Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ecuador: Quito - Hotel San Francisco de Quito

We are staying at the Hotel San Francisco De Quito which is a heritage building that was built in 1698. With minor changes, the house is now a hotel. Our room is on the second floor where all the rooms are located but it's a different room. The ceilings are about 14-16 feet high and our room has  a nice skylight and windows at the top two feet of the room - meaning that there is natural light but if you want to look out, you'd better have a long ladder. The room door opens out onto a long hallway with huge doors that open onto a tiny balcony that is more for decoration than for sitting (much like the ones you see on spanish colonial building in the Southern US).
There is a sitting room (maybe once referred to as a parlour) a few steps from our room where it’s nice to sit and have a cup of tea. I feel like I should be wearing crinoline dresses and other period costumes.
The area on the main floor where they used to keep cows and other animals is now a beautiful courtyard where we had breakfast.
That was a delightful surprise of watermelon juice (those of you who know me well will know that I do not like anything watermelon - no juice, no chunks, no seedless, no pink, no red, no watermelon gum - you get the picture), scrambled eggs, croissants, jam and cafe con leche. Does that sound vaguely familiar? If not, read the posts from the last week. The difference today is that it all tasted so wonderful when you eat in a 17th century courtyard (once a cow pen but who cares?) surrounded by flowers and plants. Yes, I did not mind one bit that I have been eating the same breakfast for 8 days.
Later in the morning we walked to Independence Square, passing several churches along the way with some incredible architecture.

Independence Square has a long and colourful history and there are statues and buildings that tell that story. The Governor's mansion is also there.

We went out for lunch (another HUGE lunch for $4) and came back to our room for a rest. I was feeling very tired and achy as you do when you have a fever and your skin hurts. I thought the room was a bit cold last night but it wasn't the room. Later in the morning, I was feeling cold so I wore a sweater when we went for lunch even though the restaurant was very warm (enough to need a fan). I slept for about 90 minutes and woke up with a fever. Don't know what that's about but I took a couple of Advils and hope that I'll be okay by the time we leave in the morning.
That's it for now. Not sure about internet connection on the islands but will keep writing and posting when I can.

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