Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Land of Chivito, Mate, and Rafaelito

"Darlings," we asked ourselves, "is this a country which works?"

Not at all, that is if we take heed of our friend AS who is convinced, unconvincingly, that there are only two countries in the world which have a legitimate right to such a claim: North Korea and Romania. Indeed, for those seeking the security and convention of a dull democracy, then Uruguay and, in particular, its capital Montevideo, is not the place for them.

But for us it was, and is, a dream become reality.

Palacio Salvo - a landmark building in central Montevideo
reminder of former colonial times - Montevideo town house

For how could we not be captivated with, and enchanted by, a country where the brilliance of a southern summer sun, shining through the December days, is reflected in the vitality and warmth of a people so relaxed and at one with themselves?

a cheery shopkeeper leans across his book store counter 
a woman in the park enjoying a drink of the traditional Mate
group of nurses returning to the hospital after the lunch break - note the Mate

With our Mad Boy, Rafaelito, to act as our guide we toured the old town with its crumbling colonial-style shops and houses, its faded Coca-Cola signs, its bustling markets, street corners and pleasant parks. And at each turn always something to fascinate, to interest, to intrigue. New, new world indeed!

Coca-Cola, almost a National drink, seen advertised almost everywhere
the port area with Lance Hattatt and Rafael González Paz
browsing among the books and objets d'art in the Old Town
explanations being given by Rafaelito [Rafael González Paz]
playing at statues in a small city park within the Old Town
possibly not quite the Harrods of Montevideo but hugely interesting

Denied entry to the port to see the anchor of the 'Admiral Graf Spee', scuttled at the mouth of the River Plate in December 1939, we merrily, through the persuasive talk of Rafaelito, skipped past the guards and into the house where Garibaldi had once upon a time lived.

Jane Hattatt, Rafael González Paz and Lance Hattatt at Garibaldi' s house

A music concert, a night at the opera, a tango party [led astray by Rafaelito], a mausoleum, museums, cathedrals and churches, and buskers on buses all served to delight us further.

staircase, looking down from above, inside the Museum of Decorative Arts 
inside the mausoleum situated underneath the Plaza Independencia
purchasing tickets for the opera , 'Il Duce' at Teatro Solis- a very jolly occasion

In Pocitos, a residential suburb, we were invited into one of Montevideo's finest extant Art Deco buildings, ate delicious dinners and cavorted on the seashore.


Art Deco at Edificio el Mástil, 3105 Avenida Brasil
clambering over rocks on the shore of the River Plate


A Sunday market, occupying several streets, proved amazing, a handbag snatched and stolen alarming, a Christmas dinner of uncooked rice [woe on you Rafaelito] inedible, and a trip to Colonia del Sacremento pure heaven.




young rabbits, just one of countless items for sale in the Sunday street market


motoring in Colonia with Rafael González Paz [Rafaelito] and Lance Hattatt


But of Colonia del Sacremento there will be more to tell! [click on all images to enlarge]





186 comments:

  1. What a fun vacation! I like how you took time to focus on the people who live in Uruguay. Thanks for warming me up with the tropical sunshine.

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    1. The people were utterly charming, Sarah, and we made such friends. As for the warmth in December, wonderful, but at times in the middle part of the day it was unbearably hot.

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  2. AH! The end of this post came too soon! I was leaning in, squinting and smiling and even laughing (not quite the Harrods of Montevideo) and then, poof, the magic is suspended!

    Palacio Salvo, I think, was a wonderfully-striking image with which to open this 'diary entry' and draw us all in. That blue sky is like a shot of the best adrenaline, the contours of that magnificent piece of architecture against it, though I have never ventured so far south, felt, simply, like home. Cannot explain why.

    The eyes of the cheery shopkeeper! Such a perfect, perfect gaze into my own after the words, 'For how could we not be captivated with, and enchanted by, a country where the brilliance of a southern summer sun, shining through the December days, is reflected in the vitality and warmth of a people so relaxed and at one with themselves?'

    This, then followed by the woman in the park enjoying Mate! (I liked her manicure, btw. It matches her smile and her eyes and the inverted triangular slant of her lovely nose. Impeccable shot.)

    Rafaelito seems, always (?), to speak with his hands. I imagine they only rest when he is observing? Silly little autobiographical note: when I was a child visiting Mexico with my siblings (we stayed there during the summers with my grandparents) my youngest sister had no friends. She was too small, only four during this particular summer, to go out and meet new people as big sis had at her swimming lessons and at the club (el cloob.) So, I placed a phony phone call to my grandparent's residence pretending to be a local girl who was interested in befriending my youngest sister. The name I chose? Rafaelita.

    I have to say I would have been very interested to visit the mausoleum. That has my imagination in its grip.

    Can I also say that the outstretched arms of the two of you as you clamber over the rocky shore says everything to me? Jane, I love the yellow bows on the edges of your stripy shoes. Lance, I love your Panama hat. To both of my fairy godparents, all I can say is that the only measure of a cruel, cruel world would be if I do not have the chance to one day meet you face to face.

    Love and rabbits,
    Your devoted FGD, Suze.

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    1. Darling FGD Suze:

      What can we possibly say? How kind and generous of you to comment in this way, picking up on little details [here we see the sharp, inquisitive eye of a true writer] and giving to them a resonance for which they are truly undeserving. But it is so appreciated, as is the amount of your time [time which we know to be precious] which you have so readily given to read this post. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

      Montevideo is a fascinating city, lining as it does a long stretch of the River Plate. The Old Town in which we stayed we thought to be lovely and, although somewhat run down, it appealed to us enormously. We were of course most fortunate to have Rafaelito [we simply love your story of Rafaelita] to guide us and his sense of adventure took us into places which we should never have seen on our own. As a point of interest, when it was built the Palacio Salvo was the tallest building in the world constructed of reinforced concrete. It was designed to have a lantern at the top which would shine across the water as a beacon to Buenos Aires. Unfortunately no-one allowed for the curvature of the earth!!

      Oh, Suze, the people - simply wonderful. As was it all and we have already purchased aeroplane tickets to return at the end of the year.

      That we shall one day meet is a certainty. Believe us. Love, love, love as always, J&L, xxx

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  3. It all looks like a heavenly voyage of discovery! I've never been to South America and know next to nothing about Uruguay, but in the past few years the idea of discovering more about the richness of its beauty and history has interested me more and more. How wonderful you were able to have this glorious experience...

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    1. For us it was our first time outside of Europe and we loved every minute and, surprisingly, contrary to what we had thought, were quite happy with the lengthy time spent in aeroplanes. It was, as you say, an experience which we fully intend to repeat.

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  4. OH, my. Whirlwind and house-crash and Dorothy's Door, with purse-snatchings and guard-floutings and cavorting---This is taking on the edgy excitement of a Saturday Serial between Woody Woodpecker and the Roy Rogers main feature. Cliff-hangers, indeed. You're luring with a bated-breath and can't-wait enticement, and well, that's just the fun when the H Factor is involved.

    I so thank you for the dear words just now---I've been so remiss that my poor dear readers have given slap up and RUNN OFT, and I do not blame them. Do know my appreciation.

    r

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    1. And it was enormous fun, Rachel, with so many different things, many of which were totally outside of our previous experience. We were, of course, so fortunate to have Rafaelito with us although occasionally in his daring we felt that we had met our match.

