I’m writing this far too late to give you anything resembling an accurate picture of Quito. What I remember is that it was high up, rainy and cold quite a lot of the time, and didn’t really live up to its UNESCO Heritage status. That’s doubtlessly unfair: we were tired from having spent the previous six weeks on the road, and didn’t want to spend a lot of time exploring a new city. We’d booked four nights there, though, and had to stay until we could fly off to Colombia. It was nice to be on solid land and in a nice large hotel room with a proper bed, nevertheless.
We stayed in Floresta. It’s not a particularly flashy neighbourhood, but we found La Fonda del Parque, a rather nice Mexican taqueria and Ocho y Media, a small arthouse cinema with a cafe attached to it that, importantly, didn’t randomly decide to shut down for a few days while we were there. Shrove Monday was never a big thing when I was growing up, but quite a lot of Ecuador clearly disagrees.
We visited the middle of town on a grey and rainy day, but found some good places to hide from the rain. Casa-Museo María Augusta Urrutia, the 19th-century home of a rich philanthropist, is a lovely building stuffed rather too full of furniture, and has one of the first fully-plumbed bathrooms in Ecuador. The picture doesn't show it properly, but it also had two rather lovely stained glass windows for Maria Augusta to contemplate while she bathed.
The blingiest church I've ever seen, la Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús, is apparently a baroque masterpiece. Here's a picture of the outside, resplendent with more decoration than a stone wedding cake. You can't take pictures inside, so you'll have to take my word about the shininess of the interior. The whole thing left me a little sickened by how much pillaging must have been required to pay for all the gold leaf.