2019-06-10 The Swisse Hotel, Quito, Ecuador

Apart from the fog and overcast sky Quito looks fairly dry this morning after the previous rainy day
This morning we were collected by our local guide for a tour around the main sites of the city
Our first stop is to the impressive Basilica del Voto Nacional which is the largest Neo-Gothic Basilica in the Americas
The unusual gargoyles on the exterior of the church depict animals such as armadillos, iguanas, and Galapagos turtles which are native to Ecuador
The view down the nave to the sanctuary
Heading towards the city centre we spot a large mural on the side of a building which are not uncommon in Quito
On one corner of the main city square is situated the church, Iglesia de la Merced which was begun by priests of the Merced order in the 16th century, as a basilica. Unfortunately it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1660 and not rebuilt until 1701
There is quite a large police presence in the main square today …. the monument pictured in the centre of Plaza Grande is dedicated to the Independence Heroes of August 10, 1809, the date remembered as the first cry of independence
At the top of the monument is the Andean vulture, the largest flying bird on the planet and at the foot of the monument is a lion, the symbol of England, which appears to be retreating
Apparently there is a demonstration organised today which will march through the main square
Through the zoom lens a large statue of the Virgin of Quito can be seen high above the city
La Compania de Jesus is the most impressive church in the country’s capital
Next we visit Plaza de San Francisco
The 16th century Church and Monastery of St. Francis dominates the Plaza and takes up many hectares of land in the area
The ornate interior of the San Francisco Church
The beautiful courtyard of the monastery
On one side of the plaza is the exclusive boutique hotel called Casa Gangotena
After visiting several of the sites in the centre of Quito, we head towards the hill known as El Panecillo which overlooks the city
We arrive at El Panecillo where the 45 m high statue of the Virgin of Quito stands overlooking the city
Fantastic views of the city from El Panecillo
After our few hours of sightseeing we head back to the hotel
In the evening we have a pre dinner drink in the hotel bar
It was delightful listening to the hotel pianist playing some popular melodies
We decide to try a Chinese restaurant in the hotel called Restaurante Casa China
Ric chooses a delightful red to accompany our food

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