Sucre Bolivia

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April 21st 2014
Published: April 23rd 2014
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Days 62-63 After our 14 hr nightmare bus ride our hostel kindly allowed us all into our rooms for a hot shower which seemed to revive us enough to go our for an orientation walk of the colonial heart of the city.

While for practical purposes La Paz is the capital of Bolivia it's official capital is Sucre & was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1991 due to its immaculately preserved colonial architecture. Most of the town's colonial buildings have been whitewashed, earning its nickname - the 'White City' & are actually required to be whitewashed annually. Sucre seems a much more prosperous place than elsewhere to date with ornate museums and churches to browse.

The heart of the city centres around the Plaza de Mayo and has a nice atmosphere although very quiet on Easter Sunday morning but much busier in the afternoon. We entered the San Francisco cathedral in the plaza just as Sunday mass had ended & a Spanish version of the "Saints Go Marching In" was ringing out from the choir which was the last thing I wanted to hear after the Bombers poor performance against the Saints yesterday.

After a late lunch we only wanted a snack for dinner so ate in accompanied by a nice bottle of Bolivian red wine.

Woke up next day after the best sleep since leaving, must have been the red wine. While some opted for a tour of dinosaur footprints it didn't appeal to us & we opted for another lazy day. Organised some laundry & supplies for the coming days which will be in rough & in remote country at the Uyuni salt flats & the Atacama desert. Wandering around town was much busier than yesterday with so many school kids. Schools start early everywhere across Sth America & finish around 12.30 but Sucre has many boarding schools as well.

In the afternoon we visited the Santa Clara monastery where we only had a Spanish speaking guide. While we didn't understand any of the commentary it was still a very impressive tour. As far as we could tell it was still an operating monastery for nuns. The architecture was truly impressive & full of artwork & iconography all of a religious theme but which would still be equally at home at any of the best museums of the world. Nearly all of the artworks are listed as anonymous apparently as they were often done by indigenous artists but the Spanish never kept any records. The fresco on the cloister walls have been restored & others still undergoing painstaking restoration in the lower levels.

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23rd April 2014

Sucre is such a worth seeing place, it's nice to see what you shared about it. more than everything i loved the monastery. thanks for sharing Gerry and Ruth. very excellent post. :)

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