Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Presidential Palace in Quito

Definitely a highlight of our visit to Quito!  We felt so 'patriotic'!

We haven't been to the White House in the USA, so we can't compare this 'People's House' to the other.  But, we can tell you that Ecuador's is impressive!

We breezed through security and joined a tour escorted by military.  The guide assumed we'd get more from the tour in English (he was right).  Even though we were probably the only English speakers in the group, he kindly gave us the highlights in our mother-tongue after the Spanish version.

We learned the Changing of the Guard is scheduled for Mondays (so we'll catch that another trip).
We did see the quick changing of the shift...

Artwork everywhere.

The Cabinet Room and our guide.

The Presidents' Room lined with portraits of each President since the beginning.

Beautiful mosaics tell the story of Ecuador.

Very fancy version of the Ecuadorian flag sewn in gold and silver thread and quilted.

A sample of the beautiful gifts to Ecuador from around the world. 

This Administration is the first one to display these gifts.  They belong to the Ecuadorian people, not the President.

The official documents validating the elections of this President are here.  Glass cases also display his 'real' educational degrees and honorary ones.

A sample of ceremonial keys to various cities.

Views from the large balcony overlooking the Square. 

This is where the President addresses the crowds below.

After the tour, we sat in the Square, admired surrounding buildings and people-watched.  Band members were assembling for the noon concert. 

Tree decorated pink for Breast Cancer Awareness.
(About 4000 die each year in Ecuador from this horrible disease.)

Our trip back to Cuenca was totally uneventful.  Not much early weekend morning traffic (less than an hour's drive to the airport) The flight was direct, smooth and on time. 

Are we looking forward to returning to beautiful Quito soon?

 You betcha! Can hardly wait!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Walking in Quito

We took a ton of pictures on our walking adventures in Quito.  We're sharing just a few...

Quito is a big, busy City!  Tall, modern buildings along with old, historic little shops and homes.  We could see why Quito is a UNESCO City, just like Cuenca.  Both full of history and so charming!

Quito feels so much bigger and busier than Cuenca!

Great sidewalks for walking.

Really tall buildings!

Amazing sky.

Fast food restaurants.

Lots of shopping opportunities.

(These are real, full-size bicycles decorating the top of this building.)

Getting ready for All Soul's Day, Nov 2.  Bread babies and colada morada drink for sale.

A bride!

Military school.

World Trade Center.