Sunday, March 9, 2014

Montevideo Uruguay Day Two March 8, 2014

First Happy International Women’s Day!  Second wow what a great way to wake up and open the drapes and look out and see the beautiful Montevideo.

the market located just outside the port

Mate Cup 

We are not in any big rush this morning and Bernie heads upstairs for some oatmeal (still on red alert so staff are still serving everything).  I shower and head up there and run into Bernie who is chatting with Jimmy. 

Today we are just going to go at our own speed and walk around and see some of the sights and have a nice meal, and that is exactly what we did.

Getting around Montevideo is easy and easy to walk to the city squares and sights.  The tourist bureau had tourist maps that they handed out on the pier and it has a detailed walking tour you can take.  Make note though that the streets are uneven and the sidewalks are even worse.  Watch out for dog souvenirs and broken steps, sidewalks, and crumbling bricks.  If you are uneasy on your feet you can get around but be doubly careful.

There is a tourist bus you can buy tickets for just across the street from the pier too, sorry didn’t get the cost but it is a double decker bus that is open above.

Bernie and grab a few items and we head ashore and start walking towards the Constitution Square and we find the same vendor from two years ago and buy some scarves for souvenirs for us and family. 

Our standard coffee at a local coffee shop is in order and we find a quiet spot that faces the theater and we enjoy our cappuchinos and juice.  Prices in the restaurants are similar to what we would find at home in Vancouver and we were able to use up our Brazilian Reals here too.  Oh the exchange rate for the Montevideo Peso is 22 to $1 US dollar currently.

We cross the street and check out the Theater and we see there are tours but the one we see is in another language.  We later find out they do offer tours in English and they were free (mind you that may be because it is Saturday, so not sure if it is free every day).

We wander around some more checking out the Independence Square and we spot the changing of the guards and lots of tourist wandering around as well.  We feel very safe and comfortable as well.

Bernie had spotted a barber shop along the pedestrian mall and so I grabbed a seat on a bench and people watched as Bernie got his hair cut.  Anthony from Vines noticed me there and we sat and chatted and got to know each other better.  What a lovely guy, and ladies – he is single!

Anthony decides to walk with us back to the ship and we show him the stall with the scarves and he buys some too for his family at home, gee we should be getting a commission I think.  As we get closer to the port Anthony meets up with friends and we say goodbye.

I wanted to buy this grapefruit soda beverage that I had tried yesterday while at the ranch, so we stop in  a small grocery store very close to the pier (just up from the market) and we get a few bottles and can’t wait to try it with Vodka on the balcony.

I will add here that even though we haven’t brought on more wine others have and it seems to be hit or miss with whether there is someone there at the gangway to check and pay corkage to.  Friends did check their wine and paid corkage on their bottles and had stickers placed on the bottles.  We still have lots of wine in the cabin and quite a few bottles left on the wine card too.

Today I really want to get a meal at the big market building, that use to be the old port building and is now filled with restaurants and little shops.  This building is located just across the street from the port and you can’t miss the great wood burning smells coming from it.

We pull up a seat at the bar of one of the many restaurants.  There are lots of places that have tables too but we want to be up close and see the action.  It is hard sitting on the stools and it is warm, and we end up smelling of smoke but the experience is priceless.

We can see everything being made and it all looks so good but we decide to order a large beer for Bernie, and red wine for me.  Oh my the entire bottle of wine is delivered to me and I wonder how am I going to drink all that!  The price is reasonable though and it works out to be around $15 for the bottle. 

For our entrée we order some sausage, cheese, peppers and fries and we will share. 

As we wait we see Beatriz from the International Coffee Bar at the other side and we insist she joins us.  We get another glass and we toast to another great day.  She orders some pork and we share all the food amongst each of us.  I have no problem finishing the bottle of wine with Beatriz’s help so we get another bottle.  At one point Carlos comes by and we pour him a glass too.

What a fun meal and I am a little drunk but boy was that an experience and I highly recommend it to everyone who visits Montevideo.

Walking back to the ship we stop at a small vendor that is selling jewelry and we buy three pairs of earring for a great price – I believe it was $20 for the three pairs (but don’t quote me as well I had a lot to drink).

Arrival back to the ship is around 3:45 and we grab a coffee and head back to the cabin and coordinate a gathering with our friends for sailaway.  But thankfully we have a short time to get in a quick nap of about 30 minutes.

Jan and Michael along with Barb and Craig join us on the balcony for sail away.  A lot of people are out on their decks and it is a party atmosphere.  Once again we go thru a few bottles and munch on some cheese and dried fruit from the International Café.

For dinner tonight we are heading to the Horizon Court, the theme is South American Buffet but it really was not a good representation but the food was still quite good.  We haven’t dined in the dining room for three nights now and I am a little worried how our first dinner there will be after such a bad time the last few visits.  We have a new table assignment so tomorrow we will check it out.

After dinner we go to Explorer’s to try our luck at the Yes/No game show hosted by Dan.  I managed to last the three minutes (prize was a bottle of champagne, but I didn’t want it) and there were quite a few other people who trumped Dan too. 

We are tired and we are back in the cabin around 11:15 pm and so ready for two sea days.

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