Montevideo

Well I think it’s safe to say that Montevideo has certainly captured our hearts. We weren’t quite sure what to expect on arrival as it was fairly cold and bleak weather, and coupled with the grey buildings it seemed a bit like we had arrived in Gotham city.
We had read about a couple of places to go and so set off exploring, after a little bit of searching we found the place we were looking for and reserved a table. We were definitely the only non Latin Americans in the place and the music was great, great voices and atmosphere.
The locals here certainly don’t go to bed early and we were some of the first to leave in the early hours of the morning!
We noticed the next day that they are not early to rise either and even though it was close to 11am a lot of shops weren’t open yet and so our plan of going on a cycle tour was thwarted. (Turned out the shop opened in the early afternoon!!) Plus the weather was Baltic anyway so maybe a bike ride around the coastal boardwalk not a good idea anyway.
We did have a great walk around the old part of the city which is truly encapsulating. Like Buenos Aires there is a mix of styles from old European to Art Deco but Montevideo has certainly retained more of its charm. We had a great time wandering up and down the cobbled streets.
We discovered that the museums here are free, which was great. Unfortunately our Spanish isn’t quite up to scratch yet so we didn’t understand too much about the place but still admired the pictures and the antique guns.
Food wise we were lucky as breakfast consisted of coffee in a cafe which first opened in 1877 and then for lunch we stumbled upon a market area called Mercado del Puerto. The place was teaming with restaurants but not as we know them!! The places consisted of a bar forming four sides around a BBQ, so you all sat watching the meat being cooked over the wood. All sorts of meat were on offer and the chef just kept throwing (literally) more logs on the fire and cooking meat.
It was delicious and a truly great dining experience.
For the afternoon we wanted to go on a city tour to try and see a bit more of the place and find out more about the history of Montevideo and get more of an insight into the buildings. Unfortunately there was a bit of a language barrier and the lady did try her upmost but we certainly didn’t get as much information as the other guests.
In fact she would be talking in Spanish for a couple of minutes about a particular building we were passing including lots of laughs and jokes and then turn to us and would say “president’s building”. Still it was good and to be fair she did take us aside a few times and give us some info where she could.
All in all an absolutely great place to visit we have had loads of fun. 
A side note, they accept US dollars here more or less as currency and you can even withdraw US dollars from the ATMs! Sometimes you get change in US sometimes in Uruguayan and sometimes if you hold out almost enough money you can get away with it?! T

   
These two guys were the main stars of the show, although we actually went back the next night too and saw some amazing tango dancing being performed on the tiny stage.  Of all the times to forget the camera!! Still we will never forget, it was amazing the way the moved.  It was all leg flicks and passion!

 
Our walk around town really rewarded us with some amazing sights there are loads of these cool little shops.

   
 
The view of lunch being prepared.  Real wood fire and then all the meat being cooked over the coals as we sat at the bar/table.

   
It’s a little chilly.

 
There is a really cool vibe to the town centre, and while some areas seem deserted others definitely have a great vibe.

   
 
This iconic building, Palacio Salvo, dominated the square near where we were staying and was truely great to look at.  It was, when it was built, the tallest building in Latin America.

   
This is a last piece of the wall which used to surround the city.

 
The legislative palace, massive building just outside the old town.

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