Another day in Uruguay- another adventure. Yesterday we went to Expo Prado 2009 for their "Day of the United States'.
We hopped the 522 bus on 21 se Setiembre for 16 pesos each, which dropped us off at the edge of Parque Prado in half an hour. Thank you montevideobus for helping plan our adventure!
Expo Prado 2009 is a fair celebrating Uruguay, it's rural culture (fitting, because 'prado' means 'meadow' in English) and showcasing artisans, manufacturers and even exhibits of other countries. This is the 104th year of the Expo and it has been held in the Parque Prado since 1913. It almost like a state fair in the USA- except at a state fair you don't have buildings featuring Argentina, Brasil and Mexico. Since it was the Day of the United States, the US Embassy had an area selling some products that we can't normally purchase here, like donuts, Dr.Pepper and Starbucks coffee. Is that what the USA is all about?
We entered the Expo for a mere 95 pesos each (adults) and wandered through the exhibits and buildings for 4 hours.
The most fun we had was seeing the animals. Since beef is a huge industry here, the cow was well represented, with some gorgeous Angus cattle and many other varieties, housed in three buildings. The many cows, horses and sheep that we saw were all impeccably groomed, both for judging and for sale. Uruguayos love their pork as well, but funny that there were no pigs, except the ones seen cooking...
There was a rodeo with steer-roping demonstration, an American football 'game' being played poorly, lots of farm equipment on display and plenty of food (unfortunately not on a stick). It was a great time and so easy to get there and navigate the park.
The great thing about taking the bus and exploring some new areas of town is that you are free to look around and dream. The route to Parque Prado wandered through Centro and then headed north. The neighborhoods immediately surrounding the park are amazing, with gigantic homes built in the early 20th century. Many have fallen into disrepair, but are still really beautiful examples of the boom in Montevideo between 1900-1940. At that time, there was plenty of affluence and money and Prado was the place to be. I hear that the Uruguayan President's home is also in the Prado area although we didn't see it.
Even if you miss the Expo for this year, still wander through Parque Prado and the surrounding neighborhoods. I can't wait to go back and explore. The expo takes up only a portion of the park- so it'll be great to see the rest.
Expo Prado 2009
9 AM-9 PM
U$50 kids 6-12 and adults over 65
Free for kids under 6