Tag Archives: New town

Quito – a city for everyone

5 Feb

We tapped our toes as we listened to the blind accordion player who stood under an arched alcove belonging to a brightly painted colonial mansion. We dug around in our pockets for some money and the coins which made a clinking sound at the bottom of his collection pot made first him, and then us, smile. We turned on the cobbles and wandered through Quito’s UNESCO World Heritage listed ‘old town’. It was a maze of restored colonial buildings, grand churches and fully functioning monasteries and convents. We passed some of the country’s best museums and grand squares where indigenous women carrying large bundles rested their weary bones on benches. Mouth-watering smells wafted from doorways of family run cafes where cauldrons of soup bubbled and cooks carved chunks of succulent meat from whole roasted pigs. Market stall vendors shouted in our ears as we passed and we declined repeated offers to sell us everything and anything. We felt like we’d stepped back in time with frenetic city life continuing uninterrupted as it had done for hundreds of years. The city belonged to no one and everyone – the tourists, the beggars, the nuns, the indigenous locals, the flea ridden dogs, the drivers of the smoke belching buses, the dirty street kids and the chefs preparing Ecuador’s finest cuisine – all existing side-by-side to make Quito one of Latin America’s most captivating capitals.

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