There are some things in life you just know from the start; an immediate reaction that convinces your head and heart that you are where you should be.
For me it was Uruguay that was serendipitous. Left Argentina, and would arrive by bus at 3am at the border – it was here I completely expected something to go wrong with our visas. Yet they greeted us with warm smiles filled by warm máte.
Took an uber (yes they have that here!?) to our hotel Splendido where I was expecting a musty, crammed container that wreaked of moth balls. Yet I was surprised again to be walked through marble halls and into our lofty, cubanesque room. The French balcony doors stretched up towards the ceiling and opened to view a boutique, Parisian street below.
What was designated as a visa run turned into a gorgeous gem tucked away and living in the shadow of her older sister, Buenos Aires. The city of Montevideo has always competed with Buenos Aires as it is merely 5 hours away and they share the same waters. So while there was an air of similarity, it seems Montevideo was stuck decades behind. All their technology and architecture seemed to predate the roaring forties. If it weren’t for the McDonald’s I would have sworn we were in another era.
Even the Brazilian consulate was deserted and antique – the elevator had the cage sliding doors that allowed you to view each floor! To my surprise the visa process was also extremely easy compared to Buenos Aires. Everything was coming together so nicely that I couldn’t help but relax and truly enjoy the city.
Shared a bottle of Uruguayan tennet at a super bohemian hole in the wall. Or should I say crater as it was like a coffee shop artisan warehouse. Perhaps I’m just stuck in New York and I will forever be scarred by the compact lifestyle that I grew to adore. We were the only customers, as it was only 7pm and that is way too early for dinner here. So many places open at 8 and people don’t really arrive until 930/10…still trying to wrap my head around that.
Saw my first tango show. It was romantic, intimate, and exciting. Perhaps it was the third glass of wine, but I felt like I was really on stage watching the man pursue this woman with so much passion. I had to wonder if this truly happens, or if lovers go through ebbs and flows where desire is overlapped with the distractions of everyday life. He couldn’t possibly want her as much as she did him. Multiple past experiences have taught me that he will pull away when such intensity is shown, yet the lovers appeared completely confident and safe in the intense red light. The revaluation flickered away as so did the lights, then the Congo line entered stage right to stir up one last applause. One of the ladies grabbed my arm and I came up to dance – it was a great ending to the night.
I think this is my favourite city in South America. However I am just getting started. Now to explore a famous artist and his hand-crafted house!