Uruguay is the second smallest country in South America with a population of 3 million. More than half of these people live in the capital of Montevideo. Uruguay has been called the “Switzerland of South America” because of its small size and its democratic institutions. It was the first and mostly still is the only welfare state in the Western Hemisphere. They provide free education, health care and social security benefits.
It was first sighted by Europeans in 1516 when the Spanish explorer, Juan Diaz de Solis, sailed into the Rio de la Plata and landed near present day Montevideo. He claimed all the land he saw for the Spanish Crown. He was later killed by Indians, and because he hadn't found any gold during his explorations, more than 60 years passed before the Spanish showed any interest in the area. After several clashes over the next two centuries, the Spanish formally founded Montevideo in 1726 as a fortress from which to attack the Portuguese.
Our first stop on the tour was Plaza Zabala with the statue of General Don Bruno de Zabala. He was one of the founders of the city and came from Argentina.
Plaza Independencia with the statue of Jose Artigas, who is considered one of the most important leaders in Uruguay's wars of independence against Spain. His mausoleum is below the statue.
And here we are arriving at the Bouza winery, which is where the tour really fell apart. Hebert and I had been emailing back and forth over the last month and he had recommended this winery for a tour and tasting. But on the morning of the tour, he hadn’t made a reservation and when he did call, they were booked. I wasn't too pleased…we decided to go anyway as they had an old car museum and we could still look around and buy some wine.