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montevideo

URUGUAY: COLONIA — MONTEVIDEO

Uruguay is a small country and I don’t doubt that many people would have trouble finding it on a world map or naming its capital city. And I have to confess, on arrival, that my own prior knowledge on the subject of Uruguay is pretty scant.

I leave Buenos Aires on a ferry for Colonia, in Uruguay, across the Rio Plata. Not one of these beautiful old ferries that have been transformed into floating casinos but an ugly plastic catamaran. Oh, well. Colonia turns out to be one of those heritage listed towns full of Spanish and Portuguese colonial architecture that charm guide book writers but I find that one night there is quite enough.

Then a short couple of days ride sees me on the outskirts of Montevideo, Uruguay's capital.

The city stretches along the banks of the wide mouth of the Plata estuary...

... and is clearly labelled just in case you don't happen to know where you are.

My first Montevideo abode - courtesy of Agustina - is a lovely apartment in the old town, close to the port, with a fine view of the rooftops...

... and colourful street life. A couple of artist are working on a mural across the street that incorporates books, bikes and fish which just happen to be some of my favourite things.

City bike scheme -- everybody's got one, these days. I was interested to see that in Montevideo, helmets are provided along with the bikes.

Colourful murals decorate the pavement around storm water drains along La Rambla.

And La Rambla absolutely makes Montevideo with its strip of parkland running along the milk chocolate waters of Rio Plata. It is the perfect place for people to walk their dogs, jog, cycle, rollerblade, hang out and read or just sit and relax. All of these activities are accompanied by the compulsive consumption of maté - it is rare to see a Uruguayan without maté paraphernalia close to hand, no matter what they are doing.

A slightly incongruous Jewish Holocaust memorial dominates a prominent section of the La Rambla. On the other hand, the memorial to the dead and disappeared of Uruguay's recent-ish military dictatorship is tucked away out of town.

Lots of people while away the hours fishing. I'm not sure how edible the catch is, though.

The Punta Brava light house lends the city an appropriately maritime air.

Cats get to hang out on La Rambla, next to the lighthouse, as well.

My second Montevideo abode -- courtesy of Gloria -- is a mid-city apartment which provides me...

...with a fine aerial view.

The building is heritage listed and full of gorgeous details.

...

And I learn that Montevideo, just like its more famous neighbour on the other side of the Rio Plata, is the perfect place for watching... (Photo by Gloria)

...

...

... dancing tango feet.

And just in case you are still having trouble locating Montevideo on the map, here are the details... it's worth a visit.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Will Kemp | December 25, 2014 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    Almost exactly the same latitude as where i’m living at the moment. Heading back to the tropics in a couple of weeks to thaw out. Hopefully i’ll never be silly enough to live this far south again!

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