Each year Fulbright hosts ETA conferences that brings together Fulbright English Teaching Assistants from various countries to allow ETAS to share their experiences and talk about English teaching strategies. This year’s conference was held in Montevideo, Uruguay, and my fellow ETA’s and I were SO excited to be able to take a trip to a country that none of us had been to before!
We were so excited, in fact, that we asked Fulbright if they would book our flight to Montevideo on Friday morning instead of on Sunday night like they had originally wanted to schedule.
And THEN we also asked them if they could book our departing flight to fly out of Buenos Aires instead of Montevideo.
And THEY DID!
So we had seven days to explore Montevideo and the surrounding area, PLUS three days to explore some of Buenos Aires. It was AMAZING!
Montevideo is a much smaller city than Lima, with about 1.3 million compared to Lima’s 9 million. It felt so calm and relaxed compared to the craziness and the noise and the pollution that hits you as soon as you enter Lima. The chill vibes in the city made it really easy to see lots of different parts of town, and it was really beautiful. With seven days, we were able to see just about all the cool stuff that MTVD has to offer.
My favorite part of Montevideo was the Old City.
Montevideo is situated on the Rio de Plata, and it is sort of like a little peninsula that sticks out from the rest of the country. If you are standing in the right place in the old city, you can look around and see water surrounding you on three different sides.
My friends and I aren’t really big carnivores, but Uruguay has three cows for every person in the country, so we basically had to eat meat. We decided to have an authentic experience in the Mercado del Puerto, which ironically is a famous market located in the port of the Old City that is known for restaurants that serve all different types of meat.
One day of our Fulbright conference included a walking tour of the city. We saw allllllll the things including the Teatro Solaris, the Plaza Independence, and the Palacio Salvo (which we may or may not have tried to save about $7 and sneak onto the roof ourselves until we realized we were locked out).
Fulbright Uruguay also took us on a day trip to a small city called Colonia. It took about two and a half hors to get there on a bus – but it was really cute! We had a delicious lunch with Fulbright and then had some time to walk around, explore, and shop.
Punta del Este
Seven days is a lot of time in Montevideo, so my friends and I decided to use one of our days to check out Punta del Este, a popular beach town in Uruguay. Uruguay is in the middle of winter, so the town was very quiet, but the trip was worth it. The view was beautiful, and we stayed just long enough to enjoy a sunset before heading back to Montevideo.
So overall, Uruguay was pretty great. It was so nice to escape from the craziness of Lima for a little bit. It was definitely cool to meet the other Fulbrighters from different countries and get to know a new city.
But the best part of the Uruguay adventure was that it didn’t end there…