      Your latest post at Lawn Tea is an absolute delight and those who have 'run off' are missing out on something truly wonderful. They are advised to scamper back, pronto!!

      We do hope that you negotiated the minefield of the blogger comment system with its imperious 'LOAD MORE' to catch up on our reply!!

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  5. Reading your post - so vibrant and full of life - made me feel like Alice in Wonderland as she tumbled into her fascinating adventure. Loved the post!

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    1. This is a wonderful analogy, Jackie and Joel, for the whole experience of another and very different continent did have a sense of 'Wonderland' about it.

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  6. So much to mull over and all I can think to say is, "I NEED that car!"

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    1. The car, Mitch, is indeed splendid. And there it was just parked at the roadside and so, rather naughtily, we got in it!

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  7. What an amazing trip Jane and Lance. Montevideo has never been on my travel radar but reading this post has definitely piqued my interest in visiting one day. In some ways it reminds me of Cuba?
    Di
    XX

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    1. If at all possible, then you should go, Di. Often we said how like Cuba, to which we have never actually been, we thought it to be.

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  8. Hello Jane and Lance(and Rafael too, for that matter), I like the spirit of exuberance with which you invest this tour of Montevideo, transcending some more mundane travelogue of standard tourists sites. The proper spirit shows in the way you brush off denied admissions and purse-snatchings, immediately proceeding to some amusing adventure. By the way, who took all the pictures, since you three are in most of them?
    --Jim

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    1. Thank you so much, Jim. Like so many others we really do try not to be simply tourists who descend and depart from any given destination within a matter of hours. Likewise we have no interest in ticking countries off of a wish list. It is always so much more rewarding to spend time to try to discover what lies beneath the surface. In Montevideo we were greatly assisted in this by Rafaelito as he was on home ground.

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  9. I do hope you buy Rafael a decent par of shoes before you have to drop the 'ito' suffix, and he grows out of the trainers. I tried Mate for about a year, but I was never so committed as to buy the whole outfit, unlike Che. I tried Coca Cola too, but now only use it for extreme hangovers, in conjunction with a good fry-up. Looks like a good trip you had.

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    1. For reasons which are not even clear now, we did not get around to trying the Mate although, as you most likely know, it is drunk by almost everyone at all times and in all places. Coca-Cola we never touch.

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  10. Why did I not put my foot down and insist on Uruguay!
    Your post showed all the reasons why I wanted to move there...
    Still...who knows? There may yet be time!

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    1. Helen, we think that you would love Montevideo in particular as well as Uruguay as a whole. We are so taken with the whole idea of South America and cannot wait to return at the end of the year. At least you are there and have a head's start on us!!

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  11. No trip of yours is complete without a little opera and tango too this time - great stuff.

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    1. The tango night was totally extraordinary and was, in fact, a private party in a private house. We had only met the people who invited us by chance some hours before.

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  12. Looks like a great holliday......fun !!...love from me...x !

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    1. We enjoyed every minute hugely, thank you, and are now looking forward to our return!!

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  13. What a fascinating place and what wonderful adventures you must have had. The city seems to belong to a different era and it makes me want to walk around its streets capturing its vintage charm with my camera.

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    1. There is something quite old fashioned, or so we thought, about Montevideo. The Old Town, where we stayed, although rather run down is full of charm and is the part of the City which we liked most.

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  14. But, darlings, when are you going to come to see us in New York?

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    1. Darling, we are so, so tempted. And now we no longer mind about the flying, everything becomes possible. We might yet be ringing the bell at Darlington House!!

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    2. The Hattat Suite (as it shall be renamed immediately) at Darlington House eagerly awaits your arrival!!

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    3. Such a tease, and we love you for it!! And one never knows....!!

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  15. how fabulous am so envious.....we brought her mate back from Argentina to carry on drinking it....it did not travel well!!

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    1. We can well imagine that your Mate did not travel that well!! Isn't it strange how almost everyone is drinking it all of the time? WE had never even heard of it before we went.

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  16. And what did you do the second day?

    You all look marvelous as you walked around town taking in the flavor of the city. Oh, how I love that car in the last picture.

    And the adventure continues.....

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    1. So much to see, so much yet to be seen!! Hence tickets are already purchased for a return trip at the end of the year, this time staying over into next!

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  17. I must confess I don't know a thing about Uruguay, but after seeing your post it looks like a very compelling place to visit. And, to go to the opera while there ~ how fun.

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    1. Previously Uruguay was completely unknown to us beyond the Battle of the River Plate at the start of the Second World War. In the event we found it totally intriguing. If ever you have the chance, Adrienne, do go.

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  18. Looking at your pictures was like stepping into another world - so different from anything I have come across before - and that old car in the last picture - what a delight, and that goes for Jane's little stripey shoes as well.

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    1. Certainly, Elaine, we found South America, or perhaps we should say Uruguay, very different from Europe and as it was the first time we had travelled so far it was all very exciting. Now, the motor car was such fun, just parked there in the street.

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  19. It is a cold day here -7 C to be exact, by the time I finished reading your post the cold was gone and I was in a tropical paradise. Thanks for warming up my day...
    Oh! I so much envy you :) (Just kidding, I am not in envy business). Now we know why there were no posts all these months, so glad you were enjoying the life to the fullest in some of the exotic parts of the planet.
    Best wishes.

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    1. We are so pleased that you have been warmed, albeit indirectly, by the suns of South America particularly as it is so bitterly cold with you at present.

      As you may imagine, we loved Montevideo and Uruguay which was/is so very different from anywhere we have previously been. We look forward to our return.

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  20. There are so many art deco buildings in South American countries, preserved I suppose by a lack of developers wanting to destroy older buildings. As with some country towns in Australia, they have been well preserved by a lack of 'progress'.

    Although it seems a brave choice of a holiday destination, Uruguay seems quite fascinating.

    Tango party, oh my.

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    1. We are of the same opinion as you, Andrew, that one of the reasons why so many old buildings remain, particularly in the Old Town of Montevideo, is that there is not the money to redevelop. However, many are very sadly in a poor state of repair.

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  21. WOW, those are some incredible pictures and you sound like you had the best time ever... the people sound lovely and they look so happy... good weather can do that. There are some really grand and beautiful architecture there... Amazing... have a lovely rest of the week :)

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    1. It was, Launna, immense fun and we found all of the people with whom we came into contact so very warm and friendly. We were too so fortunate to have timed our visit for the summer and the glorious weather made all the difference.

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    2. I wanted to thank you for your lovely comment that you left on my blog... I wanted to actually take the time to thank people for their comments because I know that it meant someone took the effort to read and understand. It is great to have you guys back, you always write the best comments :)

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    3. Absolutely no need, Launna, for thanks but how really sweet of you to take the time and trouble. It is always a pleasure to read your very thought provoking posts.

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    4. Thank you again for the wonderful and heartfelt comment, I love each of them :)

      I look forward to your next post, I know life is busy, have a great rest of the week :)

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    5. Really, Launna, you have no need to thank us at all; we are interested in what you write and how your life is developing.

