Beaches Of Uruguay

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Beaches Of Uruguay

“Hello sun, once again you come and visit us unannounced. Once again in your long walk since the beginning of life…….” Carlos Paez Vilaro, Uruguayan artist

Two months out  of the year (mid December to February) the  beaches of Punta Del  Este, Jose Ignacio and Barra are where the South American rich and famous go to party. This is where the beautiful young people come to show off their beach bodies, get a tan, eat and drink well, and then hit an all-night club or casino.

The rest of the year the beaches are quiet and most of the boutiques and restaurants are closed. If the weather is good, like it was for us, this was not a problem.

I grew up on the beach in Brooklyn. I spent my summers from eighteen to twenty five years old on the islands of Greece. I  live in Venice, California.  I was ready for the wide empty beaches and quiet roads of Uruguay in October.

Driving from Montevideo, we stop in Piriapolis which is Uruguay’s oldest resort town.

Located on the sparkling banks of the Rio de la Plata, it has smooth waters making it the perfect setting for those who desire long swims in the sea

With many seafront restaurants and shops, it’s also an ideal spot for a family vacation. A hike up the hill offers beautiful views of the coastline and town and Punta Del Este can be seen in the distance on a clear day.

I loved this town.

Our next  stop is Casapueblo. it is a hotel, museum, and art gallery.

It was built by Uruguayan artist, sculptor, architect, writer, and composer Carlos Paez Vilaro.

One of Mr. Páez Vilaró’s most difficult times came in the winter of 1972, when a plane carrying his son Carlitos and other members of his Uruguayan rugby team crashed high in the Chilean Andes. Authorities eventually abandoned the search, but Mr. Páez Vilaró never gave his son up for dead. Finally, after 72 days, the painter’s son was found among the 16 survivors whose ordeal was retold in the book and movie ‘‘Alive.’’

He built the house  by hand out of wood, white cement and stucco.  The building is an enormous, bright, white labyrinth formed along the side of a cliff.

It has no straight lines, as the artist wanted it to have a natural, human feel, and to resemble the mud nests of Uruguay’s hornero birds.

Inside Casapueblo, Paez Vilaro’s art work and sculpture are displayed. 

Punta del Este is Uruguay’s biggest tourist destination. It’s over-developed in parts with hundreds of tower block apartments and holiday homes, and it certainly caters towards the wealthy local summer holiday crowd. It is also incredibly popular with Argentinians and Brazilians. I see Trump is building a hotel here.

Outside of this area, though, the coastal communities remain just that, communities.

Famous beaches  include La Playa De Los Dedos (The Finger Beach), famous for a giant hand emerging from the sand that’s not nearly as creepy as it sounds. The hand was supposedly put there for swimmers to pay attention to the undertow but it’s more of a photo op now. 

We have  lunch  at Imarangatu Beach Club.

The fish was super fresh and perfectly cooked. For those of you who have traveled with me, you know when I’m hungry I forget to take photos. The ambience is great and it’s located on a beautiful beach.

The BF went in the kitchen to learn how they cooked the fish. Even with a language barrier, they couldn’t have been more helpful!!!

La Barra (Bikini Beach) is known for attracting models, and is lined with seaside mansions  and many all night clubs .

Jose Ignacio  with its relaxed  beautiful beaches has become even more trendy in high season.

Between La Barra and Jose Ignacio is Mantiales another relaxed beach town.

We stayed at the wonderful Faisano Hotel in Punta De Este. It’s not on the coast but it is an incredibly beautiful setting with lovely rooms and a great spa.

 it so relaxing, The staff is  impressively helpful and you feel well taken care of. It is great to come back there after exploring the beaches.

Fly safe,

JAZ

 

Things I Have Learned In Dublin, Ireland

Things I Have Learned In Dublin, Ireland

“I live in Ireland every day in a drizzly dream of a Dublin walk” John Geddes

 Dublin was founded by Vikings, who settled in what they called the “Norse Kingdom of Dublin” in the 9th century.

