As someone wrote in a comment on one of my older posts, most places these days seem to be a mixture of old and new.
Uruguay was like that, too. During the same day we enjoyed fast, free wifi at our hotel in the city and saw an old-fashioned hay wagon being pulled by a horse in the countryside.
Architechturally, Montevideo – like so many other places, including my own home town – had all things new and old, polished and broken, beautiful and slightly ugly, mingling cozily together side by side.
Please note that when I say ugly, it’s not always negative. Some buildings are more interesting to me if they have something unbeautiful about them. I love beautiful things but I love interesting things even more.
(I even have my own categories for this: something can be beautiful, boringly beautiful; ugly, interestingly ugly. Even beautifully ugly… The one I avoid taking photos of is boringly beautiful! When something is just too perfect, there’s not much to look at…)
Walking around a new town, you see plenty of both good and bad. When you take in scenes for the first time, you see and interpret them so differently than you would when seeing them for the 100th time. You are more aware and look more closely. At least I do.
This is Montevideo’s Plaza Independencia shot from every angle, as I always seem to do, hoping to get one good shot that stands out as being somehow special – a bit different from the first impressions I get.
I like that blue, glass building with the tiny windows, and I especialy like the reflections of the palm trees in the stone (2nd photo).
We visited Uruguay in the middle of the presidential elections of 2014, when the country had a president who drove around in a cute old Volkswagen Beetle and graciously picked up hitchhikers. I’ve never seen as many Beetles anywhere.
On visiting, Uruguay instantly seemed more sympathetic than its larger, neighboring countries. Some travel guide books called the country “Argentina’s little sister” and I wonder if locals would take that as a compliment or not.
According to Wikipedia, “Uruguay is ranked first in Latin America in democracy, peace, lack of corruption, quality of living, e-Government, and equally first in South America when it comes to press freedom, size of the middle class, prosperity and security.”
Here’s another look at beautiful Plaza Indepencia: