For some odd reason, we only had a few hours in the Uruguayan port city of Montevideo, the second to last stop on our South American cruise.
A small and safe capital city, Montevideo is home to around 1.5 million inhabitants, with beautiful old architecture, tons of palm trees, and from what we could tell delicious food! Below are some of the photos we took as we quickly explored the city.
Montevideo is known for its street art, and while we did see some cool examples of murals and free art exhibits, I feel like we barely scratched the surface of what the internet promised we’d get to see.
We were all hungry when we got off the ship, so we had a quick bite to eat at a hip little place called Sin Pretensiones. Wonderful people, a nice little spot for a respite from the heat – and for Skyler to sneak in a quick nap!
From appearances, the city seems pretty progressive in terms of environmental initiatives, LGBT rights, and community spaces. We stumbled upon this courtyard dedicated to diversity and inclusion, and another one that housed a community garden and makeshift musical instruments for kids. There was also free wifi in many areas, and lots of recycling bins.
We meandered a bit through the old town, Ciudad Vieja, enjoying the busy markets on the pedestrian-only walkways.
A must-see for most tourists is the port market, el Mercado del Puerto, which was the main trading hub for everything for hundreds of years. Now it’s crammed full of vendors and eateries, and where we stopped for a bite. My dad enjoyed some chorizo, I had some very tender grilled squid, my mom had the world’s largest salad, and Justin tried the Medio y Medio, a too-sweet mix of dry white wine and sweet sparkling wine that the country is known for.
It turns out that the longest carnival in the world was going on around the same time that we docked; for over 40 days, the locals celebrate the abolition of slavery with dances, parades, music, art, costumes and food. We didn’t know any of this when we arrived, but learned about it after we witnessed a brief and seemingly low-key Candombe performance, which “dates back to when enchained african slaves would march around the city walls banging drums to the beats of their homeland.” (Source)
We also made our way towards La Rambla, the world’s longest continuous sidewalk (14 miles!) but it was so hot and sunny that we didn’t venture very far, and opted to take our sweaty butts back to the cruise ship.
Things we didn’t get to do that I wish we’d had the time for: Espacio de Arte Contemporaneo, an art exhibit housed in an old jail, with each cell featuring the art of a different artis; the other large, less touristy markets; take a picture at the Montevideo sign (at least I got one of these cheesy shots in Ushuaia!); the Castillo Pittamiglio, castle nestled amongst apartment buildings, designed by an eccentric alchemist; visit the beach; experience any nightlight or visit any cocktail bars.
Alas. I suppose we’ll just have to return one day! 🙂Have YOU been to Montevideo? What did you think? What did you see or do?