Sunday, August 5, 2012

Countryside and Coast/El Campo y la Costa

My second weekend was amazing!! A truly unforgettable experience. There are so many pictures that I will just choose the ones that best describe my experience.

Saturday

On Saturday, we were invited to a birthday party in the department of La Florida in a town called Fray Marcos. I truly was in the country, and I loved every minute of it. Because I didn't know much about Uruguay before my trip, I did not have any ideas of what it was going to be like. I have traveled to the Andes Mountains before, and if anything, I was surprised to see a country that had no mountains at all. If anything, it's very flat which is great because you can get a great view of the sky. I was going nuts using the sunset setting on my camera.

This totally captures the campo!
The countryside
Having fun!
A modern day farmer (gaucho)

I have never seen a peacock before although it refused to open it's tail.
Also, we were truly at a working farm, and I got to see them milk cows. The milk they produce is for Conaprole, the major milk industry in Uruguay. It was such a cool experience. It was nice to relax and just enjoy the peace of the countryside. I was so happy I got the chance to see the Uruguayan countryside.

Seeing it in action!

Talk about fresh milk!!

Sunday - Piriapolis, CasaPueblo, and Punta del Este
On Sunday, we decided to go to the coast because a trip to Uruguay isn't complete with out a trip the famous seaside resort of Punta del Este. First, we started at one of the balenarios that had this house that was in the shape of an eagle, thus el aguila. We didn't stay long because it was soooo windy.

 El Aguila

Then, we headed to the town of Piriapolis. For lunch, we had gnocchis since it was the custom to eat them the 29th of every month. For good luck, you are supposed to put a coin under the plate of gnocchis. While eating them, we were watching Uruguay lose to Senegal. We walked around the port and then took the car to the top of the hill to get a great view of the town. My host said that it is a place that most middle class people can afford compared to Punta del Este which is more for international multi-millionaires. The town was so nice, and I could only imagine how much more beautiful it is when it's summer.

Ten pesos

 Noquis a la bolonesa

Uruguayan Olympic soccer team
  
At the port


 Sealions

What a view!

Then, we headed to the house of Francisco Piria who is the namesake for Piriapolis. Unfortunately, it was closed for renovation, but it was fun to see his house. I guess there are all sorts of legends and urban myths regarding the house - none of which I can remember. It must have been some house way back in the early 1900s.
House of Piria

We then continued up the coast because we were headed to Punta Ballena where CasaPueblo is. I am a big fan of Samantha Brown, and when I watched her Montevideo episode, I saw CasaPueblo for the first time. I was like I HAVE to go there. I also read an article on Veinte Mundos about Carlos Paez Vilaro, who had a friend in Pablo Picasso. Veinte Mundos - Carlos Paez Vilaro My host, her family, her boyfriend, and I began to walk in, and I was in awe. As I looked out over Punta Ballena, I got chocked up. I couldn't believe I was in Uruguay, and specifically, CasaPueblo. It somehow made the trip all a little more real. It was funny too because we bumped into 6 other Fulbrighters who also thought that it was a good day to go to CasaPueblo. I bought a copy of one of Paez Vilaro's works to hang up in my classroom.

CasaPueblo

His inspiration

The view of Punta Ballena

Happy to be there surrounded by beautiful art work

We finally made it to the last stop in our day trip - the famous Punta del Este. I have never seen a seaside resort like this before even here in the U.S. Stunning! Lots of beautiful high rise hotels and houses with an amazing views of the Rio de la Plata (tan ancho como mar). Like most seaside resorts it was quiet since it was offseason, but it was great to be there nonetheless.

Very nice hotel

 The Marina

 
 Momument to the Ahogados (the drowned ones)

We had such a great day. We ended it in a park drinking mate and eating pasteles de dulce de leche. Can't get anymore Uruguayan! 


Drinking mate and eating pasteles de leche!

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