What a joy not to have to rise to an alarm clock! We all woke well rested, in time to have breakfast before it closed at 10 am. Next we planned our day and made our way out of the hotel. It was about 73 degrees, windy and overcast today but we weren't complaining. Uruguay is heading into their winter, so it's their Autumn season now. Our first stop was the Andes 1972 Museum. It's a museum to honor the story of the Uruguayan rugby team that crashed in the Andes mountains on their way to Chile in 1972. It focused on their teamwork and goal setting as the backbone of their survival. It was nothing short of a miracle. The museum has only been open 2 years. The curator was very interactive, explaining several of the images and items recovered so we really got a sense of the situation and how miraculous their survival was. We spent at least an hour inside, joined by people from all over the globe. We highly recommend a visit.
After the museum we walked to the nearby Zabata plaza to visit the Catholic church which was open for Good Friday. It was ornate inside and reminiscent of the cathedrals we'd seen in Europe. This happens to be their holy week in Uruguay. The alter was different than any I'd ever seen with its deep plum and gold decorations. Outside, in the plaza, their were vendors set up like a small flea market. Payton bartered with one to get two small angel pendants carved from stone for some friends. It was fun to see what each vendor brought.
For lunch we had decided it was time to try the popular Chivitos sandwich. Our bike guide, Marcelo, had told us the best place to go was the Tinkal Bar, along the Rambla, near the American Embassy. Knowing it was a long shot that it would be open, due to the holiday, we headed out anyway on the 2 mile walk. Of course, as we approached it we could tell it was closed! Bummed, we headed back near our hotel in search of La Passiva, a local restaurant chain which was also recommended for their Chivitos. As luck would have it, when we stopped at the corner near our hotel to find the exact location of the restaurant Marcelo noticed us as he was riding by and stopped to see if we needed assistance. Again, what are the odds? He was heading home from a tour he had given that day. We chatted a few minutes before parting ways and finally found the restaurant. At this point we were tired and hungry. We each ordered their recommended canadienne chivitos. OMG was it worth the wait. This version was a step up from the normal version. It was a sandwich filled with a slice of beef, bacon, lettuce, tomato, green olives, pimento pepper slices, hard boiled egg, cheese and mayo on a soft roll. Served with a side of fries. We've heard the typical chivitos is an open faced sandwich laid on a bed of fries with beef, ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo topped with a fried egg. Several people we saw had ordered it that way. I'm glad they recommended it the way we ordered them. I can see why this sandwich is famous! I'm hoping it's not my last in Uruguay.
After lunch we relaxed in the room for 30 minutes then walked down near Independence Plaza to the Solis Theatre for a tour which they offer in English too. Though it wasn't long it was informative. The theater is the largest and most prestigous in the country. The theater was built in 1856. Today it's owned by the government and subsidized by sponsors, to allow all tickets to be sold for $5 USD each, regardless of the seat. Fridays they are half off! The government believes in having access for everyone to the arts. Our guide mentioned that the bring in people from e countryside villages via bus to allow them the opportunity to see the city and also enjoy the arts. It seats 1250 people in the 5 stories. It maintains the original decor and chandeliers. Interesting side jote: Our english guide had lived in Georgia since the age of 5 and just moved back a few years ago to attend college here since it's free. She had dreamed of going to UGA but it was too expensive...great for Payton to hear.. She plans to obtain her degree in International business and go back to the states.
We stopped on our way back in fabion Plaza where couples routinely Tango in the park. I had read that it's normally Saturday nights, so i was thrilled to see Tango dancing as we approached. We sat at a nearby cafe, overlooking the dancers and the water fountains surrounded by towering trees, and enjoyed a cappuccino. It was what the locals would consider Tea time.
We opted out of dinner and instead stopped in La Cingal for gelato. Bryan and I each had a premade dessert similar to a Klondike bar..mine dulce de leche gelato dipped in chocolate, his cream gelato dipped in chocolate. Payton's dessert took the prize. It was a sundae with bonbon dulce de leche gelato, rocher bonbon gelato, hot fudge and a wonderful chantilly whipped cream. It was heavenly!! It may have been the best dessert I've ever had.
A simple night of netflix and good night.