After just two days in Ecuador I am shocked by how much I am in love with everything about this gem of the Andes! A few interesting things I didn't know until this trip...
1. At 9,350 feet, Quito is the world's second highest administrative capital in the world. Second only to La Paz, Bolivia.
2. Following economic instability in the country, Ecuador adopted the US dollar as it's national currency in 2001. So far all the bills look identical but some coins say Ecuador on the back. Also you know all those $1 Sacajawea coins you couldn't ever find in the US??? They're all in Ecuador.
3. Despite what the international media would like you to believe about instability in Latin America, after walking around Quito, using public transportation and chatting with locals, you would never believe that a "coup" tried to overthrow the government two weeks ago. Ridiculous.
4. The old historic part of Quito has been an UNESCO World Heritage site since 1978 and a 2006 restoration project makes this Andean city shine!
5. Frenchman Charles-Marie de La Condamine measured the equatorial line (Mitad del Mundo) wrong in 1736. A 30m high monument congratulates his somewhat misguided achievement. A short walk away one can find the "real" equatorial line as measured by 12 GPS satellites in the last ten years. Don't worry, Kelsi and I visited and took touristy photos at both sites. :)
...MUCH more to come on Ecuador!! Ciao for now.