Welcome to Montevideo!
A little boat trivia: There is no jail on the boat, but there is security. The crew is not allowed to handle difficult guests. They call security. Evidently on the Christmas cruise a man was beating his wife in their room. The room next door called to report it. They ended up holding the man in house arrest, in his room with a security man outside the door. They had to find a place for his wife, as the boat was completely booked.
We are now in Montevideo. The boat is docked but we are not yet cleared to exit. Both of us slept pretty well as the sea was calm. We both think we only half-sleep when the sea is rougher.
Pretty residential building
We turned on the TV and found a local live CNN report that Chile, specifically Santiago, had an 8.8 magnitude earthquake at 3-something AM Chile (local time). It was felt as far away as Buenos Aires, where they evacuated the downtown office buildings in the middle of the night. They said it was cleaning crews who were evacuated. They say the energy expended is like a nuclear explosion.
Throughout the course of the cruise we have heard lectures on the fault lines, continental drift, and etc.
We know of one Chilean family here because they traveled with us to the railroad in Ushuaia. They were here with their two young daughters, about 12 and 15. Our prayers are with Chile.
Fun wind up figure graffiti.
Montevideo: We took a free shuttle from the boat to a leather shop, but not the one the boat told us about. Mom figured it was safe, because no one would be allowed on the dock if they weren’t.
The shop was by Independence square, one of the places we wanted to see. The shop was tiny, similar to those in Italy. The square was full of soldiers, readying for some presidential event on Monday. We think it was an inauguration.
We walked from there to Constitutional Square. All the way down were little tables full of people’s antiques, silver, pictures, or jewelry. I found a couple of rings I liked. We felt we would keep looking and come back. I decided not to buy one of the rings. Then we found a really cool agate necklace for me, then an agate ring ($3) from another seller, then glass earrings from another seller. Mom found a cool agate necklace that looks like water and icebergs or like a cruiseship on water. She also bought a couple of glass earrings. We really had fun wandering. One seller had interesting whale earrings (but we’d not wear them) and also earrings that clamp to the mid point of your ear (ditto.)
Independence square and statue of the 'father' of Uruguay, General Gervasio Artigas
Constitutional Square was also being worked on. So it was basically an unusable space in mid city. We ran into Suzanne and her mother and took pictures!
Along the way we met Ken and his partner. They took a picture with us with the church in the background. They were heading out to try to find the old train station, which they found but it was cordoned off with razor wire too. They told us to be sure to look in the church. If they hadn’t, Mom and I might not have even thought of it. They also told us about women begging for money. We did see one woman, but she didn’t approach us. The church was beautiful, dark, elaborate, and creepy. The gift shop smelled weird. Like old dusty bones. Part of it was in a smaller room with a walled off old fireplace.
The city was dirty. Lots of potholes to walk into – or pavement that was uneven. Graham had warned us in his talk, and he wasn’t being facetious. We found a nice gift shop. It had some knitted garments in it too.
Keira in front of a fountain on our walk
People were sipping mate tea thru silver straw spoons, with holes in them to filter out the tea. Mom said it would have been something interesting to buy, but would she ever use it? Suzanne and her mother bought a painting.
We just continued to walk down the central street to the Plat. We crossed the street, turned right, and walked quite a ways to the ship, but it didn’t seem as far as it had looked when driving it in the free shuttle. We followed another couple who were Spanish speaking who made it clear by gestures and smiles that we were walking in the right direction. Mom’s original thought had been to go to the other leather shop and take their free shuttle back to the boat. The walk was interesting. Lots of dogs free of leashes, but with collars. The doors along the street were old and intricate.
Keira and Suzanne in Montevideo
Mom said [tourists] really are at a distinct disadvantage if [they] don’t speak Spanish. I think she feels this way because we are in South America in Spanish speaking countries; we usually travel elsewhere where it is not so prevalent.
We went back into the boat, had some lunch (hamburger, veggie lasagna, fruit, soft ice cream.) Then we went to play some trivia type games.
It's the Opera!
We had reservations at 6:30 PM at the US restaurant on the boat, SS United. It was classy inside, multiple waiters. Mom had a Wellington scallop appetizer. I had the goat cheese soufflé recommended by our maitre d’, then Dover sole. The chef sent us (and all the tables) a small cold tomato soup, quite delicious. Mom had the filet. They flame it at the table after it is somewhat cooked already. She loved the sauce. We ordered the chocolate soufflé and the Grand Marnier mango soufflé.
The chocolate was similar to a volcano cake. Mom and I shared the chocolate as I didn’t like the other. Mom liked them both, but couldn’t have eaten a full one by herself. I asked them if I could take the other with us to eat later. Mom gave it to Joseph and Teresa because we knew she loves Mango. It reminded us of Crème Brule, but not as sweet, and not quite an egg custard texture, definitely better than Crème Brule.
Archway on our walk
Mom made sure to look up Mili to say thank you again to her. She thanked her! Said, Mom really was happy the whole trip. She was!
We went back to our room, changed to our traveling clothes, finished packing, and left our suitcases outside the door. Then we went up to the Constellation, but hardly anyone was there. Carole and Joan had been and gone. Mom didn’t want to spend the last night in our room, but there was no 11:15 PM movie. Suzanne and Chrissi were there the Suzanne and I went off to play some cards (and exchange emails.) Chrissi and I chatted, until it was just too noisy.
Afterward we watched an Antarctica show on TV. Late night by the time we went to sleep.