Monday, April 15, 2019

The La Mariscal Area of Quito

Our Airbnb apartment is on the 18th floor with great views of the city. It was cool and grey this morning when we got up.

We were missing Galápagos so we hit the streets looking for boobies....this was all we found.

We are very close to Plaza Foch which is the heart of the party area in La Mariscal. 

After a huge breakfast at Juan Valdez Cafe we went to Swissotel to meet up with a walking tour of the La Floresta barrio (neighbourhood).

This free walking tour was put on by Quito Walking Tours and focused on the extensive street art/graffiti in La Floresta. Our guide Martin was a thirty year old art graduate who grew up in Quito. His English was excellent. There were only four of us on this tour today; the other couple were from a place called Toronto - small world.

We loved this tour because it offered us a look into the local culture and society. Street art and graffiti are a big thing in Quito and South America. I didn’t realize how it has its own culture until today. It was really interesting.

Martin also gave us an inside look into the general feelings and concerns of the local people. We got to tour some of the local artists homes and one of the local organic chocolate outlets. I am truly glad that we had this tour and were given some insight.

We next grabbed a cab and went to the Teleferico (cable car) which runs up the side of the Pichincha volcano that overlooks Quito and is one of the highest aerial lifts in the world. It took us up to the Cruz Loma lookout at a height of 4,100 metres (13,450 feet). The views were amazing.  It was so much cooler up there than down below in Quito. The top is often in cloud and although today wasn’t very sunny at least the clouds were still above us. 

Once back at the bottom we cabbed it back to Plaza Foch, we chose a restaurant for the evening, walked through an artisan area and headed back to our apartment. 

We popped into the grocery store below our apartment because Gisela (our host) said that thats where the local people buy their chocolate. Well we bought even more chocolate than the amounts we had purchased from the outlet....what can I say, I’m an addict and when you are near some of the world’s best organic chocolate....

At this point I was beyond exhausted from walking all day so we bought a roasted chicken, veggies, a bottle of Argentinian Malbec and called it a night.

Checking the news tonight we were very saddened to hear the news about the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. 

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