Sunday, 17 February 2013


We had several days of intrigue in Montevideo...and it all started with getting there...we had already booked our flight to Buenos Aries and had planned to take the ferry over to Montevideo...however we couldn´t make this happen, so we decided instead to take the ferry to Colonia (in Uruguay) and then to take the bus to Montevideo.  This turned out to be a lovely way to travel and we saw a lot of the countryside from the bus.  It looked a lot like Ontario...flat and agricultural.

Montevideo was a bit of a surprise.  Our hotel was located in the old city, close to the port.  The neighbourhood was not great, so we did not wander far at night for the most part. 

We had even more intrigue while we were there as we had discovered that our hotel in Buenos Aries at the end of the trip requires all payments in United States  We spent several very stressful hours in Uruguay trying to withdraw enough money to permit for this...but discovered that it was not easy.  Then we discovered that Paul´s MasterCard had been compromised, and after several calls to the MasterCard emergency number we arranged for a replacement card to be sent...all of this meaning that we were unable to complete our goal of withdrawing sufficient funds for our later needs.  Also, we were finding it difficult to find ATM´s which would cooperate with us at the help of my Mom and Dad we arranged for a Western Union transfer...another aspect of our adventure we had not anticipated!!!

This took up a full two days, so our exploration opportunities were very curtailed...

That said, we did see some great architecture, visited a beach, went to a mall to take care of some business needs, took public transportation, and visited the site of the Grafs Spree anchor (an infamous German destroyer that was scuttled in Uruguay during the second world war, and which was the subject of a film....¨Pursuit of the Grafs Spree¨)  We did not have a great time in Montevideo...the stress did finally get to us both and we found ourselves hampered by our need to take care of business and the safety concerns in the neighbourhood of our hotel. 

One bright spot (other than the pool at the hotel and the great and substantial breakfast which was included in our room cost) was the Mercado Puerto, which was directly opposite our hotel.  This building opened in the early morning with many fires being lit in a number of Parillas (wood fuelled bar b ques) getting ready for lunch and afternoon meals.  It was here that many locals and cruise ship passengers came for their mid-day meal.  It was a lot like a smoky and very active St. Lawrence market.

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