For our 30th wedding anniversary, we took a trip to the Galapagos Islands … and it was SPECTACULAR! But first, we flew to Quito in Ecuador and had a short visit there before flying the rest of the way. Starting from Miami airport after driving down the night before, it was a long travel day due to a 6 hour delay courtesy of American Airlines; we eventually reached our hotel (“Casa Gangotena“) late in the evening but were greeted with a nice room and an impressive view (a statue of the Virgin Mary)!
Next morning we took a walk and found parade preparations – turns out it was the beginnings of “Foundation Day” celebrations for when Quito was founded (in 1534) …
After our walk we met with our local guide for the day, who took us up to the Virgin Mary statue (“Virgen de El Panecillo”), giving us views back down to the city (the zoomed in view is looking back to our hotel):
Next, a long drive to an extinct volcanic crater, now farmland (“Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve”):
Next, a visit to “The Equator” which is in fact a little way off from the true Equator (which we did cross in the car); a bit of a tourist trap but a necessary visit since we are so close!
After that, back to the old town of Quito to continue our tour, including lunch and quality chocolate – and a VERY close thunderstorm in the late afternoon!