Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Revisiting favorite places

Today we were feeling more acclimated to the altitude and ready to get out and around and before seeking something new, we decided today was a good day to revisit some of our favorite places in Quito. We started in "Gringolandia" the nickname for the Mariscal district of Quito–once the neighborhood of the wealthiest families of Quito, it has been, for years, an area of hostels and caf├ęs and tour companies catering to American travelers. We became fond of The Magic Bean, a coffee house and restaurant there on our very first visit to Ecuador in 1999 and have been back every visit. The breakfasts are great and there is just something about the place that is welcoming–good energy. It doesn't change, though the whole of Gringolandia has seen a lot of changes since we were last here.

Our angel in Quito, who made all our arrangements and researched the dental clinic and takes care of us in Quito is Ani, the sister of our son-in-law and dear friend of our daughter. We had breakfast with Ani this morning at the same table where we first met her 10 years ago. That's Ani at the end of the table!

After breakfast we walked toward the Artisan's Market and stopped at a favorite gallery. It has the best of the local art and craft and is always inspiring.

A mirror framed in small, handmade vignettes of Indigenous life. Detail below. Amazing.

When we got to the Artisans Market we discovered a camera crew following the reigning "Queen of Quito" who was being interviewed while strolling through the market. Ani insisted that she take our picture with her.

Ray says his life is now complete!

We got a little Christmas shopping done at the market, then headed into the Centro Historico, the birthplace of Quito. The oldest church in Ecuador, The convent of San Francisco, was started in 1534. many of the buildings in the historic center are nearly as old. It is a vibrant, bustling area, filled with pedestrians, small shops and street vendors amidst the grand and ancient buildings.

hats for sale.

The Basilica.

The hill is called the Panecillo (little bread loaf), the statue is the Virgin of Quito, the very iconic symbol of Quito.

Before returning to our hotel for Andy's appointment, we went to the Museum of the City of Quito.  It was a grand day.

Someone asked about why Andy was having his dental implants done in Ecuador, instead of the US. The cost quoted in Portland was heart-stopping. My daughter lived in Ecuador for 5 years and knew of people going there for complicated dental work at about half the US price, including travel costs. Ani did the research in Quito and found an excellent Dr. And Clinic. Andy went down in June for the preliminary work and is now back for the permanent teeth. So far we have been very impressed with the Dr. And his work. 


  1. You make me want to be a traveler. Love the photos. Glad to hear that Andy is getting to the end of his dental stuff. He must be looking forward to that.

  2. Anonymous9:24 AM

    Enjoyed the photos and update. Look forward to more posts.