Sunday, March 15, 2009

My Big Trip 2009 - Montevideo

Our first port after leaving Buenos Aires was Montevideo in Uruguay.  We thought we might miss out at first as the conditions were too rough for us to make port, but it turns out that Montevideo is a must-do port as the Star Princess needed to take on more fuel and supplies here!  So we waited.  I'm glad we did as it turned into one of the most enjoyable tours of the trip.  The waterfront is colourful and even from the ship you can see some of the excellent architecture of the city.

One of the women in our group had organized a private guide for a few of her friends,but we didn't think that the guide would still be there waiting for us after 6+ hours.  Turns out the guide wasn't - but her sister and partner was!  Noemi was an excellent guide and I highly recommend that you contact her - - if you are headed to Montevideo!

The city is filled with monuments and architecture reflecting a strong and diverse past. We explored the beaches, some residential neighborhoods and some "touristy" areas. It was a Sunday and pretty much the whole town was shut down, but on the up side, it meant that we had pretty clear shots of the interesting things we stopped for!

Memorial to Uruguay's sailors at Plaza de la Armada

Enormous cross given to the city by one of the popes...yes, I know, I should have been taking notes on all the cultural information but it was hard enough to shoot from the moving tour bus!

Parliament House is beautiful and we were even treated to a few minutes of sunshine and blue skies!

I don't remember what this building is (big surprise) but again, I was struck by its beautiful lines

The sunny conditions didn't last long and more clouds moved in as we drove back through the city, but it kind of suited some of the ornate buildings we passed

My favourite part of my visit to Montevideo was catching glimpses of all of the groups preparing for upcoming Carnival. There were dancers, drummers, jugglers, stilt-walkers and other performers practicing in any available open spaces - parks, alleyways, parking lots. Our driver was kind enough to back up down a one-way street so we could all scramble out of the van to watch one group

The music was raucous and made us even believe we could dance - until we saw the real thing and remembered that we have no rhythm!

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