Uruguay - Weirduguay

Trip Start Nov 13, 2010
Trip End Jul 20, 2011

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Flag of Uruguay  ,
Monday, May 23, 2011

Uruguay is weird.  Took the high speed ferry first thing in the morning...wow that subway is packed.....ferries to Colonial Uruguay - two speeds, two prices.   One hour fast ferry about $80 return, three hour slow ferry about $60.  Since I was just going for the day I figured I would spend the extra $20 for the fast boat.   Luxurious and oh so smooth.  I thought I would be the only one - it is pretty slow season here for tourists and the quick jaunt to Colonial is more popular on weekends.  I was wrong - lots of folks were going as tourists for the day and others were going onward from Colonial - to Montevideo and I think others to Brazil.

Uruguay is a small country - compared to its neighbors, Brazil and Argentina, and my day in Colonial was just....weird.   First, it is even more expensive than Argentina...why???  Don't know.  Second, the country does not have any resemblance to anything Spanish or South American.  It looked like a cross between Portugal and Holland to me.  The history of the country has a lot of Portuguese, but they speak Spanish - not like Brazil where they speak Portuguese.....and third....there was the oddest combinations of architecture.  And then there were old cars everywhere...really old cars - some with trees growing out of them, or fish driving ......hmmm

Colonial is really pretty - had a perfect fall day - kind of chilly but bright blue sky.  I had walked all the streets in the old section within a couple of hours and had to come up with a plan to fill in the rest of the day so.....I hopped a bus going out of town - the local bus.....and headed for the countryside.  Even weirder combinations of holiday homes - Swiss chalets, caves, space ship thingys, shacks, fancy abandoned houses...everything:  small beside big, rich beside poor - the beach is nothing special even though the Portenos - people from Buenos Aires, flock here all summer......
Then there is a gigantic bull ring in the country - built by a guy in the early 1900's just a couple of years before they banned bull fighting in Uruguay - bad luck for him - now it just hangs there, a testament to the problem with some investments.  I got off the bus when I saw the bull ring, walked around the country roads until I found the beach and then, in true training fashion decided to walk back to the city.  That was the nicest part of the day - I love rambling, looking at odd architecture, plants, landscapes.     
Other than the sore feet and blisters..already....I think I am ready for Spain.
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