The Leaning Tower of Carrasco

Carrasco Hotel Casino small

In this shot of the Casino Hotel Carrasco taken from the other side of the Rambla (esplanade) the hotel  was nearing the final competion of the massive restoration project that has just been finished – at last.   It first opened in 1921, and became an iconic building within the city of Montevideo, but after many years of gradual decline, the hotel finally closed about 17 years ago and stood forlornly looking out over the River Plate as it crumbled in situ here in Carrasco at the eastern end of Montevideo, 10 minutes from the airport.   Down the ensuing years several attempts to carry out the massive restoration job fell through, one after the other, so that locals became rather used to the huge abandoned building in which the actual casino part continued to function, until that was closed to enable the restoration to begin, again.  But this time the job was completed.   It took several years, perhaps 3, for this grand, fin de siecle hotel to be transformed as a modern 5 star hotel.  We never did get our invitation to the gala opening ….. but I heard that was very political, and so we’d have been out of our league, but we enjoyed the fireworks anyway.  One of my friend’s sons is a manager there, but even she couldn’t wangle an invite, either.

But I’ve noticed one strange thing about it – walking on the beach about a year ago, heading westwards towards the hotel, I saw for the first time that the two ‘towers’ on top are not parallel, and my keen quilter’s eye detected a lean of perhaps 3-4 degrees off vertical in the western tower.  It’s hard to photograph because if you get up closer you can’t see it properly, but I took this recent pic in favourable early morning light:

Leaning Tower of Carrasco small

No one I’ve talked to seems to have noticed or have any idea about it, and so I have no idea if something happened many years ago or if it is moving ever so slowly, like the Tower of Pisa, Italy !!  think I’ll get a confirmation of the situation before I spend time there …

So far, like many people thronging around the complex, we’ve been in to have a look around, but haven’t yet had lunch, dinner, or spent a night there.  Rooms start at, well, 5 star prices ;-p and gorgeous suites can be had for the thousands of dollars according to the website!  It looks lovely.  You can phone up and have a guided tour of the hotel, which we might do sometime.

In the Casino, much like other casinos, really,  there’s garish lighting of course, typical of casinos everywhere, and not many places to sit, but I thought these chairs looked very a nice, stylish shape, though I wasn’t mad about the upholstery fabric which on one chair was aready showing a split seam at a corner.   I do think leather would have been far classier, as they produce heaps of really lovely leather in this country – colours, textures, stamped designs, beautiful.

Casino seating small

Of course I tried one for comfort, and am sorry to report these are the most dreadfully uncomfortable chairs I have ever sat in – well, more like ‘perched on’, really, as the back rest is so far back at a difficult angle which leaves you literally sprawling in the chair – horribly uncomfortable, and there’s no way to sit in a ladylike manner.  Mike commented they don’t want you sitting around the gambling areas, anyway…. and he has a point.


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