We’re here in Quito, Ecuador, the first stop on our trip. We’ll be here at the middle of the world for a little over 30 days, taking Spanish classes at a small local school. This is our first time in the Southern hemisphere, and our first time staying in a hostel, and we’re loving every minute of our trip so far.
We’re living at the Blue House Hostel, in a private room with shared bath, in the Mariscal district of Quito. Here’s a pic of our room. Small but with high ceilings & a wall of windows that make it feel much larger.
Locals call this area “Gringolandia” because it’s where all the gringos stay. Almost all the hostels are in this neighborhood, as are loads of restaurants, bars, and clubs. It’s the place where people come to party on a weekend (or weekday) and the Plaza Foch is packed with young people at night (both locals and gringos)…it is the place in Quito to be and be seen. This barrio is also where most of the Spanish schools are located, which is why we chose to stay here…our school is just around the corner from our hostel. We toured our escuela on Thursday and are really excited to get started.
We’ve been pretty much on our own since Wednesday as our Spanish classes don’t start until Monday morning. We’ve spent most of our days doing a lot of walking around the city. We’ve been up to Centro Historico, where the Plaza Grande or Plaza de la Independencia (depending on who you ask) is surrounded by the main powers of the state: El Palacio Presidencial (Presidential Palace), El Palacio Municipal (City Hall), El Palacio Arzobispal (The Bishop’s Palace), and La Catedral (the Cathedral) among them. We’ve toured the breathtaking Iglesia de la Basilica, gone to the actual equatorial line, and spent many hours reading in the parks, eating good food & getting settled into our new surroundings. Here are some pics from the last few days. Click on any of them to see a larger version.
So far, we have found Quito to be a bustling cosmopolitan city, that remains very connected to its history and traditions. It is home to the best preserved old town in all of Latin America, but also has all the modern amenities and many of the same stores and restaurants you might find in the US. We’re looking forward to calling Quito our home for the next month and can’t wait to get out and do more exploring.
Got any questions or have something you want us to check out or do while we’re here in Quito? Post it in the comments.