Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sucre (June 6th - 18th, 2013)

Sucre is the birthplace of Bolivia and the constitutional capital of the country. It is beautiful, with many well-preserved, primarily white buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, giving it the nickname "the White City". We´d read that many visitors end up spending more time there than originally planned, and this happened to us as well. Unfortunately, the reason for this were not the many things the town has to offer, but rather the rapid onset of travelers´ diarrhea. I stayed in our room for three days and lost so much liquid and energy that I was left feeling weaker than ever before. My appetite did not return for several more days, which was a pity, because Sucre has some really good places to eat. In addition, just as I started feeling a bit more human, Radek announced that it is his turn to stay in, but fortunately, his symptoms were never as severe as mine, and he was back on his feet two days later. In any case, we spent about five or six days doing little more than watching cable TV and visiting the restroom. The owner of the B&B we stayed at was very supportive: she even called her sister - a doctor - to ask for advice on how to help us.

On Sunday, when both of us were feeling more or less OK, we heard about a dance parade taking place in connection with nationwide university admissions. Students from more than 20 universities dressed up in traditional clothing and danced along a street in the city center. It was beautiful, and fascinatingly diverse.

We spent the rest of our days in Sucre walking around town, visiting a viewpoint, and climbing up a miniature version of the Eiffel Tower in the Parque Bolívar. We also went to the cinema to see "The Great Gatsby" (3D was totally unnecessary), and to the Parque Cretácico, where we had a rather distant view of more than 100 dinosaur tracks, and could walk around life-size dinosaur models. On this trip we had the great pleasure of meeting Dan, with whom we later went on hike in the nearby Cordillera de los Frailes.

Munch munch munch.

Nearly vertical dinosaur footprints

At the viewpoint of the White City

We received a proper dose of history in "the House of Freedom" (Casa de la Libertad), where the independence of Bolivia was proclamed in 1825, with Sucre as its capital. The first cries for independence in all of Latin America had also been voiced in Sucre, some 16 years earlier. In the end of the 19th century, after a civil war, which Sucre lost, the seat of government moved to La Paz. We also learned that Bolivians are to date upset about losing land to Chile in the Pacific War, and the two countries still lack diplomatic relationships.

Jesuit chapel within the Casa de la Libertad.
This is where Bolivia's independence was declared.

You can see more photos of Sucre here.

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