I arrived in Quito on the Independence Day holiday – commemorating Ecuador’s departure from Greater Colombia on August 10, 1830. As part of the festivities around this, and also as part of the “Summer of Arts” in the city, several of the most important buildings in the Historical Centre of Quito were lit up in the “Fiesta de la Luz” (Festival of Light). It is only the second year it has run, and boy is it popular!
I joined what seemed to be all 1.6 million Quiteños on the Saturday night to enjoy the spectacle – but have to admit was quite overwhelmed by the size of the crowd! There is a very specific route that you must walk – one way only in some areas – which meant that it got even more crowded than this!
I set out from where I am staying (it was right on the route), and followed the crowd to the installation at La Merced. Here I encountered the worst of the crowding (we were like sardines!), as the ~5-minute light show on the side of the church formed a bottleneck as everyone stopped to watch.
Things were slightly less crowded at Plaza Grande, which was more of a static display on slow rotation. Love the stick figures!
Then it was on to the Plaza del Teatro and my favourite installation. This too was a ~5 minute show with amazing visuals that really showcased the architectural features of the building, all set to incredible music!
Then finally I headed back to the apartment past the Basílica del Voto Nacional, which was very colourful in its static light show. Again, the crowd was enormous so I didn’t join the queue that started 7 blocks away to actually enter the courtyard (!), but it was equally impressive from the street outside the gates.
Love that they had religious music to go with it 🙂
Picked up a pincho (chicken, chorizo and potato BBQed on a skewer) from a street vendor along the way and then retreated to escape the crowds!
There were 4 other sites that I didn’t get to see, but it really was incredibly crowded and almost impossible to move at times. I sampled enough to get the feeling for the very cool idea, which is a collaboration with the French government and particularly the city of Lyon.