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  22. H has much more experience of S. America than I do, having visited most of the countries - I have only been to Brazil. He visited Montevideo during rule by a military junta, and was conscious of the political instability which made life very difficult for the ordinary people. He also has many memories of the kindness with which he was treated.
    My impression of the people is similar to yours. Because of their multi ethnic backgrounds they are often attractive, vibrant, relaxed people, who definitely know how to enjoy themselves especially when music is around.
    A handbag snatch surprisingly I did not experience, but hands thrust down H trousers from behind happened on two occasions - made he feel violated.
    It is obvious from your photos that the three of you had a great time.

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    1. How interesting, Rosemary, that H was in Uruguay during the rule of the military junta. In the main we found the country to be very relaxed in stark contrast, in our experience, to the culture of Northern Europe. This, of course, added to the interest and fascination and, as you say here, we also found the people to be enormously warm hearted and we too received much in the way of kindness.

      The stealing of the handbag in broad daylight, wrenched from the shoulder, was something of a shock. Very fortunately it contained little in the way of value, money, credit cards and passports not with us on that occasion [nor subsequently] and so the loss was not so great.

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  23. Jane and Lance, it's grand to see this Montevideo installment so quickly after the excitement of your return to blogging.

    No one wears hats with the same aplomb as you all. But do not for a moment think that I think that you all are just attuned to style. Not at all. I think that you've got a great grasp on life's opportunities and challenges, and encourage the rest of us to recognize the joys that you find.

    Mate. As a child in Virginia, we had a beautifully carved, and silver enclosed, mate gourd, and a matching silver straw, that were given pride of place in a china cabinet. These treasures were brought back from South America by my great auntie from one of her visits to her sister who lived in Buenos Aires. Auntie Mae's stories and our subscription to the National Geographic fed my own wanderlust.

    Yet...I have never been to South America, and none of my relatives still live there. Thank you so much for triggering these sweet memories from way back in the last century.

    xo

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    1. Frances, we are more than a little touched by your comment which is both exceptionally kind and very generous. And it is true, that we are much more concerned with living and experiencing life, as we are certain that you are too, than with what may be described as its fripperies.

      Your Mate story is absolutely fascinating. For unknown reasons we did not actually try it but the drinking of it is widespread in a way for which we were totally unprepared. Even the immigration officers at the airport had it at their desks whilst on duty. So different, and such fun!

      If ever you have the opportunity, then do go to South America for it is a land, and we have only scraped the surface, rich in history and tradition. We were, of course, fortunate to be accompanied by Rafaelito who is a native of Montevideo.

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  24. Only you two could disappear for a year...and then have so many followers return!

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    1. We have been very touched by the support and loyalty which we have had from our Followers. We very much think of them as friends.

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  25. A tour of Uruguay with a Mad Boy leading your astray--surely this will be a movie! You have so many wonderful characters and scenes. I love how untouristy it looks, yet filled with history and culture and friendly people.

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    1. Having the Mad Boy with us certainly added to the interest and joy, Jen, and he was very daring at certain points leading us on where we should never have gone alone!

      In the main we found it largely free of tourists, or certainly those from Europe.

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  26. My parents adventures of this area were as colourful as those you pen. I recall a tale of kidney stones, frenzied ambulance journeys, foreign and uncouth doctors, romantic tour guides and dogs slaughtered for dinner!! I then placed this destination at the bottom of my "to-do-list" ... but your memoirs may sway me yet! ♥♥♥♥

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    1. How absolutely splendid that your parents too had adventures in South America although what you hint at here does sound somewhat alarming. Happily we did not require any medical services and if we ate dogs, then it was unknown to us!!

      Do reconsider. Uruguay is a most interesting and fascinating country; we are all set to return.

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  27. Ah, the mate. I tried (twice) and though it was not my choice drink, the ritual and socializing associated with the beverage is not unlike tea or coffee. I do have a mate with the requisite silver straw sitting on a shelf of collectables, a reminder of a memorable trip.

    It looks and sounds as if you three had a delightful trip and fully enjoyed your company. Rafael was the perfect friend and guide for your eclectic trip. Tango, opera, local color, clamoring over rocks on the beach, and an opportunity to step beyond the role of tourist - perfect!

    I am anxiously waiting for more of this adventure. Oh, you two looked quite stylish as well with a Panama hat for Lance and those black/white shoes for Jane. I love shoes.

    The staircase at the museum looks amazingly like one of the staircases at the Louvre, Escalier Mollien. Certainly, they were both of the same era.

    You will have to tell us about the music you enjoyed as well.

    Again, so glad that you have returned...

    Bises,
    Genie

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    1. You are so much braver than we are, Genie, as although offered more than once we passed on the Mate. As you say, it is something of a ritual and although Rafaelito had told us about it we had no idea how widespread it would be and that everywhere, at all times of the day and night, we should come across people drinking it.

      Rafaelito has an enormous sense of fun and a great spirit of adventure which added hugely to the whole experience although, as we constantly say to him, "There is always one who will go too far!".

      Hopefully our next post, not for a week or so, will be based on Colonia del Sacremento, a delightful old town situated along the River Plate which we visited on one of the days.

      Thank you so much for your email, Genie, which we were so thrilled to receive and for the accompanying picture. We shall of course look forward to answering at the first possible opportunity.

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  28. Exciting to read of your adventures in Uruguay, which are so beautifully conveyed for our enjoyment. The closest I have been to South America is that my brother has travelled to Buenos Aires! The Palacia Salvo is stunning, so evocative of colonial days and old-time glamour. The culture is obviously quite fascinating, and of course, you went to the opera the decorative arts museum, which would be a delight. And, Jane, I just love those cute shoes...

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    1. We are so pleased that you have enjoyed reading of The Great South American Adventure, Patricia, which was enormous fun and so very different from anywhere we have previously visited.

      It had been in our minds to visit Buenos Aires, about three hours away by ferry boat since we have a friend there. Unfortunately we simply ran out of time - too much to do and happening in Montevideo - but we shall hope to go there on our next planned visit to Uruguay later this year.

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  29. Two things stuck out for me most of all in this post: the picture of the staircase, and the fact that there are yellow bows on your shoes, Jane! I know, this is just typical for shallow me, but I can't help it.
    Not sure I'd like to live in Montevideo (probably not), but it certainly looks a place well worth visiting.

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    1. Rather than it being in any way 'shallow', Meike, these observations simply serve to point out a mind attracted to detail. And how good is that!!

      It is strange what you say about living in Montevideo as, since our return, we have rather toyed with the idea of having a tiny apartment there in which to spend the summer [December, January and February] months. We shall have to see, No more than an idea at present but we really loved the City, particularly the Old Town.

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  30. Your photos are just beautiful. What stunning Architecture, of all periods. Sorry to hear about the handbag snatching - that's always such a distressing thing to happen when travelling. Thank you for dropping by my blog, and now that I've discovered yours I can see there will be lots of gorgeous visuals to keep me coming back!

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    1. Thank you so much, Heidi. The pictures are taken with a very simple, very ordinary camera and one which, happily, is clearly not worth stealing!! The handbag snatching was something of a shock but one does have to be fairly philosophical about such things, pick oneself up and carry on.

