One thing I can’t take a risk on while traveling is my morning coffee. I’ve tried many times to go with the local coffee shops but after repeated failed attempts, I’ve return to my hunt for Starbucks. If you’re looking for this in Quito, you won’t find one. Quito is dominated by the Starbucks of the south, Juan Valdez. A short walk from the Selina hotel brought me to the famous Plaza Foch, before I even had time to check which direction I was headed in my Google Maps.
Plaza Foch, although a mecca for Quito nightlife, also houses a few coffee shops which provide an atmosphere which is the exact opposite of what you’ll find here at night; a quite and peaceful place to enjoy your morning coffee. I ordered a meal and took in the mountainous landscape around me while waiting for my ride to come pick me up.
The first stop was the center of the world monument. Mitad del Mundo was actually a really pleasant surprise. I expected to see a monument with a yellow line showing the equator; great for a few pics. What I found was a beautifully well kept, Spanish style colonial city complete with its very own white church that perfectly complemented the clear blue skies behind it. Beautiful, well maintained gardens were laid out in front of boutique stores and cozy cafes.
After walking in both hemisphere of the earth at the same time, we took a short drive to the Museum of the Sun (Museo del Sol) which was filled with vast collections of fine art work from the artist Ortega, a native of the area. It was equally as fun to explore the outside and top of this castle styled museum, whose rooftop provided 360 degree views of the surrounding, cloud filled landscape.
To end the tour, I took a ride on the famous Quito Teleferico; a connection of cable cars that whisk passengers up to the highest viewpoint of the city of Quito. What I expected was a short three minute ride but what I discovered was a vast connection of poles and cable wiring connections that seemed never to end. The ride felt as if it was five or six minutes longs on the way up and the landscape beneath us became more distant and therefore more dramatic. Once on top of the highest viewpoint of Qutio, I took a moment to admire the hidden secrets and surprises that traveling has in store for those who seek it.