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Day 103

semi-overcast 8 °C
View South America itinerary on carochauvet's travel map.

Our first stop after Uyuni was Potosi, a city sitting at 4,090m above sea level, making it one of the highest cities in the World! We stayed there for about 2 days with Antoine, Baptiste, Anna and Yasmine who joined us after her Uyuni tour. The city was quite nice to walk around, with a few nice historic buildings and nice churches. It definitely felt much colder in the evenings but we did enjoy the sun one afternoon at the top of our terrace! Potosi has a lot of history as this used to be one of the richest and most powerful cities in the world: the Cerro Rico ("rich mountain") overseeing the city was the major supply of silver for Spain during the period of the New World Spanish Empire - this is where they used to mint coins for a lot of powerful countries in the world, including France! Our great tour of the Casa de la Moneda, a beautiful well-preserved building, taught us a lot about the history of Potosi and Bolivia, as well as the difficult conditions in which the miners and the slaves worked. We also learned something crazy: the coins were marked with the letters PTSI (for Potosi) superimposed, which actually ended up creating the dollar sign that we know today! Now you can choose to believe it or not... We decided not to do a tour in the silver mines as we felt very uncomfortable watching Bolivian men working in really harsh conditions.

Then we all left for Sucre together, a long 3h bus ride on a pretty bad Bolivian road... Sucre is said to be the most beautiful city in Bolivia, and it is easy to understand why. There is a colonial building and a church in every corner, and it just feels great to walk around, like you could just stay there for weeks. We stayed in a super cool hostel called KulturBerlin with beautiful views over the city and an actual club inside (!). So our first night there was great fun as we started our apéro early with Bolivian wine (not the best...) and music in the room, then went dancing the night away in the club!
Once we managed to get over our hangover, we had time to explore the city and enjoy the nice warm weather - a great change for me! We also did a great walking tour and got to see even more of this gorgeous town, starting with the great Museum of Indigenous Art where we saw a lot of beautiful artisanal objects and a Bolivian lady weaving a traditional textile incredibly fast and with amazing precision! (although it does take about 6 months to finish one...). We also tried the local empanadas called salteñas with soup inside, exploring the market with all the colourful fruit & veg stands, and observing the lovely Bolivian ladies with their traditional outfit: big pleated skirts, a traditional colourful striped blanket to carry everything on their back (groceries, boxes, children...), two long black braids with pretty ornaments tied at the end and sometimes a rounded hat simply sitting on the top of the head.


So this was our exploration of Bolivia's prettiest cities, next post will be all about setting off with the Frenchies for an adventure into the Bolivian wild!


Posted by carochauvet 07:05 Archived in Bolivia Tagged churches buildings city bolivia potosí sucre citylife

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How Is it possible to put soup in an empanada?!
it looks beautiful and i love the colours ...

by Barbara

I'd would like see you eating the empanada with soup!!!
I like the colorful market . What fruits did you discovered ?

by Mummy

As you know well I love "words game" so first one would be in french and second in english:
- you've been there "avec tes potes aussi", in a city in constrast with almost desert surroundings,
- Sucre is of course a "sweet" city and appears realy much more living with so colourful market and typical local uses, but are you sure the lady at the museum wasn't working on the same tapestry from the begining, just providing to tourists sensational skillness feeling ?

by Pap

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