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  31. Thank you for your visit to Cornwall. I shall be reading your travelling adventures with great interest.

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    1. It is always such fun to be 'connected' with different parts of the world, even if it is more often than not virtually. Thank you so much for your visit - we shall look forward to welcoming you again.

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  32. I see images of a beautiful country, rich with history, proud people, intriguing places and artistic adventure. I hear music playing and watch dancers swaying in my imagination of the vibe that must fill the air of this amazing land.

    Thanks for sharing! Have a wonderful weekend!

    Poppy

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    1. You are so right in all that you say here, Poppy. Uruguay really is the most interesting and intriguing country and the people truly wonderful.

      And we send our warmest wishes to you for a peaceful and relaxing weekend.

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  33. Dearest Jane & Lance

    Where is Giacoma Puccini or a present day composer who is similar?.
    I am playing O mio babbino caro http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zu5TkdcZA-M
    as I follow your footsteps through Uruguay's capital. Your trip reads like an opera, filled with happiness except for some minor tragedies.
    As the curtain closes on Act 1, I am listening to "Musetta's Waltz"
    Waited with bated breath for .... Act Two

    A truly marvelous post

    Helenxx

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    1. Oh, dearest Helen, how lovely is this. And how we love all opera and will, shortly, be listening too. Thank you so much for giving us the link.

      You cannot possibly know the extent to which you, with all of your kindness and generosity, enrich our lives and for this we thank you so, so much.

      You are always much in our thoughts and particularly now with the exhibition. We do so hope that it is proving to be a huge success.

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    1. It was absolutely wonderful, thank you, and one we fully intend to repeat.

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  35. What a fascinating place. I don't know much about Uruguay at all but it all looks so interesting. I'm sorry to hear about the handbag being snatched, not a very nice experience at all.

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    1. Before we decided to go we also knew very little about Uruguay and so everything was very new to us which, of course, made it all the more exciting. Yes, the stealing of the handbag was very unpleasant but something which just had to be put aside so as not to spoil everything.

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  36. So very sorry about the purse snatching - thank goodness your precious passports etc. were safe in another place! My husband was robbed of all his papers in Santiago, Chile many years ago - it was an ordeal getting them replaced in order to continue his journey…………which then became returning home because he was so upset by the entire thing and gave up - something he's always regretted because he missed seeing so many places. Traveling always has its dangers and one has to have his/her wits about them at all times.
    I loved the pics from Montevideo - I've not visited there. Was in Buenos Aires, AR last year on the way to Antarctica and loved it - the vibrancy of the city, the architecture, the music and tango dancers in the streets - similar perhaps to what you embraced in Montevideo.
    You both looked very comfortable in your stylish clothes - but Jane, rock climbing in those pretty shoes? You'd better put hiking boots on your shopping list for next time, LOL!
    Great stories - looking forward to many more.
    Fondly Mary.

    P.S. As always, thanks so much for those lovely comments on my blog.

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    1. It was, as you may imagine, a somewhat unpleasant experience but one which we got over as quickly as possible. How dreadful, Mary, for your husband and we can so easily see how such a thing would have affected him, as it would have us, with the one thought just to get home. Totally understandable.

      We had rather thought have met up with a friend in Buenos Aires but somehow the time went all too quickly and so we missed what, as you put it, the vibrancy of that city. However, we plan to be there on our next trip to South America at the end of this year.

      It is always a huge pleasure for us to read your posts; we much look forward to them.

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  37. Dear Jane and Lance,

    It is a real treat to see your photos of Montevideo, and it seems as though you had the perfect host. There's nothing better than a tour with someone who knows the terrain intimately. Was that great old jalopy actually Rafael's car?

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    1. It did indeed make all the difference having Rafaelito with us , Mark, and he did become the entrée into a number of rather unusual places, not least the night of the tango party.

      The motor car just happened to be parked in the street. And so in we got!!!

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  38. What an unbelievable journey, for those with a sturdy heart. Growing up in England, my father used to pack us all into the car on our annual summer hols., without much planning, at least by today's standards, and whisk us across Europe with not a care in the world as to itinerary and lodging. We'd end up in the most incredible places, staying wherever there was a room, eating whatever was on offer by the locals, and being guided by their recommendations as to what to see and where to go next. Those are the types of journeys that will stay with you forever, as this trip will with you.

    Thank you for sharing your terrific photos with us and inspiring me once again to reawaken the spirit of my father and pack my family in the car and head for places strange and far.

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    1. How splendid all of this sounds. We love this idea of heading across the Channel with very little thought as to where one might end up. That surely is, or at least was, the way to travel and whilst we have never done exactly that, we have always journeyed totally independently and never booked through a travel agent nor gone on what is described as a 'package' holiday.

      Thank you for taking the time and trouble to write a comment - it is very much appreciated - and we really hope that you will do, just as you say, and head off at the first possible opportunity.

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    2. And now we notice that you are our latest follower. Thank you so much and we hope that you will continue to enjoy what we write

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    3. Oh, Chronica Domus! Your adventures sound like wonderful times!!

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  39. Dearest Jane and Lance...what a thrilling, glorious experience, a true adventure...(I, too, am so sorry about the purse snatching!). South America is very exotic to me, as I am more familiar with travels in Europe, so thank you both very much for sharing this delicious treat....Your photos are gorgeous (you both are tres chic, as always!)....and the warmth of the people shines through! Lovely architecture here, but I am sorry to see there are buildings in disrepair...certainly this is not unique to Uruguay. Your dear (and handsome) Mad Boy, Rafael, enriched the experience, to be sure....and it sounds like the arts are thriving in Montevideo....I hope so, at least. Just the mention of the word "tango"....that is THE dance I dream of learning....
    Love your photo of the seaside...joy! I am now off to learn more about this beautiful country...thank you!

    And I thank you so very much for your visit and recommendation to look into the art of Francoise Gilot. I am an admirer of her daughter's jewelry creations! Many times a woman's art is overshadowed when she is partnered with a prominent male artist, but I am relieved to know she has been exhibiting all of these years, and that she is stil creating! I will research..I love to explore the works and process of female artists...
    Thank you again, and I'm sending you sunshine for the weekend! :)
    (We are seeing sun, but minus 40 windchill...yikes! Your post warmed me up as well!)
    xoxo,
    - Irina

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    1. Dearest Irina,

      It was, as you so rightly say here, a 'thrilling, glorious experience' and we feel ourselves so very fortunate to have had the opportunity both to travel to South America and, once there in Montevideo, to have been able to see so much and to have met with so many kind and generous people.

      Rafael, or Rafaelito as he likes to be called, proved to be an excellent companion and great fun. And now we are back we see him for much of the time and enjoy enormously his playing of our piano. He is indeed the most talented of musicians and has a great love of classical music.

      Francoise Gilot really is an artist who we greatly admire; only last week at the gallery which represents her work here in Budapest were we looking at a number of her paintings and lithographs. Superb. But we have not known about her daughter's creations - something we must look into!!

