Montevideo, culture time

Trip Start Oct 07, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Uruguay  ,
Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Uruguay was not originally on our list of places to visit, it wasn´t until T and Hugo suggested we headed there after their jaunt up to Iguassu that we even thought about it, and I´m glad we did, I thought the whole country was great and the people by far the most friendly and helpful (at the same time being the most inconsiderate; not sure how they managed that combination!) in general out of all the counties we have visited so far.

We left BA to meet T and Hugo in Montevideo having not done much in the way of cultural attractions over the New Year period, although the BA nightlife is in the top ten things to do when visiting South America, so we were keen to right these wrongs and have a good wander around the city and see the sights. So whilst T and Hugo headed to the beach, Sam caught up on some well deserved sleep, Mike and I hit the town with some south American chums in search of culture!

And we were not disappointed, starting slow at the central Plaza Indepencia to see the remains of Jose Artigas their national hero that are housed and guarded in a very prestigious hall underneath a statue of himself, he did lead the revolution against the Spanish so think he deserves that. From here we braved one of the most dilapidated lifts ever up to the 22nd floor of the Intendencia Municipal de Montevideo for a panoramic view of the city and to pick our next few destinations. The palace seemed like a good choice for our next stop....

En route to the palace, which was a lot further away than it looked, we stumbled across a ´big building that looked important and would probably be a good addition to our day of culture´, so we set off to investigate. After a quick chat with a guard we established a tour started in a few minutes, we still weren´t sure of what, but the palace still looked miles away so decided that we would substitute the palace for whatever this was, so signed ourselves up.

Turns out it was the legislative palace, the seat of the Uruguayan parliament, and we were on a tour of the whole place. We saw both the senate and the house of representatives, changing of the guards outside them, 2nd most important library in Uruguay (I know! Wow), and the first constitution an agreement that saw Uruguay as an independent state following the wars between Argentina and Brazil for power in the region. An agreement bizarrely brokered by none other than England, not entirely sure how or why we were involved there, maybe for a good deal on Oxo cubes? Good cultural day!

After that it was about time to wake Sam up for Mikes last meal in South America before we sadly parted ways the following day, us to the beach and Mike to begin a 48 hour trip back to blighty!!
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