Uruguay Capital, and the best steak in the world

Trip Start Nov 15, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Uruguay  ,
Thursday, May 31, 2007

The name Montevideo sounds so familiar to me, from a book I've read long ago, or a painting I once saw. Nothing so lofty. It's the name of a ship in the lyrics of a Midnight Oil song.

But, we do really like Montevideo (more than the much-hyped Buenos Aires). Montevideo seems to go about its business in a relaxed manner, the people are helpful and friendly and the city centre and old town are packed with old colonial buildings, some in a state of disrepair which adds to the city's charm. Close by are inviting tree-lined suburbs with intimate cafés and restaurants, and beyond, the strip of unending high-rises lining the beaches where wealthy locals hang out.

Our hotel (Palacio) is good value, another colonial gem, with spacious rooms, wood floors, high ceilings, claw-footed bath and beautiful glazed-tile detailing.

Highlights include:
* a visit to Café Brasileiro, a place where the bohemia of Montevideo used to hangout,
* marvelling at the Gotham-City-style skyscraper on the main plaza,
* having a two-and-a-half inch thick steak cooked to rare perfection (jugoso-juicy) in the old mercado with a cold beer.
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