      Take care of yourself and have a really relaxing and peaceful weekend. xxx

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    2. Music in the home...it brings such joy to the soul!!!
      Would there be a little youtube video of Rafaelito at the piano perhaps? ;)

      Yes, I've looked into F.G.'s work...really fantastic...thank you again! And her talented daughter is the one and only Paloma Picasso! :) Her designs are beautifully modern and strong...very creative. She used to design jewelry for Yves Saint Laurent, and now Tiffany....you can find her on Tiffany.com....

      Thank you for the lovely wishes, dear ones!
      xoxoxoxo

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    3. Yes, Irina, if you Google Rafael González Paz there is a short piece, about 4 minutes, of his playing a part of the Brahms' Handel Variations in our Morning Room!

      Now we must get more fully acquainted with Paloma Picasso's work. Isn't this all such fun!!

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    4. Oh so fun!
      And thank you for so generously sharing your intimate concert...pure artistic beauty! :) I loved seeing all of you...how exciting...and all three audience members appear to be in an utter state of bliss (esp. Lance! :).....Rafael is wonderful! (terrific camera work too)...thank you so much! What a delicious treat...
      Love to you,
      - Irina

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    5. Oh, Irina, how really sweet of you to bother to look and listen. Rafaelito will be thrilled when he sees this. Thank you so much. xxx

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  40. Welcome back, so pleased to catch up with you both and to read that you have been travelling. My life has changed dramatically in the last year, but I am still blogging although I did take a break for awhile. I thoroughly enjoyed your trip, somewhere I would love to visit for myself.

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    1. We have dashed over quickly to your blog and now see that you are based in Wales. This is indeed a dramatic change and we do so hope that it was for the best of reasons. For many years we lived in Herefordshire on the border with Wales so much of the country is well known to us. The Welsh countryside we feel to be outstandingly beautiful.

      Thank you for your warm welcome back. We are pleased to be catching up with friends old and new in the Blogosphere. And yes, with your spirit of adventure, Uruguay could be definitely for you!

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  41. So glad that you are back, I missed you, but for all that I have been very slack with blogs as time seems to run away. Love your photos and that old car is amazing. Keep well Diane

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    1. We have been overwhelmed by the welcome back, Diane, and it feels very good indeed to be back into the fold of our blogging chums.One thing is for certain, we are not short of material about which to write.

      There were several fascinating old cars lining the streets in Colonia del Sacramento and, of course, Rafaelito just had to leap inside one. The car was never going anywhere, though!

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  42. Now wasn't that wonderful trip worth overcoming the fear of flying? To my shame I know very little about South America, but your super photos and description have certainly whetted my appetite. And I love the fact that even in a short trip you gravitate to books and music and stunning architecture and charming people. :-) The handbag snatch is just a reminder that nowhere is immune from human frailty.

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    1. Yes indeed. It was worth every anxious moment although we have to say that, once on the aeroplane, we really did not mind the flight at all. There seemed to be plenty to amuse us by way of music and film and we were well provided for with drink by some exceedingly friendly crew members!

      We always seem to gravitate to bookshops and churches wherever we are. They are always such sources of fascination and interest.And, we have to say that the people of Uruguay were amongst the friendliest we have ever met. Not so the handbag snatcher though!!

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  43. Hi Jane, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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    1. Thank you so much. We are delighted to welcome you as a Follower and are so pleased that you have enjoyed reading our posts.

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  44. Hi Lance and Jane - wow, what a glamorous life you have! I wish I had been on that trip with you both, but I am firmly grounded here in the middle of cosy Kent doing the school run and clearing up after muddy dogs. Looking forward to your further adventures. Gal @ http://asaucystitch.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. We can, Gal, think of far, far worse things than being grounded in the middle of Kent, a county which we know quite well and which appeals to us greatly. How kind of you to have come and to have left a comment; we shall very much hope to welcome you here again.

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  45. It looks like Uruguay does indeed 'work', Jane and Lance! You entered a country charmingly downbeat and original. Such intrepid travelers you are to disport yourselves where no platitude, no same old same old ever goes!

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    1. It certainly 'works' for us, Faisal, but then, as you may readily imagine, we like 'off beat' places and warm to people who are individual and unusual. Uruguay and the Mad Boy fulfil both such needs!!

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  46. Fascinating - funnily enough the topic of Uruguay cropped up when we were in Lisbon earlier this month - was it once a Spanish or a Portuguese colony? it seems it was a mix of the two...

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    1. Although we cannot answer your question, Stephanie, with any great degree of certainty, we can confirm a huge Spanish influence in Uruguay. Surprisingly in the early C19 the country was under British rule for a brief period.

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  47. So... you do know that all year I have had a map on the wall with red push pins charting your progress as you've poked around the world! ;)

    Ah! Dear Jane and Lance!! It's like the old days! Both you and I have posted and it was magic to see your comment on my blog! =)

    But what to say.... Uruguay??? I never ever would have even thought to have dreamed of visiting there. How did this happen? It was a long time dream, you say? Was it for the sites that you show us? (They seem to just be part of the adventure that you were caught up in) or was there something else that drew you there? (Besides the sun, I mean...) My dream adventure would be to the UK and, perhaps, Paris (Oh, and.... I want to visit Israel with Tom, someday) but I'll bet those are so old hat to you.

    The bookshop owner and nurse look like the most pleasant people! I'm still smiling back into the pictures at them.

    and, as I'm sitting here thinking about it, I'm realizing that my dream 'adventure' would be to live as a hermit in a cottage by the sea (warm or frigid sea - it doesn't matter! ;) ) for months. When did that dream sneakily take hold, I wonder? The point is, I admire and marvel at your openness and sense of adventure - I really, truly do!!

    So I do send love to the amazing two of you!! and smiles... =)

    xxooxxoo

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    1. So like the old days, dearest Katy, but as we all three know, not quite!!!

      Uruguay, the obvious holiday destination? Well, perhaps not but Montevideo is the home of the Mad Boy, Rafaelito, and one September evening we just took up his wild suggestion that we should all go for the Christmas period. And so go we went.

      It is the most interesting of countries and we found it both full of the unexpected and endlessly fascinating and, even more strangely, did not mind the long flight [with three changes of aeroplane] one little bit. And the people were wonderful.

      Paris of course we know, but Israel is a land yet to be explored. Perhaps we should all meet there one day?!! As for a dream cottage by the sea, do we not all go there from time to time?

      You, dearest Katy, have been experiencing such a winter and so much snow. We trust that you are surviving the cold, that all is well with you and your family, and that soon there will be the first signs of spring to lift your spirits.

      For now we send as always our best possible love. xxx

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  48. Such adventures! Including blue rabbits at first glance, though I see they are actually of normal rabbity hue now I've looked more closely.

    I find handbags aren't safe anywhere ... mine was removed from me (with menaces) in the Sacré-Coeur. I do hope you weren't too inconvenienced by the loss.

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    1. Yes, Annie, the rabbits were a little bit of a surprise as was the rest of the livestock. We were not over happy about this aspect of the market AND it was terribly hot.

      How awful that you too have had your handbag stolen; it leaves such an unpleasant feeling. Happily nothing of great value or importance went with it.

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  49. Hallo,
    here is Massimo, thanks for visiting the Italian view ! I am pleased you liked and to have you as follower, I will do the same with you.
    saluti dall'Italia

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    1. Welcome, Massimo, and we are delighted to have you as a Follower. We much look forward to seeing more of Italy through your 'Italian View'!!

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  50. Dearest Ones,
    What an absolutely fabulous time you must have had! Opera and rock climbing, only our beloved Hattatt’s would be so stylish, marvelous! I await greedily for more on your travels, but in the mean time I will have a refreshment. For some strange reason I am craving a coke. – gary

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    1. Now, darling Gary, to crave a 'coke' is so very........!! Along with the Mad Boy Rafaelito, who you would adore as we both do, we had the most splendid of times which actually included [and remember we do not 'do' water] taking off our shoes and paddling in the South Atlantic. Now how about that?!!

      We do trust that all is well at Fox Paw Lodge and that you are not suffering any extremes of weather. Take care. Jó hétvégét!

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  51. Jane and Lance, in my wildest dreams I could never have imagined you in South America, let alone, Uruguay - a country I admit, I'd never once thought about in any significant way. But now that's changed, thanks to the roaming Hattats and their enthusiasm for traveling to out of the way places and delighting in their discoveries. (I checked a South American map just to see exactly where Uruguay was located.)

    I'm sorry you had your purse snatched, but I think that could really happen anywhere in a crowd.

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    1. A really fascinating country, Yvette, and one about which we too knew very little before we embarked on what was for us a major adventure. Never having been outside of Europe before it was most interesting to experience a very different culture and way of life to any we had previously come across.

      As you say, the incident of the snatched handbag could have happened anywhere.

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    2. When will you be coming to North America? Just asking. No pressure. But I would delight in knowing what the Hattats had to say about us here in the States. :)

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    3. The United States is, of course, very high on our list of places to visit, Yvette. But with such a vast country, where should we start? So many parts we should like to see but to do everything would require months.

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  52. That was a fascinating post, as I've never been to South America. I loved the city shots and was surprised by the strong presence of Coca Cola ads. The night at the Opera must have been delightful!

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    1. This was our first trip outside Europe so, as you can imagine, we were absolutely fascinated by everything. Coca Cola was a very strong presence and seemed to be the drink of choice (other than Mate) of virtually every Uruguayan we met. But the vintage advertisements which were everywhere looked wonderful.

      The night at the Opera was fun. The building, Teatro Solis, has just been renovated and looks wonderful. The opera itself was less so!

      Thank you for your comment and we shall look forward to many happy returns we hope.

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  53. Good Evening Jane and Lance, It is lovely to make your acquaintance and thank you so much for taking the time to visit me and leaving such a lovely comment.
    I was intrigued and popped straight over to visit you and what a fascinating visit it has been. I thoroughly enjoyed the first photograph as the blue sky with the wispy white clouds were so pleasing to see, after many days of dull grey skies.
    I have never visited Montevideo, but I was struck with it's likeness to Cuba.
    On a fashion note, can I say Jane, I adore your black and white striped shoes with the wonderful yellow bows..... very striking.
    Best Wishes to you both.
    Daphne

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    1. Well, we have never been to Cuba, Daphne, indeed this was our first foray into South America, but we can well imagine the likenesses which must exist between the two countries. It all has a wonderfully laid back feel to it and the architecture is so very interesting. Sadly, however, much of it is in need of renovation.

      So pleased that you like the shoes which were bought in Brighton and are so very comfortable. They travel everywhere!

      We loved our visit to your blog and hope that we shall have a happy dialogue in the future. Who knows, Daphne, you may even entice us into the kitchen!!!!

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  54. My dearest Jane and Lance,

    I'm absolutely delighted to see such beautiful pictures and read your delicious post. Uruguay, under the clear sky and dazzling sunlight, looks devastatingly beautiful. And the smile of the young gentleman at the bookshop steals my heart away because his smile is such a genuine, contented smile. Doesn't his pose somehow remind you of Rodin's sculpture titled "The Thinker"? And a group of nurses in white uniform standing outside like a group of angels in Piero della Francesca's painting.

    How I love the picture of you three in front of Garibaldi' s house and buying tickets for the opera - you travel to most unusual places in pursuit of culture and you do this in such brilliance, wit and style. Oh my dears, I can't wait to read more of your cultural outings. Have a lovely weekend.

    Best wishes, ASD

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    1. Dearest ASD,

      Uruguay was, and is, one of the most wonderful experiences of our lifetimes, not least for it allowed us a glimpse into a culture and a way of life so very different from our own and so dissimilar from anything we have come to know in Europe. We love the way here you have made comparisons with the world of art - such fun.

      We, or Rafaelito, rather had to bribe our ways into the Garibaldi house as it was shut for the annual summer holiday. Previously we had not known of Garibaldi's connection with Montevideo.

      A post on our day out in Colonia del Sacremento is planned and then, well, enough is enough on this particular topic.

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  55. Such an adventure, Jane and Lance!! You jetsetters! Love the grand old architecture - I don't mind the patina and faded charm. And the people seem so warm. Thanks for sharing.
    Cheers,
    Loi

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    1. A huge adventure for us, Loi, but one which we fully intend to repeat as we so loved Montevideo in particular and Uruguay in general. And the people were/are lovely.

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  56. Oh what wonderful photos, and what delightful glimpses of a city I know very little about. It has that faded grandeur thing which I love. Shame about your Christmas dinner, but I rather think there was plenty of delisciousness to make up for it! Good to see you both enjoying your South American adventure, and doing a bit of larking about! xxx

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    1. Perhaps it was the, as you so accurately put it, 'faded grandeur' of Montevideo, particularly in the Old Town, which appealed to us most of all. For the absence of a Christmas Dinner, Rafaelito has to carry full responsibility!! He is reminded of this failure daily!!

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  57. Goodness! Aren't you glad you conquered your fear and made the great flight? It looks to be a lovely visit, Jane, and you and Lance seem to be having a whale of a good time. How was the opera? I bet wonderful! I noticed the shoes as well and glad to hear they're comfortable as well as pretty. sigh. I seem to always notice shoes -lol-.

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    1. Oh, Sandra, what a difference it will make to our lives believing that, if we so wished, we could now visit any corner of the globe. We doubt that we shall do that, but the thought is there.

      The opera, 'IL Duce', based on the life of Mussolini was, shall we say, interesting. The Teatro Solís, the opera house, was most attractive.

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  58. Spotting your re-appearance on Curtise's blog this evening has been akin to discovering the first yellow crocus peeping from the mulch: your blog brings much desired color and visual variety into one's daily ration of news!

    My father's travels as a Merchant Marine took him to several of the South American sites you mention, and he, too, was fascinated by the elaborate architecture and cuisine that had grown from Old World roots in New World soil. "Lemons...they use lemons like we use onions!"

    (Curtise is spot on target in proclaiming this a day for yellow.)

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    1. We are delighted to welcome you here from Curtise's blog, which we too much enjoy, and thank you for your generous comment.

      How fascinating that your father visited South America on his travels and we love his remark about lemons. So very, very true.

      We shall very much hope to see you here again.

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  59. Every now and again you come across a blog that makes you sit up with a "Wow, that's a bit different" - that's wow as in wonderful, not wow as in wowsers... if you follow my Aussie slang. I shall look forward to joining you again on your travels - hats off to you for such a great blog, and nice hats as well!
    Wren x

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    1. This is so very kind and generous of you and we are so pleased that you have enjoyed this post.

