Saturday, April 23, 2011

Montevideo

Our last 2 days in South America were spent in Montevideo Uruguay. This city is just across the Rio Plata from Buenos Aires. I say "just" but the river is some 30 or 40 miles across here at the mouth. It's hard to tell where the river ends and the Atlantic Ocean behins, but all the maps say it is still river (even though it smells like ocean to me).

It was raining and gray the whole first day and part of the second and no city really puts on its best face under those circumstances. To complicate matters, many museums, restaurants and attractions closed Wednesday evening not to reopen until the following Monday due to this Sunday being Easter and this part of the world being predominately Catholic.

We wandered around the old town, had a fantastic lunch that we just managed to squeeze in before they locked down the restaurant for the rest of the week, and walked the riverside Rambla back to our hotel. The old colonial buildings were mostly in a state of arrested decay that could be charming, but seemed depressing with the crappy weather. It didn't help that the older buildings were interspersed with circa 1970s soviet bloc style tenements. And it really didn't help that the town felt deserted.

But we regrouped at our hotel, and got ready to meet our friend-of-a-friend Fernan for dinner. We headed over to a posher part of town which was filled with cute cafes, shops, and expensive looking condos. It was kind of like Miami but less seedy and fake. We had another wonderful carnivorous South American dinner and had possibly the best bottle of wine this trip. After visiting the wine hot spots of Chile and Argentina, it was a surprise that my best bottle was a tannat from Uruguay.

Thursday we wandered around the downtown a bit more, had lunch with Fernan who found us some cultural sites that were open, and walked the Rambla to Puntas Carretas. The sun came out just in time for a glorious sunset that we enjoyed along with all the locals still in town, who all seemed to be out drinking mate and enjoying the sunset.

Today we are heading home. Montevideo was probably the most sedate of the cities we visited, but that was kind of nice actually. It seems to be a very nice lifestyle here.

Today we start our 30 hour total trip home. It has been a wonderful trip and I really enjoyed all the places we visited. There is a lot to see on this continent, we barely.scratched the surface. But them again, that's how I always feel. Looking forward to returning home too.

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