Published: August 9th 2010August 9th 2010
Arrived in Montevideo after a foggy ride through the countryside from Colonia del Sacramento.
This city is almost exactly like Buenos Aires with the exception that it is minature and in super slow motion in comparison. Oh and the people smile and have some how found a way to drink way more Mate, which I had previously heard, but didn´t believe.
Arriving on a Sunday meant I got to see everything closed up and had to dwindle away the hours studying some Spanish and making dinner. For dinner I had awesome cheese and ok strawberries along with some bread and the national beer Pilsen (which is quite good considering it is the most popular brand).
Accidently appear to have booked myself into a party hostel and since it is the middle of winter break for Brasil got to experience the joys of a hundred or so people speaking Portuguese. They were also all going out to various clubs (on a Sunday?) which meant that I got to go to sleep at a relatively good hour with peace and quite, that is until everyone arrived at 6am (attempting to be quite in the drunken, stumbling, whispering loudly kind of way).
The good thing about them arriving at 6am is they all went straight to bed and it was early enough in the morning that I had no problem falling back to sleep. The best part about the Hostel so far is that the breakfast is amazing: bread, cereal, dulce de leche, strawberry jam, butter, corn flakes, orange juice, bananas, oranges, milk and coffee. Finally a place that included a breakfast that didn´t require me to go out and get another one right after (the the real coffee at Colonia del Sacramento was pretty awesome I must admit). It is now 2:30pm and I don´t feel the need to gorge on food from desperation.
I walked around the old city and the port area and found that there is quite a lively scene going on here. People bringing in all their fish from the mornings catch, meat sellers delivering the beer, people relaxing and drinking Mate in one of the many parks that are scattered around the area. I sat by the river for awhile (though it looks like it is on the Ocean, Montevideo is infact on the Rio Plata, the brown water attests to that, the river is
so big you cant see the other side, I think it is actually the widest river in the world) and enjoyed the fact that today is getting upwards of 18C.
There is some neat colonial and neo-gothic architecture as well, but other than that the city seems more like a place for the summer (with lots of nearby beaches) and more of a place to live than visit. It is really calm and safe seeming with lots of statues of oldmen on their horses. There was pretty much non-stop war here in the early 1800s while Brasil and the Spanish states were fighting for independence, Uruguay unfortunately got squished between the two super powers of Brasil and Argentina, and somehow, with luck and determination, with a tiny army and apparently a lot of passion managed to come out of the whole situation independent rather than as a part of either of those countries. They are quite proud of it, and I think deservingly so.
They also love football here. I think it comes from having a lot of nothing to do, but you would think the world cup was still on. Flags, jerseys, conversations, posters, everything is about
the superpower in football that no one else thought could be. How could they progress further than Argentina or Brasil? Passion! There are articles in the newspaper about how to deal with all the stress from the world cup (how long ago did it end?) including issues such as sleep deprivation and anger management. Crazy! But they love it almost as much as mate, go figure!
I found an internet lab with good computers and a usb connection, so hopefully there can be pictures tomomrrow, I forgot my cord today, so no such luck!
There are more photos below