One Way to Do Montevideo

My wife and I have visited Montevideo on several occasions. Our visit on board Celebrity Infinity in 2013 prompted me to include this excellent port visit with my  ‘One Way to do… ‘ series.

Montevideo is the largest city, the capital, and the chief port of Uruguay and was first established in 1724. The city was under brief British rule in 1807 and was involved in the first major naval battle in the Second World War: the Battle of the River Plate: hence the header photograph of the anchor of the German battleship Graf Spee.

Reminders of that historical sea battle are much in evidence within the port, including the Graf Spee’s salvaged gunnery range finder…

…and the Graf Spee’s anchor, now suitably positioned in a tasteful memorial wall…

Montevideo is  a vibrant, eclectic place with a rich cultural life though readers may not get that impression from some of my photographs: but our visit was on a sunday.

Montevideo is both easily walkable and navigable for cruise passengers and for those who may have mobility issues or wish to gain a little more local knowledge via a guide there is a local tourist bus service, operated just outside the dock gates…

We headed out of the dock gates and continued straight ahead, keeping the Mercardo del Puerto building on our right…

(The Mercado del Puerto was originally a very large covered market constructed mainly in iron and dating back to 1868: more about Mercado del Puerto later)

Approximately five blocks ahead is the seashore…

…with this distinctive lone chimney that quite fascinated me…

The Promenade is long and changes its name regularly. Commencing as Sudamérica Promenade bordering the harbour peninsula  it changes its name to Francia Promenade and then it turns into Gran Bretaña and later into República Argentina. It has some interesting buildings and architecture like this one time naval arsenal…

and eventually leads to a series of Montevideo’s excellent  beaches, seen here from a distance…

We chose not to walk that far because we had other plans.

From the Promenade we had spotted the upper stories of the Palacio Salvo

The Palacio Salvo was built in 1928 and stands stands 100 m (330 ft) high. Originally intended as an hotel it never really functioned as one and became, as it is today, a mix of offices and private dwellings. It actually sits on the boundary of the very central Plaza Independencia

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Also situated on Plaza Independencia is the Mausoleum of José Gervasio Artigas,   a national hero of Uruguay and  sometimes called “the father of Uruguayan nationhood”…

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His imposing statue sits on the Artigas Mausoleum. It was built in the 1930s and Artigas’s remains are kept in the underground chamber under the statue. The moument is guarded by a traditional guard called “Blandegues de Artigas“.

On the opposite side of Plaza Independencia from Palacio Salvo is the Puerta de la Ciudadela (Gateway of the Citadel), one of the few remaining parts of the wall that surrounded the oldest part of the city of Montevideo….

…which, on the day of our visit,  was proving a very popular ‘ souvenir photo frame’  for the many photographers that were milling around the Plaza…

(I couldn’t resist either)

Also very close is Uruguay’s oldest theatre, the Teatro Solis

Opposite the Teatro Solis is one of Montevideo’s  ‘hip’ coffee and dining establishments, mentioned in all good guide books, Café Bacacay

…and not too far from Independence Square,  and in the general return direction of the port,  is Plaza Constitución (Constitution Square),  the oldest plaza in Montevideo…

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…which certainly on the day of our visit transformed into an amazing  Uruguayan Flea market…

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Also sat on the boundary of this plaza is the Metropolitan Cathedral of Montevideo, the main Roman Catholic Church in Montevideo

It is probably a 15 – 20 minute walk to return to the port from Plaza Constitución. The streets are easy to navigate and there are some interesting examples of different the architecture that adorns Montevideo, the largest on our route probably being the Central Republican Bank…

Again, t being a Sunday, things are often somewhat different and we were caught up in a film shoot…

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Eventually we came back across the Mercardo del Puerto building once more.

Readers may recall that at the beginning of this visit I mentioned that we would return to the Mercardo del Puerto. And so we shall, because we were by now feeling a little peckish and when we investigated the Mercardo del Puerto on setting out it transpired that this one of Montevideo’s favourite eating venues:  a collection of restaurants and bars with a special Uruguayan BBQ flavour.

Follow us on our gastronomic adventure >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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