I searched below for any sign of a city and saw nothing but eerie grayness punctuated by the flashing of the plane’s wing lights. I reached for a copy of the airline’s magazine thinking I still had time to peruse the pages. All of a sudden we felt a jolt and realized we were on the ground. The first landing strip light flashed by my window. I turned to Bob and his eyes were as wide as mine. Neither of us had even heard the landing gear go down, the last indication that the plane would land. It was as if we’d set down on the landing strip as a helicopter would.
Welcome to Quito, Ecuador!
Since it was 11:30 at night here there were few people other than our plane load to pass through immigration and customs. We did so and immediately upon entering the airport’s main area, were greeted by a cheerful Celebrity hostess who led us and two others to a small mini van for our ride into the city proper. The new Quito airport is about an hour from the main part of the city.
Like in the air plane, there was little to see along the way. Much of the time it was foggy or misty and our eyes too bleary to focus since it was approaching 1 a.m. our time at home and we had been traveling since mid-morning.
Our hotel, the JW Marriott, was a welcome sight. We were checked in by Celebrity Cruise Line already and needed only to pick up our keys and find our room. Our luggage followed us. The room was spectacular, a suite with a sitting room, a bedroom and a bath with tub, shower, and two sinks. Luxury.
It didn’t take long to slip between the smooth cotton sheets and fall asleep. It would be a short night but as we drifted off, we anticipated a wonderful day of sightseeing to come.