Montevideo, Uruguay


In case the title and lead in pic didn’t give it away, we spent Fall Break/Easter Week/Semana Santa this year in Montevideo, Uruguay. Gave us a chance to check out the city, visit another country, try their take on the lomito (a chivito) and get horribly baffled by the local variation of the language. (Uruguayan Spanish seemed like the equivalent of, say Polish to Russian… lots of shshshsh’s, almost like a “slurred” version. I had a hard time keeping up.)

Weird week to visit. While BA and Mendoza still were bustling last Semana Santa, in Montevideo everyone heads to the resort area, Ponte del Este and the break is referred to as Semana Turistica. Was weird to see more and more shops and businesses close up as the week went on.

Katie had a week off, whereas I didn’t. It was cloudy and cold-ish when we arrived. (60F). Monday through Thursday the weather was absolutely glorious, as you can see from the pics of our Wednesday late afternoon trip to the Bodega Bouza, a nearby vineyard. By Good Friday and time to check out the Mercado Puerto it was grey again, and Saturday tacked some rain on. Not complaining, though, as the colder weather was a welcome change from sweltering Asuncion.

IMG_20160320_163208337 IMG_20160320_163054489_HDR IMG_20160321_174724683 IMG_5391

Our airBNB apartment was, uh, snug, but located mighty close to La Rambla, the walk/biking pathway that follows the edge of the city along the Rio Plate. We enjoyed walking it a couple KM in either direction and Katie enjoyed the playa during the sunnier days while I worked away.

IMG_5394 IMG_5395 IMG_20160321_173414948_HDR IMG_20160321_173412619

IMG_20160321_173521451 IMG_20160320_174816245_HDR IMG_20160320_160547164 IMG_20160320_153554938


IMG_20160322_125856401 IMG_20160324_183727826_HDR IMG_20160324_212835347_HDR IMG_20160322_121913555_HDR

The city itself was, as we were lead to believe, fairly expensive. Simple items – the boring crackers we buy here for about 80 cents a package were going for just over $3. A chivito, which is a slightly more dressed up lomito goes for about $10, whereas I can get a lomito and a beer, with tip, for about $5 in Asuncion.

a chivito.

a chivito.

Beef, on the other hand, wasn’t terribly expensive, as I recall. And, as you might expect in a South American country with more cows than people, mighty good.

IMG_20160325_224751384 IMG_20160326_204039610

Places were closing down as the week progressed. The cool, historic but slightly divey Tranquilo Bar was open Monday & Tuesday, then shuttered the rest of the week as were all the nearby cambios and some cafes. Had bad luck with Mastra & Montevideo Brew House being closed earlier in the week, but fortunately were open later and enjoyed some decent beers, though I must confess the two bottles I took home from MBH topped any of the draft beers I tried.

IMG_20160322_195007361 IMG_20160322_195030870 IMG_20160323_204131367 IMG_20160323_223146687

Exploration was limited to just our barrio/the Rambla, as noted above. We also took a Bodega tour (Bodegas in some parts down here are not small markets, but rather the actual wineries.) The weather was glorious as were the grounds. Bodega Bouza, in addition to a swell restaurant, also houses a museum/show room of some very old cars and motorcycles the family has collected. Really impressive.

IMG_5422 IMG_5427 IMG_5428 IMG_6909

IMG_5437 IMG_5417 IMG_5433 IMG_6912

After checking out his olde tyme vehicles we were given a brief tour of the grounds and the winery works. Now kind of familiar to us. We ended with a tasting at the restaurant, paired with cheese and meats. Really enjoyable combinations. Most of their wine is exported, with a majority of the remainder consumed there at the restaurant.

IMG_5409 IMG_5412 IMG_5440 IMG_6901

IMG_5443 IMG_6917

IMG_6905 IMG_6919 IMG_6925 IMG_5441

IMG_6929 IMG_5450 IMG_6930 IMG_6937

Friday we checked out the old city, starting with a walk around and lunch at the cool Mercado Puerto. Stuff to buy on the outside, and an old, open structure with pretty much every square inch devoted to asado restaurants, showing their wares and trying to attract the tourists. We opted for a more expensive place simply for the rooftop dining option, so we could look down at the market.  Was a “tourist” place, definitely. The meal was good, but we got better food for less at other restaurants. Still enjoyed the experience and spectacle.

IMG_20160325_121525912_HDR IMG_20160325_124321291 IMG_20160325_124644567 IMG_20160325_125954068 IMG_20160325_135503553

Continued our walk through the Old City, checking out some landmarks, statues, parks, and the particularly stunning Palacio Salvo, as well as a partial look around Teatro Soliz.

IMG_20160325_142749946 IMG_20160325_142447527 IMG_20160325_143243785 IMG_20160325_142329697

IMG_20160325_143752863_HDR IMG_20160325_145812033_HDR IMG_20160325_151320519 IMG_20160325_151114854_HDR IMG_20160325_151949587_HDR

IMG_20160325_152133790_HDR IMG_20160325_151307040 IMG_20160325_150131265 IMG_20160325_151747197_HDR

Saturday’s less than stellar weather kept us from doing much aside from relaxing in our apartment before we had to get up far too early to fly home. Was a fun trip. Our neighborhood in Montevideo, despite being increasingly deserted as the week went on had a lot of charm, cool places to eat, a couple craft beer joints and friendly people.

About perducci

i am from arizona, lived three years in asuncion and now reside in bogota. i am married. have a limited budget, but like to travel. i also like beer. and food.
This entry was posted in Travels and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s