      Through your comment we have found your most varied blog and have joined as Followers. In the meantime, we shall hope to welcome you here again.

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  60. What exciting times you have been having Jane and Lance ……. I am desperate to get into that house in Montevideo ….. it must be glorious inside and ripe for photographs of the remains of what was once a beautiful interior.
    Isn't it wonderful to visit countries that are so different to ours and so interesting. The people look so happy and friendly too.
    It's lovely to have you back again, so that we can enjoy your travels along with you. XXXX

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    1. Oh, Jackie, we are so alike!! Indeed, we are fantasising [and just sometimes talking a little too seriously] of owning a little house or apartment somewhere in the Old Town of Montevideo with a small balcony from which we should catch glimpses of the sea.

      We simply loved our first trip outside of Europe and, taken as we are, have now booked tickets to return at the end of the year. In this way does madness lie??

      Thank you so much, dearest Jackie, for your continued enthusiastic support; it is much appreciated. xxx

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  61. Dearest Jane & Lance,

    My home town will fade, compared to Montevideo. You visited so many interesting places. Furthermore, we can't offer you the opera, nor warm temperatures. You will have to do with rain, old warehouses, canals and gardens instead!

    Looks like you had a great time. Such a shame about the anchor......

    Have a great weekend! Much love,

    Madelief xox

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    1. Dearest Madelief,

      Now how can you say such a thing??!! We are so excited to see Rotterdam [we do not know The Netherlands at all] and even more so to see you. Canals, old warehouses, the old liner and your garden are all a MUST. And if it rains, so what, we are British!!

      It was a pity we could not get into the port area in Montevideo. Another time.

      Jó hétvégét! xxx

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  62. Oh my you've captured the essence of this place. Lovely album.
    V

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    1. We are so pleased that you have enjoyed the post, Virginia. A truly fascinating city.

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  63. We were in Uruguay a few years ago, in Punta Del Este primarily. Beautiful country and I agree, lovely warm people. I didn't have the nerve to try the chivito though.

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    1. How intriguing. We understand Punta del Este to be a very fashionable resort but on this occasion, although we had planned to visit, we ran out of time. However we shall be in Uruguay again later this year so perhaps then.

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  64. No wonder you haven't had any time to blog…having been having far too fabulous a time tangoing in exotic lands…why ever not, I say? I wonder as to the fate of those rabbits…

    But on a happier side note, it's rather fabulous to have you back in the virtual world as well, of course, as the real world.

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    1. We cannot in all fairness say that we had absolutely no time over the past year for the blog, but events in real life did always seem to be somewhat in the way. However, we really are delighted to be back and thank you for the welcome.

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  65. Oh, to tour such a place with a madboy guide!

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    1. Rafaelito did make for an excellent guide and we had many fun adventures with him.

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  66. Fabulous place and photos. Love the old Coca Cola signs and the old suitcases above the book shelves :)

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    1. We too thought the Coca-Cola signs to be wonderful and so very retro. Whether or not that is the intention, we are left very uncertain.

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  67. I love art deco buildings and am always pleasantly surprised to find intact examples in places like Brasil. But what happens when the facade has been neglected for decades, as your photo shows? I would sort the exterior surface and repaint in deco colours, but not make major structural changes.

    Inside, I suppose, is more difficult to protect.

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    1. The whole of the Old Town in Montevideo is in desperate need of some overall, comprehensive plan of regeneration where conservation of the finer buildings is married with sympathetic redevelopment.

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  68. Greetings Jane and Lance,

    It be with great delight, I visit your site again and discover more fascinating locations. Montevideo and your photos, captures an ambience of warmth of the Uruguayan people. How nice to be there during their summer or indeed, any time of the year.

    Thank you and take care.

    Gary

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    1. To be in Uruguay during the summer there, Gary, made our visit even more special as we enjoyed the most lovely of days although at times it was almost too hot. We loved everything about the country and are planning to return at the end of this year.

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  69. Dear Jane and Lance,
    I was so glad to receive your kind and sweet comment on my blog and discover yours. Everything seems so interesting and beautiful here and it was really exciting to read about Montevideo and this beautiful place.
    Looking forward to see more posts from you...
    Olympia

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    1. Montevideo is the most exciting of cities, Olympia, and so interesting too, particularly the Old Town. What we also loved was that anywhere in the City is only minutes away from the sea and there is a wonderful walk alongside stretching for miles.

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  70. I have always wanted to go to Latin America. Any country there, really. Your post makes me want to go there even more.you "sell" it well and you clearly had a good time and got so much out of the trip there. Such an enjoyable post.

    Red

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    1. If ever you have the opportunity, do go to South America for we are certain that you would find it hugely interesting and fun. We plan to return at the end of the year when we also hope to visit Buenos Aires.

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  71. Oh the old cars in Colonia, aren't they wonderful ? Stepping back in time.
    I got an invitation to visit friends in Buenos Aires, I am wondering if the kitten can come along :)
    besitos, C

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    1. Everything about Colonia del Sacremento, including all those old cars, we simply loved, Candice. It will be strange for you returning to Buenos Aires, with or without your little kitten who just might prefer to stay at home in familiar surroundings.

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  72. Dear Jane and Lance,
    I do love an adventurous holiday but I think the theft of a handbag might a little too adventurous!
    I have never considered South America as a holiday destination since hearing that AGA's so many great grandfather disappeared in Peru! Having said that a dear friend of ours spent a year living in Buenos Aires and loved it and that has tempted us to reconsider our previously-held prejudices. Seeing your post whets our appetite somewhat, and now we are looking forward to seeing what happened next!
    Bye for now and it is nice to see you both back in the world of blog,
    Kirk
    x

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    1. The handbag theft was very disturbing, snatched in broad daylight with people around, but it could really have happened anywhere and we felt then, as we do now, it was just one of those things.

      Uruguay we loved, not least because it represents a culture so very different from that of Europe and so in that respect was very exciting for us. Certainly you should not 'write off' South America and we are told that Peru is truly wonderful.

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  73. What an intriguing question, "is this a country which works!"

    Charmed to meet you, and I'll be more worldly living vicariously through your posts. Please do come back to my humble place, I promise new content in the next 48 hours that will give good reason for why I went MIA.

    I used to drink mate every day and I don't remember why I stopped ... boo on the purse snatching but I love all the delights including the hugely interesting non-Harrods shopping, the cool little places in Old Town and that wonderful staircase in the musem.

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    1. Even more intriguing for us is that you were a regular drinker of Mate!!! Somehow we did not actually get around to trying it and now, encouraged by you, we shall make sure that we do on our next visit at the end of this year.

      Some of the shops were amazing, in an un Harrods kind of way which we simply love, and generally we thought the Old Town with all its shortcomings to be perfect.

      Thank you so much for becoming our latest Follower - we are with you!!

