Posted by Cool Your Jets IV on December 14, 2010
As is the norm, we arrived off the coast of Montevideo yesterday morning, roughly 0800hrs. We then sat off the coast for the next 16 hours, finally docking at midnight – I’m quickly realising that it’s quite normal to dock at this stage, I’m guessing it must be cheaper for Grimaldi as they can work through the night and leave by noon the following day.
In the brochures this is not mentioned!
Getting up early, Shelley and I had til 12 Noon to go explore Montevideo which was a little frustrating as we’d hoped to spend the whole day exploring and also finding a nice place to eat.
The City itself is located on the opposite side of Rio Plata from Buenos Aires – BsAs is in fact a popular day trip from Argentina as it’s approx. 3 hours by boat so whilst our trip has been short today we will be back as it’s quite a cool place.
The Port is located right in the middle of the old town so no Taxi’s needed and we wandered through the early morning officer workers. To a man, everyone was drinking Mate, young and old – certainly made me think that Starbucks would have numerous problems opening up here (their coffee is also quite crap and you need several to obtain the required caffeine hit!)
Given we were in town very early, it was mostly closed though we found a couple of nice places for an early cafe solo so all good.
At the port is a memorial to a German Warship, Admiral Graf Spee which coincidently was seriously damaged by the British on the 13th December 1939 (yesterday, numerous years back!) And subsequently sunk by its own crew, several days later…
By all accounts, it was here to disrupt the shipping to Europe at the start of WWII and on leaving the Montevideo Harbour it was attacked by 3 British Warships which caused it considerable damage – it limped back into port and was given 72 hours by Uruguay to carry out repairs.
The Captain realising his ship was damaged, that they were also low on ammo and that they were sure to be destroyed on leaving, told his crew to stay ashore whilst he and another took the ship out into open water to set fire and destroy their own ship and thus saving it from falling into British hands.
They have the Ships Anchor and also the Ships Range Finder as a memorial.
We’re so close to Argentina now, we’re almost tempted to pack our clothes up and take the ferry across Rio Plata – in fact our apartment starts today so it’s very feasible…