Morning in Montevideo

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Written by Michael Turtle

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle. A journalist for more than 20 years, he's been travelling the world since 2011.

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle and has been travelling full time for a decade.


Montevideo, Uruguay

One a quiet Sunday morning, the streets of Montevideo are almost empty. The city is slowly awakening from a night of fiesta, another journey into the revelry of the dark which South America embraces as a proud tradition.

Music had escaped the bars of the capital and filled the crowded streets; the restaurants had overflowed with groups eating into the small hours; and the children had set off fireworks on the pavements, either unaware or unconcerned with their explosive dangers.

What is Montevideo like?
What is Montevideo like?

But on this Sunday morning you can see the city for its innocence – the same way the study of a sleeping body reveals features without the self-conscious.

Montevideo has long been ignored by many Western tourists. Dwarfed in size by neighbouring Argentina and Brazil, Uruguay is often left in the shadows of the tourist trail.

It is, though, a beautiful city full of fascinating architecture, water vistas and welcoming public spaces.

What is Montevideo like?
What is Montevideo like?

What’s it like in Montevideo, Uruguay?

Walking as everyone wakes, you find fishermen by the water; grocers setting up their stands; and early risers stretching the ache of sleep from their legs.

The smell of coffee wafts from a restaurant and from one house the notes from a piano drift into the morning.

What is Montevideo like?
What is Montevideo like?

As the sun hits a granite wall, it sparkles like a million diamonds jostling for attention. Most of the buildings are still in slumber, though. The rays of light slowly bring them to life as the yellows and browns of their walls and doors are revealed.

What is Montevideo like?
What is Montevideo like?

A dog barks. Not an aggressive or intimidating bark, just a greeting to the day. A nearby cat, emaciated and with large yellow eyes, sits in the sun and soaks up the heat.

Montevideo is not overrun with stray animals but, like most big cities, they are a part of the urban ecosystem.

What is Montevideo like?
What is Montevideo like?

The rest of the ecosystem seems relatively in balance for a large South American city. There are few overt signs of poverty, there is a comforting sense of security on the streets, and there’s a good nature in the interactions between passing strangers.

As a day like this begins, it’s hard to see why tourists have generally avoided Uruguay and its capital.

The centre of Montevideo, the historic areas and the waterfront all offer a seemingly endless bounty of treasures to discover and explore. It’s friendly, quaint and clean.

This morning the city is awakening but it’s the tourist crowd that should perhaps be waking up to itself.

1 thought on “Morning in Montevideo”

  1. To be fair enough, Montevideo really is a beautiful place. Although it is not as magnificent as other places, I appreciate its beauty. I’m positive that there are a lot of things in that place that will amaze the eyes. It’s a good place to go and discover the beauty that it has.


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