is not that impressive, but still nice. We were walking and taking pics. It'd have been very nice to go inside the Cathedral, but there were some maintenance work going on, bad luck... Oh well, there are many beautiful churches near by. In fact, behind the Cathedral, there's another one, El Sagrario, which used to be part of the Cathedral. We went inside and the Baroque style was great. This church reminded me a lot to the churches in Cusco. Well, after all we both were Spanish colonies. I was enjoying it and Shawn told me to wait until his favorite church.
Our next stop was "La Compañia de Jesus" church. The one Shawn was talking about. This one was the only one we had to pay a fee in order to go inside. I approached and asked for 3 tickets. Jen was the only one who had to pay as tourist. Shawn and me got the local fee, hahaha. It wasn't my intention to lie, they assumed I was local and I let them believe what they wanted, hehehe. Shawn was so right about this church. As the other it was Baroque too. Lots of Religious art but the biggest difference was that almost everything here was made with gold! We were even making fun, how many people should work here just polishing and how bright it would look when it was just polished. They should wear sunglasses, hahaha.
Old Town has really nice buildings and there were other squares and also more churches, but we had already our dose of churches for the week, hehehe. Ok, better let's move. Where? What about the Itchimbia? Shawn and me went there my first time in Quito and you get a really nice view from there. It was getting a bit cooler and going to a cafe and having a nice cup of warm coffee sounded really good. We took a cab and went to the Itchimbia. It wasn't far away, but traffic was heavy.
Finally we arrived and started to take some pics. I've been here before but at night time, now it looked different.
This place was perfect! When we walked inside, I felt the incense - nice! Place was empty, it was still early. Oh well, better for us, we could choose the best table. Instead of having a regular wall, they have a glass wall and the view of the city is awesome! The other cafe has tables outside, but not it was so much better to be behind a glass, since it was a bit chilly. Super!
We ordered coffee for Jen & Shawn and I got a mora juice, yes again! hahaha.
We stayed there around 1 hour and then decided to go back to the hostel. I'd like to finish packing since I was leaving early next morning. It'd be nice to fresh up and just chill out. Packing was ready and even had time to check my email. Shawn was working on their future flight to the coast and arranging some things he had to do at the farm.
Well the rest of the entry would be our dinner experience. We arrived at 8 o'clock and got a table next to the window. View was great! I loved the decoration here, funky, so colorful. Every single corner has something trendy. Love it!!!! The guy took us to our table, next to the glass as requested, nice! Table was a bit small, specially considering the size of the menus, hahaha. They were huge and heavy. They were nice and colorful. All the dishes looked so tasty... the only problem is that the menu wasn't in order, so one moment you were checking the appetizers, then the desserts and back to appetizers, hahaha.
Our waitress came and we ordered juices, we had enough wine last night hahaha, and appetizers to share.
Then our appetizers. They looked and tasted very good, so yummy!!! The octopus was very good and not chewy, which is the problem that you can have with octopus. The mushrooms was very tasty, the goat cheese was really good. The yucas are usually stuffed with cheese, but here they were stuffed with shrimp and crab. Like them! Ok, better eat slowly, so we wouldn't get full soon, hahaha.
Now, time to order entrees. We agreed to do the same, order 2 dishes and share them.
While we were waiting for our food, I went to explore the restaurant and take some pics. This place is so cool! It wasn't crowded, so I didn't feel umconfortable at all, just going upstairs and downstairns, hehehe. Part of the crew were tourists and the locals are used to crazy tourists taking pics of this place, hahaha.
Before bringing the food, the waitress came with new silverware. We were making fun that the poor dishwasher might be wondering who are the people using so many forks for one meal, hahaha.
Then she came with 2 big plates that could barely fit on our tiny table: Moussaka Khan (tempura eggplant with mushrooms) with salad as side followed by the "Million Dollar baby" (stuffed clams). The Moussaka was very good with lots of cheese and the stuffed clams' Gruyère cheese made the perfect combination. It was a lot of food and we got full. Ok, better take a break. We saw so tempting desserts and wanted to try them, so give it some time before ordering them :P
We ordered some water and our desserts. Yes, this was just gluttony... but was my last night in Quito... so it was allowed, hehehe. First came my orange crepe and since the guys' desserts were taking longer, we'd share it. It was light and tasty. Perfect for me. I didn't want something too heavy.
Now the rest of our order came. Shawn's bananarama - banana's dessert and Jen's pineapple one. OMG. They both looked very good. Specially Jen's one. Her dessert was the winner, definitely. The fresh berries were the perfect match for the sweetness and the almonds, so tasty...
OMG! This was a lot of food. We could barely move, hahaha. Ok, this place isn't cheap, but really worth it. Just pamper your self and have a fancy dinner :) Before leaving the restaurant we took a walk around it, to take pics and recover the movement of our legs, hahaha. This dinner was the longest: almost 3hrs!!! hahaha.
Back to the hostel after a small walk, sat the alarm clock - a taxi would come for me at 4:30am! and went to bed. Tomorrow would be a loooong day. Flying back to Lima and then straight to work.
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