The average temperature in January in Dublin is 41°F and in July, it is 63°F.  It is estimated that fifty per cent of the city’s residents are under twenty-five years old. Dublin has the youngest population in Europe. My advice is dress warmly and be ready to party. (St Stephens Green)

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Dublin houses Ireland’s National Treasure which is the Book Of Kells sacred manuscript created by Celtic Monks in about 800 AD which features the Four Gospels of the New Testament. It is decorated with metallic gold Celtic style writing and symbols and stunning artwork. This sacred Book of Kells can be found in the Trinity College Library in Dublin.

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In 1759 Arthur Guinness made the deal of his life.  He leased a brewery in the center of Dublin for 45 pounds annual rent and took it for 9,000 years!  It is now where the most famous Irish alcoholic drink is made.  Ten million glasses of Guinness are produced daily all around the world. Dubliners love beer, they drink 9800 pints every hour between 5:50 pm on Friday and around 3 am the following Monday.  Also a donation to the Blood Bank in Dublin is paid with a pint of Guinness since it is recommended to replace the iron lost during the donation.

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Soccer is a hooligan’s game played by gentlemen. Rugby is a gentlemen’s game played by hooligans.

In 1816 this  bridge opened  to any Dubliner willing to pay a ha’penny, the exact price of the then redundant ferry  to William Walsh, ferry owner and alderman of the city. He retired his leaking ferries and was compensated with £3,000 and the bridge lease for one hundred years. (Ha Penny Bridge)

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Dublin Writers Museum is a must visit if you are into literature and writing, or if you want to understand Dublin’s literary heritage. You get a truer understanding of Ireland if you get  to know its writers.There are two main museum rooms. Room one traces the roots of Irish poetry and storytelling, and it showcases writers with international status such as Swift, Goldsmith, Sheridan, George Bernard Shaw, and Oscar Wilde.  Room two deals with writers such as Yeats, Synge, James Joyce, Sean O’ Casey, Samuel Beckett, Bram Stoker Frank O’ Connor, Brendan Behan and many more.

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The title of Bram Stoker’s book “Dracula” is said to come from the Irish words “Droch Ola” meaning bad blood..

Christ Church was famous for the first performance of Handel’s Messiah.

The Abbey Theatre was founded as The National Theatre Of Ireland in 1904 by W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory.  Its goal  was “to bring upon the stage the deeper emotions of Ireland.” and that is still true today.

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The oldest pub in Ireland is called the Brazen Head and is in Dublin .

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Temple Bar is one of the oldest areas in Dublin. The modern street pattern of Temple Bar is based on the medieval plan of the Old Viking City.  Today Temple Bar has many newer arts venues, cool boutiques and galleries, restaurants,bars,  award winning cultural and residential buildings. Temple Bar is home to one of Europe’s oldest built theatres (Smock Alley Theatre), one of Ireland’s smallest theatres (The New Theatre), one of the best examples of a Victorian theatre (The Olympia) and one of Ireland’s best know modern theatre spaces and arts centres (Project Arts Centre)

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After Francis Bacon’s death his studio was moved to the Hugh Lane Gallery. You look through a  window at the 7,000 items they shifted: a huge easel, piles of paints, jars, brushes, rags, pots, books, photos, towels and empty boxes of Krug Champagne. A fantastic sight.

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Built between 1220 and 1260  St Patrick’s Cathedral is one of the few buildings left from the medieval city of Dublin. Today St Patricks is the National Cathedral for the Church of Ireland and is still the largest cathedral in Ireland. Its most famous Dean  Jonathan Swift  is one of around 700 burials here.

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Many of U2’s back catalogue of albums were recorded in their home city. Windmill Lane Studios was the place where U2 recorded their early work and first three albums. The site at Windmill Lane Studios is covered in graffiti from fans that have paid pilgrimage from all over the world and is known as the “U2 Wall.”

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Dublin is a city of storytellers. Everyone has a story to tell.  If you happen to be in a pub telling a story, chances are there will be someone there who knows someone in it. So be careful with your facts and if you embellish, disguise your characters well. And if you don’t know any stories, you will by the time you leave.

Fly safe,
JAZ