Just the Pictures (Ecuador) Trying to watch one of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films with a poor reception in my hotel room in Quito – I thought it was distorted enough to look interesting, like a pointillist painting. Statue of Simón Bolívar, in the plaza named after him in Quito. Statue of Gabriel García Moreno in the park of the same name, with the Basilica of the National Vow in the background; the Basilica began construction in 1892 AD and was consecrated in 1988 AD; it is also the largest neo-Gothic basilica in the Americas. Impressive steps leading up to the parking lot to the west of the Basilica. Panecillo Hill to the south of Quito’s historic city center, as viewed from the rooftop of the Basilica of the National Vow. Looking down at the plaza in front of the Basilica. Viewing the Basilica’s spire, as well as northeast Quito from the west clock tower. Looking down at the steps to the west of the Basilica. Interior of the western clock tower of the Basilica. Catwalk inside the attic of the Basilica. Looking southwest from the Basilica’s rooftop, toward Panecillo Hill. The Basilica’s spire, seen from the east clock tower. Mass being celebrated inside the Basilica, seen from the upper level where the rose window is located and where there is access to the two clock towers. Rose window inside the Basilica. Statue in one of the chapels. Altar in the Basilica of the National Vow. View of the nave of the Basilica with the sanctuary at the far end. Bronze doors to the main entrance of the Basilica, which depicts the marriage of Adam and Eve (on the left) and the marriage of Mary and Joseph (on the right). Looking up at the towers of the Basilica of the National Vow; technically the Basilica remains unfinished and according to legend, once the Basilica is completed, the end of the world will come. Palacio Arzobispal (“Archbishop’s Palace”), located on the northeast side of Plaza Grande. ‘Independence Monument’, a French sculpture that was erected in the center of Plaza Grande in 1906 AD. Hotel Plaza Grande Quito. Palacio de Carondelet – built in 1801 AD, this is the seat of government of the Republic of Ecuador. Someone giving a talk in Plaza Grande. Looking up at the façade of the Church and Convent of San Ignacio de Loyola de la Compañía de Jesús de Quito (also known simply as “La Compañía”); built in 1765 AD, the façade is made entirely out of carved Ecuadorian andesite stone and the interior of the Baroque church is predominantly covered in gold sheets – quite a sight. Basilica and Convent of San Francisco, which was completed in 1650 AD. Cross outside of Capilla de Cantuña, on the western corner of Plaza San Francisco. Plaza San Francisco, seen from the northern corner, next to the Basilica and Convent of San Francisco. Fountain in Plaza Grande with Catedral Metropolitana de Quito (which dates back to the 16th-century AD) in the background. Monument to Chulla Quiteño, in Bulevar 24 de Mayo. Courtyard in the Museo de la Ciudad (“Museum of the City”), which used to be a hospital that dates back to 1565 AD. ‘Our Lady of the Angels and the Queen’s Arch’; in 1726 AD this painting was originally placed in the chapel of the hospital that the Museum of the City now occupies. ‘The Meeting’ by Jaime Zapata (20th-century AD). Spanish conquistador comb morion. Garment for corporal punishment that was worn by Mariana of Jesús de Paredes, the first Catholic Saint to be canonized from Ecuador. Recreation of a procession that was sketched by a traveler in Quito in 1841 AD. Photograph of the main plaza of Pomasqui, a village located 16 kilometers north of Quito. Ancient computer technology on display in Quito’s Museum of the City. Diorama recreating a scene from a painting attributed to José Cortés Alcocer that attempts to showcase charity administered by the Order of Bethlehemite Brothers from 1705 to 1830 AD. Calle La Ronda, a colorful alley worth walking through. Calle Guayaquil leading toward Panecillo Hill with the Virgen del Panecillo statue on top. Near the southern end of Calle de la Ronda. Plaza de Santo Domingo; originally it was known as “Plaza de Diego de Torres” after the name of the first conquistador who built his house here; Santo Domingo Church, which dates back to the 16th-century AD, stands at the other end of the plaza. Giant metal flower sculptures standing in Plaza El Huerto San Agustin. Teatro Nacional Sucre, which was built in 1886 AD. Galapagos street, which leads up to La Guaragua. Plaza Hermano Miguel. Fountain in Plaza de San Blas with San Blas Church in the background. Teleferico (“cable car lift”) to the mountains west of Quito. View of Quito from the western mountains. Trail in the mountains. Yellow flowers found up in the mountains surrounding Quito. Looking south with Quito on the left. ‘Shooting of Rosa Zárate and Nicolás de la Peña’ by an anonymous painter (19th-century AD). Photograph of the body of President Gabriel García Moreno after his assassination (1875 AD). ‘Plaza de San Francisco’ by Luis Cadena (1881 AD). ‘San Pablo Lagoon’ attributed to Rafael Troya (19th-century AD). ‘Indigenous Festival’ by Gerardo Astudillo (20th-century AD). Pre-Columbian flute made from bone. Pre-Columbian anthropomorphic whistle. Rondador pan flute from Ecuador. Dog mask for festivals. “Diablo Uma” mask and costume for Ecuadorean festivals, from Imbabura Province. Ceramic statue of an anthropomorphic female “priestess,” from the La Tolita culture (600 BC – 400 AD). Gold and platinum mask representing a character with winged plumes, from the La Tolita culture (600 BC to 400 AD). ‘The Charity’ by Antonio Salguero (ca. 1920 AD). ‘Procession’ by Camilo Egas (1922 AD). ‘Sunset in Guayaquil’ by Jorge Velarde (1999 AD). Character with golden earrings made by the La Tolita culture (600 BC to 400 AD). Statue referred to as ‘Thinker – Woman in Action of Admiration’ from the La Tolita culture (600 BC to 400 AD). ‘Arrival in America’ by Camilo Egas (1923 AD). ‘The Alluded’ by Jaime Zapata (1988 AD). ‘Simón Bolívar’ by Rafael Salas (19th-century AD). Silver mask with copper crown and plumes, from the Manteño civilization and created sometime between 500 and 1532 AD. ‘On the Way to the Fair’ by Sergio Guarderas (1940 AD). ‘Curiquingues’ by Diógenes Paredes (1965 AD). Diorama recreating the scene of a 19th-century AD painting called ‘The Bizarre Club’ by Juan Agustín Guerrero. ‘View of Cotopaxi Volcano and the remains of an Inca palace, from the plain of Callo’ by Juan Agustín Guerrero (19th-century AD). ‘The Cotopaxi. View of the Eastern Mountain Range’ by Rafael Troya (1874 AD). ‘Quito’ by Rafael Salas (1860 AD). ‘Piano Forte’ by Luigi Stornaiolo (1999 AD). Arco de la Circasiana in Parque El Ejido. Statue of José Eloy Alfaro Delgado who was president of Ecuador from 1895-1901 and 1906-1911 AD. Statue of José María Velasco Ibarra, who became president of Ecuador five times – during four of his terms he was removed by military force; he was also installed as president through a military coup several other times. Fountain with the Unidad Educativa Eugenio Espejo building in the background. Astronomical Observatory of Quito; built in 1873 AD, the observatory is located 12 minutes south of the Equator. On the road to Cotopaxi National Park with Cotopaxi seen in the distance. Close-up view of Cotopaxi’s peak, which reaches a height of 5,897 meters (19,347 feet). Small bullfighting ring (which is no longer in use) at the ranch. Cotopaxi covered in clouds – Cotopaxi is an active stratovolcano located about 50 kilometers south of Quito in the Andes Mountains. Chikku Chikku (Hypochaeris sessiliflora) flowers. Llamas in Cotopaxi National Park. Landscape in the national park. Trail leading to the glacier on Cotopaxi. Close-up of the glacier; Volcan Cotopaxi has one of the few equatorial glaciers in the world. Another view of the glacier on the volcano. View from the trail on Cotopaxi. Refugio José Rivas on Cotopaxi. Looking down at the trail that ascends Cotopaxi. Looking back at the glacier and refuge on Cotopaxi. Mountain and foothills seen from the roadway in Cotopaxi National Park. Laguna Limpiopunge, a lagoon where many native birds can be observed. Baird’s Sandpiper at the lagoon. Roadway and entrance at the ranch where our tour group ate breakfast and lunch. Echeveria succulents. Llamas and horses at the ranch. Potato soup in the ranch house restaurant. Meal of chicken, rice, and veggies. Quito viewed from Manuel Samaniego street. Another view of Quito with the Virgen del Panecillo statue on the hilltop and Plaza de Toros Belmonte in sight. Plaza de Toros Belmonte – the bullfighting ring in Quito. Pacari chocolate bars made with figs and golden berries; Pacari is a company based in Quito. Catedral Metropolitana de Quito at night. Palacio Arzobispal at night. Looking up at the Basilica of the National Vow during my nighttime stroll. Viewing the Basilica of the National Vow from Gabriel García Moreno Park at night. Chocolate bars produced from cacao beans harvested in different regions within Ecuador, each with their own unique flavors due to the terroir where they were grown. Bottle of Ecuadorian Cabernet Sauvignon.