Monday, November 25, 2019

Penus Fences and Uruguay's National Plague- Montevideo



Our last day in Montevideo. We arrived at  Independence Plaza for our 11am walking tour.


We walked through many of the places we were at yesterday, but this time we got the history behind them.




In the Plaza Zabala, the quaker parakeets were extra active and noisy while the guide was speaking. He then mentioned that they are Uruguay's national plague because they eat the farmers' crops.


There is a fence around this park that looks like a fence of penises. Apparently after much work on the park, the architect found out he wasn't going to be paid as much as he was told so he changed the design to express his displeasure.  The penises don't really stand out until you are near about them.


We ended the walking tour at the Mercado del Puerto which is said to have the best barbeque meat restaurants in town. We were told that Uruguayans drink more mate and eat more meat than even the Argentinians.


All these different restaurants are housed in an old train station. John and I had one more prime rib meal for lunch. We only ordered one and we still couldnt eat it all.

We then walked through the pedestrian area where I bought a couple mate spoons and a cup. We then couldnt agree on which museum to go to so I went to the Museo Taranco which is an old mansion complete with it's original furnishings. On its lower level it had over 2000 classical archeological artifacts from ancient Rome, Etruscan, Egyption and Greek. It was a really enjoyable way to spend an hour.


Meanwhile John went to the Museo Andes 1972 which commemorates a plane crash in the Andes mountains in 1972. Many of the 45  passengers on board were members of a Uruguayan rugby team. The story of the ordeal of the 16 survivors who were rescued after 72 days became a bestselling book called Alive. The museum has many artifacts from the crash and lots of information on how they survived.

Walking past some stores, we were perplexed by their names. I am not sure if their names were missed in translation or deliberate.


John and I met up at 5pm and went back to our hostel to shower and pack for the flight to Panama City, Panama.

At our hostel they taught us how to make and drink mate. Mate is drunk by almost everyone in Argentina and Uruguay. People carry around their cups and thermos es everywhere. Making it is a bit more complicated than I thought. There is a whole procedure of dos and don'ts.  Mate is an acquired taste. It tastes like a bitter green tea and you consume your cup by adding hot water to it a bit at a time over the day.


John and I grabbed a quick supper at a local diner that was frequented by locals. We tried the Uruguayan Tannet wine which was quite good.

Our prearranged taxi picked us up for the airport at 9:30pm. 

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