Day five: Montevideo, Uruguay (February 18)

We cruised all of 150 +/- miles overnight to Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, which is just across the river from Buenos Aires. Hard to believe, but due to heavy traffic we arrived an hour late. This caused no problems for us since our walking tour of the old city did not start until 12:30. The dock was right downtown which made getting to and from easy.

We had a great guide who explained how the Spanish and Portuguese fought over Uruguay from colonial times forward with Brazil getting in on the act later. This meant it changed hands quite a few times and was not the independent country it is today until 1825. The downtown we visited was full of post colonial buildings, wide roads, impressive monuments, and pretty parks. Just like in Argentina, they like their grilled meat here as evidenced by all the barbecue places with an assortment of meat cooking over hot coals.

We went inside three impressive buildings. The first was the city’s most prominent home a century ago, now the Museum of Decorative Arts. It is within walking distance of the port in the old city and has gorgeous furnishings, framed tapestries, and a very sweet marble carving about two and a half feet tall of a small girl doing handwork. The second building was the theatre with its beautiful horseshoe shaped red and gold concert hall, and the third was the cathedral where we lit a candle for Josie’s Aunt Gerry.

We got back to the ship just in time to shower and change for dinner. Tonight’s entertainment was a pretty, energetic, young, Russian violin player who came to have a good time. Let’s just call her Inna Tolstova in case you want to YouTube her. She has either tied with the ball twirling, whip snapping, dancing gauchos or she is my favorite so far. Surprise #1: she did not stand still. Hard to picture I know, but she started each number in a sort of tai chi pose and then moved fluidly into waltz and ballet type movements, lunges, and mini-squats. It did not distract from the music at all. Surprise #2: the first third of the performance was done in a beautiful hoop skirt, 3″ strappy sandals, and what looked like a sleeveless leather top. Then fast as a flash, she released something around her waist and stepped out of the floor length skirt and played in the leather top and a thigh high, gold and black checked sarong. It is not so much that it was distracting as it made us ask why a costume change when she had us all so captivated with her music. Imagine our surprise when the little sarong dropped to the floor and she looked like a trapeze artist playing a wicked violin. She got a standing ovation and did an encore. H&R had been up since 5:00, so won’t they be sorry to know what they missed by heading to bed early? Cleone also passed.

Sad news today: W&C’s dear friend Don died this morning. They knew before they left home that it was a possibility, but it was still very sad to hear the news.


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