Saturday, July 28, 2012

July 18th/El 18 de julio

El 18 de julio was the day that Uruguay signed the Constitution that confirmed that they were independent from Argentina. However, they really don't do anything as a country to celebrate other than to take the day off of work/school. There were many people on the Rambla that day enjoying the nice weather. My Uruguayan host told me that the only time they are truly patriotic is when the national team (or el Celeste) is playing in the Copa America or the World Cup. She noticed that Americans are much more patriotic.

Since everything was closed we took a tour around Montevideo. Here are some of the pictures.

View of Montevideo in the back

Nice little park with a great view

The work of Joaquin Torres Garcia, founder of Constructive Universalism

The door of the old fortress that protected the city

Beautiful church

Teatro Solis

After, we went to a vineyard owned by the Bouza family. We had a great lunch and bought bottles of wine as souveniors.

Got some great Tannat, one of the most prominent grapes in Uruguay

We got back in the afternoon, and I went to relax a bit. After, I decided to go out since it was turning out to be such a nice day. I decided not to take my camera since I already had taken pictures of la Rambla. While I was running, I all of a sudden hear music. I realized it was candombe, the Afro-Uruguayan music that is featured during their 40-day Carnaval season. I ran up the street to where the people were. It was just like in I had seen in videos about Uruguay. There was a group of men (and only one woman) playing different size drums while the women (and one man) were dancing in front of them. You can watch all the videos you want, but there is nothing like seeing it in person. The music was so strong that I could feel the vibrations of the drums. It was hard to stay still. It was if the music was inviting me to dance. I smiled when I looked up to see children on a balcony playing drums and dancing. I did not expect to see candombe that might, and I was so happy to have gotten to see it with my own eyes. I didn't have a camera to capture the moment or to prove I saw it, but I have my memory and that's enough. I was very lucky to have seen it since the groups don't really play in the winter. Candombe check. {insert smiley face}

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