“ Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” - Gustav Flaubert
When I went to Ciudad Vieja on a Sunday, I felt lost. It seemed abandoned. A few places were open, like the Teatro Solis, but there were so few people on the street that I was disappointed. What a difference it made to go there the next day, on a Monday. It was bustling, compared to the day before, but there were pockets of emptiness, especially around the Puerto del Mercado.
Since this was my last full day in Montevideo, I knew I had to experience it as much as I could. I found the Sarandi pedestrian street and walked up and down, looking at what the street vendors had to offer. Maybe it was touristy, but it appealed to me. I knew I wanted to buy things to bring back with me, and I browsed trying to discern just what I wanted to spend my money on. I ended up buying much of my gifts and souvenirs from a vendor selling items made from agate and quartz. He spoke English, which made it very easy to do business with him.
I also went into this lovely book store, Puro Verso and bought a Carlos Gardel cd. Even though all the books were in Spanish, it was still nice to get my book store fix, just looking at the titles (in Spanish), sitting in their comfy leather armchairs, and soaking in the vibe.
The Sarandi area of Ciudad Vieja was a great area to just hang out. I sat around in the Constitution Square, and people-watched. There was a group of school children on an excursion and I really enjoyed watching them, especially their teacher, who reminded me of me and teachers everywhere. She was speaking Spanish of course, but I can just imagine what she was saying, "Now boys and girls, remember to be on your best behavior. Get into your groups, stand by your buddy, stay together."
I did visit an art museum, the Museo Torres Garcia. Apparently, this was where the kids went on their excursion. I watched the end of the lesson. It seems it was about composition and symbolism.
There were other art, cultural, and historical museums, and I was just content to call it a day. If ever I come back, I know there is more to see and do.
I have traveled quite a bit, and am using this page to record some memories. Travel is a wonderful education, expanding your view of the world, of other cultures, of the beauty of diversity.