Montevideo Uruguay Travel Pictures
Ferry crossing Buenos Aires to Montevideo Old Town
I'd arrived in Montevideo on the ferry crossing from Buenos Aires, Argentina at the end of a month long tour of Argentina and Chile. Most travellers start longing for home at this point in a long trip, and I was no exception. But just when I most needed a morale boost, I came to Montevideo, and Uruguay, and I fell in love with this wonderful country.
From Montevideo, I went east on the highway to Punta Del Este, with a stop at Casa Pueblo and Piriapolis. It was late Spring (November), and the weather was wonderful, the food superb, the people as friendly as those in Argentina and Chile. When I left, I vowed to return for a much longer stay. See What to Pack and more pictures Montevideo art, mall, market.
Ferry Crossing Rio De La Plata Buenos Aires to Montevideo Uruguay
The morning sun turns the Rio De La Plata into a silver plate. From Buenos Aires, it's 220 km (137 miles) to Montevideo.
The high speed ferry makes the trip in just under three hours. The Rio is flat, it's very wide, and there is not a whole lot to keep you amused during the trip.
This is why I had planned to take the hydrofoil from Buenos Aires to Colonia, then travel three hours by bus into Montevideo to see the countryside.
But somehow.my plans went awry, and I found myself on the ferry instead, in one of several dozen theatre style seats in the glass enclosed bow, idly wondering if I was the only person on board NOT sipping endless cups of yerba mate. (see Argentine gauchos, Recoleta page for yerba mate pictures).
There is a nice cafeteria towards the rear, and a very well stocked duty free shop on a lower level, and both helped pass the time just fine.
Riverfront Promenade in Montevideo
This inviting, wonderful promenade runs around much of Montevideo, rendering it part gardens, part parkland, to showcase the sandy beach on the riverbank.
The immense expanse of the Rio de la Plata makes it impossible to see southwest to Argentina, and so reinforces the feeling of being at the seashore.
Old Town area of Montevideo ~ Ciudad Vieja
The Old Town is the historic heart of Montevideo. Here in the Plaza Independencia stands the statue of Jose Artigas, the 'Father of Uruguay'.
There are a few ideas about the origin of the name Montevideo.
I favor the one that credits a Portuguese sailor, upon seeing a hill on the coast, saying, "Monte vide eu." (I see a mountain).
View from Balmoral Hotel ~ City park and Montevideo
The tree canopy of this city park outside the Balmoral Plaza Hotel shields the many visitors and vendors from view.
On a Friday night, after a great dinner in the hotel, I returned to my room after sunset.
I could hear strains of symphony music drifting through the opened window. A lyrical, haunting piece whose title escapes me.
I looked out the window, and, 11 floors down, on the street that borders this park, 4 young girls wearing long tulle skirts were performing an interpretive ballet for a crowd of about 50.
There was a soft breeze blowing, and the air was fresh and sweet.
Out on a condo balcony to my left and down a few floors, there were several couples having dinner, talking softly, wine glasses tinkling.
I sat there at the window and watched this perfect scene in the plaza below -- more dancers, more musicians -- for over an hour. I have never been so thoroughly charmed by any place in my life.
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