Thursday, February 8, 2007

Changing of the Soldiers

We arrived at the Presidential Palace and perhaps the most unexpected thing was a pair of guards that stand completely straight and still and will not move no matter what happens in front of them ala the Royal guards you see in London. We happened to come accross a changing of the guards that apparently happens every half and hour or so. Stefano, our guide and teacher, told us there is a much more exciting ceremony known as the real "Changing of the Guards." We were told to be back at 3:00 and when we came back the formal cermony began. A group of about 100 soldiers or so stepped their way up in tune to the open space in front of the President's palace and began their daily ceremony. To make a long story short the group left about 50 to take on the next 24 hours and took on the group that just got off their "shift." All this was done to a nice and militeristic beat and as the soldiers were traded the large group hiked off in sinc down the street not to return until 24 hours later.


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