Having landed in Montevideo airport late at night, we decided to take the airport bus to the city centre, as taxis were expensive. After all, Montevideo is one of the most developed capitals in Latin America. You needed to pay the bus in cash. Only thing is, the ATMs at the airport required a fee to even insert your card. And.. then didn’t accept our cards. Finally, we exchanged some Brazilian Reais we had left for half the value (!) at the only exchange counter.
If you think this was a bad sign, you’re right. Lots of busses came and went, but our express bus to the city didn’t. It was cold outside. We didn’t have enough cash to pay a taxi. After 45 minutes, we got on a random local bus in the city centre direction just to be out of the cold. We talked up a guy behind us to tell us when we should get out. He was very friendly, and even helped us find a taxi to take us to our hotel. Tired and around midnight (we arrived outside the airport before 10PM), we arrived at our hotel and went to bed.
The next morning, we’d slept well, the sun shone, and we found we could see the sea from our room.
We started our discovery of Montevideo by walking 2 minutes to the beach. It was too cold to swim, but people were sunbathing.
From the beach, we took a local bus to the city centre. We came along a street market, and they sold everything you can think of.
We got off the bus at Plaza de la Independencia, Montevideo’s main square.
From the impressive plaza, we started to walk around the city. We spotted a piece of wall art displaying the country’s passion:
As it was a Sunday, most shops on the central shopping street were closed. Still it was a nice area to roam around. We finally made it to Mercado Puerto, a covered market near the harbour selling all types of barbequed meats.
We sat down at one of the many parillas, and had an overpriced but delicious lunch!
Walking back towards the centre, we found that every store here has an aisle full of mate, the typical drink of Uruguay and Argentina.
Along calle peatonal Perez Castellano, we found this piece of art:
We were almost back at Plaza de la Independencia when we came across this nice park.
We took a cab back, and planned our trip some more that evening.
The next morning, we took a ferry to Buenos Aires, which lies across from a broad river dividing Uruguay and Argentina. At the ferry, we noticed that all Argentinians directly went for the duty free shop, and bought everything they sold there. We looked at the high prices, and wondered why. We think it might be the extra 35% tax the Argentinians pay on goods from abroad?
Either way, before we knew it, we arrived in Buenos Aires.
Our AirBnB apartment for the next 3 days was located right in the city centre at Recoleta. It’s quite a posh area we discovered, and the houses there looked gorgeous!
The next day, we did a walking tour we found online of Recoleta. We saw the huge cemetary with impressive tombs in all shapes and sizes.
We walked to Centro Cultural Recoleta, a huge cultural centre, which turned out to be full of gorgeous grafitti paintings! It’s also the Centre on the cover photo.
On our final day in Buenos Aires, we walked towards the old city centre when we came across these:
Buenos Aires is just so large, and each neighbourhood has its own highlights. The centre, located around Plaza de Mayo, was full of old colossal buildings.
As we walked through the area of San Telmo, we found a covered antiques and food market!
Further along the road, we stumbled upon an open square where we found a couple dancing tango. It was a pleasure to watch them dance!
From there, we took a cab to Palermo Soho, a district known for its many boutiques, great food, and general prettiness.
While there, we couldn’t help noticing the street art that seems to be around every corner. We spotted quite a few!
Buenos Aires is a diverse city, with each neighbourhood having its own vibe. It was good to have some days to casually discover them, and rest up. Our next destination will be in the south of Argentina. Bye for now, civilization. On to the Patagonian wilderness!