Saturday, August 5, 2017

Uruguay, the next destination for the Wandering Writer

Here I am back again after the small detour of the previous weeks. Uruguay is the destination, and if you enjoyed my trip to Argentina, you must love Uruguay.
Montevideo is the capital, and you can consider it as a little brother of Buenos Aires, resembling it in quite many ways. In fact, if we think about it, it couldnt be otherwise, as both the countries, besides being neighbors, they share a lot in terms of history and heritage.
If you are visiting Argentina, there are many ways to reach Uruguay, either by plane or by ferry (or if you can afford it a private yacht).
What I could notice as the first impression by walking the street was that Montevideo doesnt seem to be off  with the challenge with Argentina. If in the latter you were impressed by the amounts of street art, in Uruguay, you will find as much as there.
All of them were very pleasant and colorful to give a touch of personality to the walls and to the city. Nevertheless, immediately after, we noticed that there were so many beautiful buildings, which were left carelessly aside. Nobody was living there, and only some of them were for sale, and our curiosity started to increase because I would never let something this beautiful get destroyed by the action of the time. We needed to ask to know what was going on.
In every trip, there are a few people that you can for sure ask if you need some information. If the information concerns the latest gossip of the town, you go to a hair salon, the hairdresser knows everybody and everything. However, if you need to know something about the lifestyle, routes information, facts about the city that do not include gossip; you ask the bartender.
And so we did, we went to a promising bar and ordered a couple of beers. By chatting with the bartender, we understood the reason why those buildings were left just get destroyed that way.
It seems that when the owner of the house dies, the heirs can decide what to do with the house, but since the inheritance taxes are quite high, they do not claim the property back. The municipality should be able at that point to reclaim those properties and put them for sale, but by the terms of the law, until the heirs are alive, they cannot expropriate the house and sell it.
For this reason, only after the death of the last heir, the municipality takes over and sells the houses, which are in a very poor state.

I personally would have bought one of them and moved directly to live there, the place is great, the cost of living is reasonable, the pace of living is relaxed, the food is great and the people too!
The rest of the city is an amazing blend of the old and the new, even if in some cases the old is in bad shape, it keeps its romantic and melancholic beauty that will make you stop thinking about its history. I have myself stopped many times thinking about the times when in those old building there were people; when those broken windows were adorned with flowers or lovely curtain. Perhaps, time by time, someone was looking through it, waiting for someone else to come, or just curious about what was happening in the streets
I kept wondering

There is a lot to see in Montevideo, but as usual, I think that the best is just walking around, trying to be part of that population that makes the place alive.
From the small markets to the people passing by, from those who are running to work, and those who take it easy enjoying the spring sun.
And the sunset at the harbor becomes suddenly like poetry.

Once again, as the day comes to an end, I wish you one more time a great weekend. Oh, and if you have questions, don't hesitate asking.
The Wandering Writer

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