I Arrived at the main bus station in Montevideo from Punta del Este around 3 in the afternoon. I decided to opt for a bus to the hostel as it was a fairly short distance but accidentally got off a few stops early so ended up walking through the city centre shopping area on a busy afternoon for a good 25 minutes. I was surprised by how European and cosmopolitan it all was. I felt out of place with my backpack and daypack slung around my shoulders but nobody really paid attention as they were too busy with themselves.
I was heading towards the old part of town where the hostel is located. The main shopping street was quite wide and very reminiscent of a Spanish city, with the weather to match, it was boiling hot with a bright blue sky. The hostel was just off Plaza Independencia, a really nice square and very central. It has an archway at one end where you enter the old town and around it are government buildings and smart hotels. It is effectively the border crossing of the old town and the new town, or main city. In the centre of the square is a bronze statue of a horse with on top José Artigas who, fittingly enough, was considered the farther of Uruguayan Independence.
El Viajero Hostel in Ciudad Vieja is a great hostel, clean, comfortable and with great people working there. My first evening there I took it easy and went out for a meal in a restaurant before heading to bed. The next day I headed out for a nice stroll along the coast. Montevideo is a great walking city with a far amount to see and do if you don’t mind venturing out and about. Along the coast there is a nice boulevard and lighthouse which leads to a green park and a marina. I walked for about 45 minutes there and before I headed back popped in to a seaside restaurant for some tastey fish food. On the return stroll I made sure to go through the and see more of the city centre.
That night I had a quick walk around the old town as I had arranged to join fellow backpackers for a BBQ and beer up on the hostel roof with what turned out to be a bunch of really cool people. Later on we showed some drunken tango skills down in the bar area before heading out for some beers in the centre.
Montevideo is actually a really nice city with a great coast line and a few nice parks, but it is quite small, with a residential feel about it. Also, it was quite polluted which is a shame, but I guess it’s like that with most port cities.
I would be heading over to Colonia de Sacramento, Colonia for short, the next morning before heading to Buenes Aires in Argentina.