We first decided to visit
Half the country's 3.3 million people live in the capital of
The clerk was very helpful and recommended a nearby Holiday Inn. For 8 months we have managed to avoid Holiday Inns; but the hour was late, so we agreed. It turned out to be a good decision, since it appeared to be in a livelier part of the city. The new reception clerk asked if we wanted to book a City Tour and a tour of
The next morning we set off for Punte Del Este in a small van with four other people; a mother and son from
Punte Del Este is located on a long narrow peninsula, 140 km from
The town included every architectural style imaginable. Some of the new low rise apartments, with their elegant clean lines, could have been on the
I was also delighted by a small bridge that had been designed like a roller coaster! Can you imagine that being approved in
The highlight of the tour was a visit to Casa Pueblo, a large building complex overlooking the ocean just outside of Punte Del Este. It was designed and built by Carlos Paez Vilaro, an internationally renowned Uruguayan artist, adventurer, and philanthropist. From the air, it looked like a small Greek village with its white walls terracing down the hillside. But it was also a fantastic, organic sculpture containing a studio, gallery, restaurant, hotel, and private residence for its creator who is now 83.
Before touring his property, we watched a film about Paez Vilaro’s life story. It was an extraordinary tale. He got his start when he was asked to paint a mural at Marlon Brando's
Our tour of
But the downtown office high rises could have been in any North American city.There are impressive 18th and 19th century buildings just waiting to be renovated. Unfortunately, the economy, which is very much dependent on beef exports, and closely tied to the Argentinean economy, is still recovering. But one day there will be money to restore the properties, especially if the recent influx of foreigners buying real estate continues, and Ralph Lauren and his friends keep spending $12,000 a day for accommodation.