Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Uruguay grows on us

From Buenos Aires, an hour's catamaran ride took us to Colonia, Uruguay, a favored weekend destination for porteños (residents of Buenos Aires). While it comes in a little short for my standards for UNESCO World Heritage, we enjoyed it well enough. After a mere week in BsAs, we are beginning to appreciate the tranquility of small towns as porteños do.

A 2-hour bus ride took us to the capital of Uruguay, Montevideo. It has one tenth of the population of Buenos Aires. It fits my bill of a New World city, urban, but uncrowded. We think porteños like to imagine that BsAs used to be like Montevideo in the good old days. It has quite a few of those grand Art Deco buildings that we are always searching for. In fact we made a special excursion to Estadio Centenario where the very first World Cup was held in 1930 as Art Deco fans but not as futbal fans.

On Sunday we joined the thrones of locals as well as tourists through the Sunday Market. Blocks of city streets are closed for anyone to set up, from vegetables to antiques, from art works to Chinese imports, from DVD  to car parts....  There was such a genial vibe that even made me question ebay.

This cobblestone street in Colonia's old town is a favorite with tourists.
Colonia, Uruguay

View from the top of the Colonia Lighthouse.
Colonia, Uruguay

The Palacio Salvo, built in 1928 in a Deco-ish style, is a Montevideo icon.
Palacio Salvo - Montevideo, Uruguay

The Estadio Centenario, built in 1928-1930 to host the 1930 World Cup, has a very cool Art Deco Tower.
Montevideo, UruguayMontevideo, Uruguay

Another grand Art Deco building; Edificio Lux.
Edificio Lux - Montevideo, Uruguay

Locals dancing in the cool of the evening in a downtown park - Montevideo, Uruguay.
Dancing in the park - Montevideo, Uruguay

The Sunday Market.
Montevideo, Uruguay

Horse carts seem to have a monopoly on recyclables in heart of Montevideo.
Montevideo, Uruguay

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