Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay, a small (3.5 million people) country sandwiched between regional giants Brazil and Argentina. It’s a pretty grungy but interesting place to spend a day wandering around the old town, filled with architecture, street art, and museums. My first impression was the sight of derelict boats by the port, which was pretty representative of much of the old town.
The port itself was good though, efficient and very central. I spent a few hours just wandering the streets without a plan, getting a feel for the place, and then after lunch headed out with a bit more focus to follow the handy heritage city walk map from the information centre. I finished the day with a 4.5km run, perhaps not the best idea in 30C heat and high humidity, reminded me of running in Western Australia, just about doable in the shade, less so in the sunshine…
Inland there are three main plazas – Plaza Zabala, Plaza Constitucion, and Plaza Independencia – the later is the largest, and home to the impressive Palacio Salvo, the free but dull Museum of the House of Government Edifico Jose Artigas, the Citadel Gate, and round the corner the Teatro Solis.
I was surprised at how few churches there were in the old town, till I learned that Uruguay is one of the least religious countries in South America. The Metropolitan Cathedral (in Plaza Constitucion) and Iglesia San Francisco De Asis were the only ones of note I came across.