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  74. Hello Jane and Lance,

    I enjoyed your wonderful descriptions and beautiful photographs, especially your focus on the minutiae of everyday life, followed by the more classical tourist sites. You make Montevideo look delicious and glamorous, and bring the place to life expertly... I can almost smell the balmy sea-breezes. And I especially approve of the lovely Rafelito, also known as Mad Boy. Did you take him back to Budapest with you? I wouldn't blame you, if you did...

    So sorry to hear about the handbag snatch - was it your handbag, Jane? I hope you're not to upset by that, it must be distressing.

    I love the contrasting manner in which you combined your trip by first looking at crumbling colonial-style shops and houses, later followed by a music concert, a night at the opera, a tango party [led astray by Rafaelito], a mausoleum, museums, cathedrals and churches, and buskers on buses. When I visited the Casco Viejo (old town) in Panama, Central America, these were exactly the things I saw there, and, however starkly contrasting, it was good to see both 'sides' of the area.

    I am most upset to learn that you were refused entry to the port to see the anchor of the 'Admiral Graf Spee', and I have, accordingly, written a Formal Letter of Complaint to the Uruguayan Government, on your behalf. No doubt a one-off refusal by some overzealous official - how dare they not let you in! They don't know style and class if it hit them in the face.

    Might we know more about your "cavorting on the seashore?".

    Bye for now, darlings

    Fanny xx

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    1. "Delicious and glamorous" was exactly as we found Montevideo to be and cannot wait to be back there, as we shall be, at the end of this year and into next. We are delighted, darling Fanny, that you approve of the lovely Rafaelito. Of course we brought him back to Budapest - he lives with us - where he continues to lead us both astray!!

      We are interested to read your comment about Panama. We have a feeling that, given the chance, we should fall in love with the entire South American continent.

      Thank you so much for your support where the port authorities are concerned. We, like you, put it down to officious officialdom and a failure on their part to recognize three Queens [or maybe Princesses] when they see them!! C'est la vie [forgive the French, our Spanish does not extend that far].

      Darling, as for 'cavorting' on the beach......too much information already!!

      Take care. xxx

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  75. "is this a country which works?" I sometimes ask myself that question about this country.

    What a wonderful travelogue, I can't wait to see what other exotic locations the next post brings. Such happy smiling faces of the natives, one wonders if they still spike the Coca-Cola with cocaine like they did in Victorian times.

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    1. We have rather come to the conclusion that we are actually happiest in countries which do not 'work'!! As far as the UK is concerned, well.......!!

      If the Coca-Cola is still spiked, then we were out of luck!!

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  76. I think there are flaws in every country, even the best of them. Nothing in life is perfect.

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    1. In reality we actually found everything about Uruguay to be different, yes, but completely charming.

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  77. I am glad to see your posts again, I thought you stopped blogging but perhaps it was only a glitch in the ether. You visit very intriguing places so I look forward to your posts.

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    1. As explained on a previous post, we had a somewhat extended absence but it was never our intention to give up. We are delighted to have you back as a Follower again and do trust that all is well with you.

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  78. As always your posts are full of life and wonderments. Is 'Mate' a type of Hooch! I might start distilling some of that Mate mate.....especially as I do not partake in the Coca-Cola (or any fizzy drink in fact). All that gas!

    Laughing this side of the Channel and trying to get the country to work....
    Best wishes
    Jenny

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    1. Jenny, if Mate were anything other than something closely resembling a herbal tea, then we should have immediately set up our own distillery and be on the way to making our first fortune!!

      Waste not time at home trying to get the country to 'work'. Be one of the first to emigrate to North Korea!!

      Warmest wishes as always.

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  79. That photo of the mate gourd has put a smile on my face tonight. I drink mate and my colleagues always look at me with suspicious eyes, as if asking: "what's he got in that cup?"

    Lovely post. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. How extraordinary that you are living in London and drinking Mate! No wonder colleagues are intrigued! Is it a drink which is as popular in Cuba as it is in Uruguay we wonder?

      Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to comment. We have now joined you in London!!

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  80. I must say I have been flicking through your world and what fun it is! I wish I had found you sooner :) For some reason there are places you keep meaning to go to and this is one of those. How lucky for you and I so look forward to keeping abreast of all your adventures!

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    1. How very kind of you. We are, perhaps, great believers in 'Carpe Diem' and in that respect there is usually much fun to be had in life.

      Uruguay was totally fascinating, if not a little strange, and we are so much looking forward to returning at the end of the year.

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  81. It all looks fascinating, if a little worn around the edges. I know nothing about the place but my son is insistent that he is off to South America as soon as he's saved up the fare...I expect I shall have to go out to see him again!
    Sorry you had your bag snatched but it doesn't seem to have dimmed the fun much for you, which is good. I think you had a most excellent guide in 'little' Rafael too. I love the photo on the beach of you clambering rocks - the Hattats at play!
    Lovely photos, wonderful glimpse into another world as ever.
    Axxx

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    1. Possibly the appeal of the whole of Uruguay, or all that we have seen, is that it is, as you have said, Annie, "a little worn around the edges". South America, previously unknown to us, seems a most exciting continent and one where you, with your Spanish, would fare well - certainly better than us!!

      Rafaelito [of course you would recognize the diminutive] proved an excellent guide; we shall all return together at the end of the year for further fun and frolics!!

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  82. Oh, Jane, I have a pair of striped shoes much like the ones you are wearing in these photos. I know, odd thing on which to comment, but they jumped out at me. After the tough US winter, your warm Uruguay summer seems so lovely.

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    1. It is often the strange and unusual which strikes one most when reading a blog post; we often have a similar experience. Yes, it was especially nice to have the warm weather, an escape from the Hungarian winter.

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  83. Hello Jane and Lance - apologies for lack of comments on your very interesting and welcome return to blog land. I have to say that I have been rather tardy in that department myself! Life sometimes takes us in different directions.

    I will take time to browse your photographs in more detail but I just wanted to say hello; welcome back; you are looking very well - and it looks like you have been having a very interesting time of it!

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    1. Real life must always, in our view, take precedence over the world of the Blogosphere and so absolutely no apologies are called for. Sometimes one simply does not have enough time in the day for everything!

      It is lovely to be in touch again. You are often in our thoughts.

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  84. Dearest Lance and Jane,
    I wrote a post to you both about your wonderful trip and all the exciting happenings.. but I dont think you received it.!!
    Such wonderful photos of all the interesting places.
    You sure enjoyed the rocks. What a bomber to have your bag snatched.
    Its an awful feeling.
    I do not know Uruguay. Only Brazil.
    The south Americans are such warm vibrant people , full of live.. they really know how to live.
    happy days to you both
    kind wishes
    val xxx

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    1. Oh, Val, how dreadful that you took all the time and trouble to write something which appears to have gone missing in cyberspace. We are so sorry and so many thanks for your kindness.

      We absolutely loved Uruguay and have plans to return at the end of the year. Brazil we only know through a change of aeroplane!!

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  85. Ah, I've been missing your posts! You weren't in my feed! Now corrected, and just catching up. What led you to go to Uruguay? Clearly, it should be on everyone's list.

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    1. Susan, do not worry at all. These things happen and are not a problem. We have been somewhat lazy in commenting ourselves!!

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  86. Wonderfull serie fotos this country.greeting from Belgium

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    1. It really is an amazing country. Already we are looking forward to our next visit.

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