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I had always said the name of Montevideo like "Monty video" until going there and realising that it is in fact pronounced "Monty vidAY-o". It's the capital of Uruguay, a city which has more in common with Madrid than with South America, and for that reason felt much closer to home than its 7000 miles would suggest, although it still didn't feel quite like Spain.

We stopped for two nights in Montevideo after flying through Buenos Aires from Puerto Iguazu in the north of Argentina. Our hostel was right next to the government buildings in the city centre, and was the cheapest one we stayed at for the whole trip. Uruguay itself was in fact very light on the wallet, so we dined out in style.

Here comes the equestrian statue

Plaza Independencia is overshadowed by the Palacio Salva, once the tallest building in South America and twinned with the Palacio Barolo in Buenos Aires. Most evenings you can go inside the place and see some tango dancing, which we did, but we didn't brave the dancefloor ourselves.

Avenida 18 de Julio runs from Independence square east to our hostel. The place looked and felt a bit like Madrid, but was still strangely different.

La calle

La plaza

A small square in the old town. It rained most of the time we were there, and wasn't warm.

One of the old town streets, still slightly shabby having not been regenerated yet.

Ciudad vieja

The River Plate

A view along the sea front, where the River Plate was battering the coast like the North Sea does in Aberdeen.

The central market area, not particularly busy on a Wednesday morning, but a very nice restaurant here did an excellent steak and cheese.

El mercado

Jus' run the steer by the table and I'll grab off a hunk!

South American people like their meat, and Uruguayans are no exception. Here all sorts of meaty treats were being barbequed to perfection.

I didn't expect to see Michaelangelo's David standing outside the government buildings, so I took a photo. There was also a replica of the statue of Romulus and Remus near to the bus station.


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Copyright © Ross Wattie 2006