After about twenty hours of traveling, including an overnight flight, our first day in Montevideo should have been a throwaway. We did have a short power nap when we arrived, but shortly after that we began a walking tour of our neighborhood and the surrounding areas.
Two blocks from the guest house we found Teatro Solis, one of the most noted theaters in Uruguay. The reason so many people are milling around the theater is because, as luck would have it, this weekend is a celebration of national patrimony, so there was a lot of free cultural programming going on. The theater wasn’t open to the public when we walked by yesterday, but we did see the inside today.
A few steps away from Teatro Solis we saw Plaza Independencia with its statues and palm trees. The plaza seems to be a focal point of this part of Montevideo.
In the middle of Plaza Independencia we photographed this larger-than-life statue of … well, I’m not sure who it is. It’s called Plaza Independencia, so I’d be surprised if it had nothing to do with the independence of Uruguay.
Turning back in the direction of the port, we passed through Puerta de la Ciudadela. Once upon a time this was this city limits of Montevideo. Since then the city wall has come down.
About a block away from the guest house we loitered a while in Plaza Constitución, where we saw this beautiful fountain. The square was packed with vendors selling all sorts of antiques and handmade goods. There were also numerous cafes lining one side of the square.
Adjacent to Plaza Constitución, we stepped inside the Metropolitan Cathedral of Montevideo. It was quite crowded while it was open for the patrimony festivities. We went back this morning for Mass, and it was locked up and deserted. That’s another story.
After a ridiculously long lunch, we decided it was time for a long stroll along the riverfront. Everyone here apparently calls it the “sea” because the Plata River is so wide at Montevideo you can’t see across it, but it is muddy like a river. We’re facing west in the photo, so you can see it’s getting late in the day.
We haven’t been in a McDonald’s yet, but I took a photo of this one at Playa Ramírez just for fun. I’d never seen a three-story freestanding McDonald’s before, and this one arranged all its outdoor seating to be facing the beach.
Finally, we watched a gorgeous sunset in Montevideo, looking over the Plata River from Playa Ramírez, with the Ciudad Vieja visible on the right side of the photo. It was Saturday, and it seemed like half of Montevideo was there with us. It was a lovely spot to make the transition from afternoon to evening.