Wednesday, July 18, 2012

First impressions of Uruguay

After a long 13 hour flight (15 if you count layovers), I finally arrive with the other participants to Montevideo. The airport was nice and neat only having been built recently.  We were received by one of the directors of the program who had a bus waiting for us. At that point, it was the first time that I was meeting the other people in the program. We come from all different parts of the United States which is interesting in and of itself since I don't really know what it's like in other parts of the country.

Once I stepped out of the airport, I could see my breath which is a true indication of how really cold it is here. Yes, it was cold, but nothing I couldn't handle. Especially if the sun is out. We drove along the coast which was stunning. Although you would think I would have a tendency to compare Uruguay to the United States, I am constantly comparing it to the other South American countries I've been to - Ecuador and Colombia. Both of which have the Andes Mountains. Also, I could definitely see more of the European influence especially in the style of houses.

Driving into Montevideo

We arrive to the hotel, and although I was very tired, I took the opportunity to actually run/walk the Rambla. (I ran 3 miles and walked 2.5). I know how much I ran because they have these green markers which indicate the meters.

The Ramla here gives the Rambla in Barcelona stiff competition in my book :)

Another cool thing that they have along the Rambla is this place where you can do a little circuit training. I had a great view of the beach while getting in a little workout. I have to say the people of Montevideo are an active bunch. I would be too if I had a view like that every day!

After, I came back to the hotel to shower and eventually went out to find something to eat. I met up with a few other people from our group, got pesos, and got some food to go since we wanted to see the Ciudad Vieja. We walked down the main street Avenida del 18 de julio to get to the Plaza de Independencia. These are some of the cool things we saw in downtown Montevideo.

La fuente de los Candados

La Plaza de Independencia with Jose Artigas, the Liberator of Uruguay

Palacio Salvo
We worked up an appetite for sure, and so we went to El Restaurante la Tregua for some dinner. On my first night in Uruguay I had to have beef. It was amazing! Buen provecho!

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