A Galápagos Islands Adventure with a Machu Picchu Postscript

Day 2 Saturday: Quito

Sightseeing around Quito was the order of the day. Quito was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, thanks to its well-preserved historical centre.

We visited la Compañía—a Jesuit church with the most fantastically decorated interior: everywhere you look is more gold leaf. Unfortunately, it’s forbidden to take pictures. Other sites included the Church and Monastery of St. Francis, the Church of Santo Domingo and the Presidential Palace.

Lunch was provided at the Theatrum, which is housed in a rather elegant building that is the home of the  Teatro Nacional Sucre. The food was OK, but it was a buffet, which not my favourite way to dine. Call me a snob, but I don’t like to queue for my food.

After lunch, we drove to the Equator, the monument for which is apparently in the wrong place. But everybody had fun standing simultaneously in the North and South Hemispheres. That the Equator runs through Ecuador explains the name of the country. It was, we were told, chosen as a compromise to the original suggestion Quito—after the province of the same name—was not acceptable to the other two provinces.

Dinner was at Ristorante Carmine, which it was excellent. I ordered sea bass; when it arrived it was much larger than the sea bass I’m used to in the UK. So when Carmine did the rounds I asked him about it. He said it was Chilean sea bass, which was a much bigger fish. The restaurant had taken delivery of three 20 kg fish only that day. I looked it up on Wikipedia. Turns out that Chilean sea bass is a marketing name for the patagonian toothfish, which explains why the marketing name is used.

Some pictures from Quito can be found here.

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