It was still early in the evening, as we climbed into the car and headed to el centro, the Historic Centre of Quito, Ecuador, to enjoy dinner and music.
The air was still. The sky had cleared, and there was remarkably little traffic as, being the festival of The Day of the Dead, many residents had returned to their family homes outside the city. It was one of those rare times when a drive in city was a pleasant one.
I have written about the enormous changes in this country’s physical, legal and educational infrastructure in a previous blog article “The Noise of Change is Keeping Me Awake”.
Energy of renewal is also evident at the municipal level in Quito. Having been declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations, millions of dollars have been spent restoring old
buildings and streets. The beauty of the past has come to life again.
Here, are just a few of the scenes in the night.
La Ronda is a historic set of streets within el centro, that is highly sought and enjoyed by visitors and residents alike. Very Spanish in architecture and in its clubs and restaurants, it was exactly where we wanted to be.
The streets were full; but, not uncomfortably crowed. Safety had always been provided by a small city police presence and numerous private security guards, hired by the commercial establishments.
New was a large contingent of National Police in ceremonial dress: caps, swords, capes and tall black, shiny boots with spurs. Patrolling in twos and threes, they added a certain elegance to the scene; and, frequently stopped to chat and pose for photos.
It wasn’t the woman by the door beckoning us to enter; but, the sound of a lively band that drew us into a small, crowded restaurant.
Music of the Andes region, from Colombia to Chile, has a life of its own, most often with a drum, guitars, flutes and pan pipes. I love it! This band consisted of three musicians, a rhythm guitarist who sometimes played a flute, a bass guitarist and, the guy who really made the music jump, a lead guitarist. All sang, and restaurant patrons joined in with singing and dancing between tables. They say that words to classic Ecuadorian music are sad; but, you would never have known that by the spirited play and the enthusiastic mood it generated.
Time passed quickly. Refreshments, empanadas and sopa consumed, we returned home well satisfied.
Thank you for joining me in this blog. I’ll look forward to hearing of your visit to Quito’s el centro.
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