On Tuesday, April 22nd my family and I escaped the grassfire smoke choking Buenos Aires and headed to the historic old smugglers' port of Colonia del Sacramento. A designated World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the historic quarter of this town truly is worth a visit. From the cobblestone streets which were constructed in the 17th Century, to Iglesia Matriz, the oldest church in Uruguay (dating from 1695-99), a day in Colonia is like stepping back in time. The locals live their lives at a leisurely pace, and the general atmosphere is laidback and peaceful. No matter what kind of a mood you are in it is impossible not to be sucked into the tranquility of your surroundings.
Arriving on the Buquebus
ferry around 12, our first excitement of the day was learning that we could rent high-speed golf carts!! (Very exciting!) With my Dad, Mom, and Silvia on one, and Chris, Glen, and I on another we headed through town and went straight to the yacht harbor where we had a delicious lunch served to us outside an old lighthouse. After our tasty lunch on the patio we spent the better part of the afternoon touring Barrio Histórico
and taking pictures. Such a charming town, with such an amazing history!
Since its founding in 1680 by the Portuguese, there have been numerous struggles over Colonia del Sacramento. From 1680-1828 the ruling over this small town has gone from Portugal to Spain, from Portugal to Spain, from Portugal to Spain, from Portugal to Spain, to Liga Federal, to Portugal, to Brasil, and finally, to Uruguay in 1828. Everywhere you look, there is evidence of its history in the architectural styles: the colonial Portuguese built stone houses with typical roofs, but then those were mixed with the brick houses and classical flat roofs of the Spanish. The outcome - a beautifully unique little town which continually charms its visitors!
By early evening it was time for us to head back to the Buquebus
port and return to Buenos Aires. As we sat waiting to board the ferry everyone was a little quiet and seemed to be reflecting on our day. When I first heard that we were going to Uruguay I had originally wanted to visit the more popular beach town of Punta del Este or even the busier capital city of Montevideo, and I really had no
The Old and The New
The original lighthouse foundation seen in this picture dates back to 1857 and was part of the Convent of San Francisco . (Just a little piece of history!)
interest in the small, slow-paced town of Colonia, but... after visiting I am truly happy that we opted to spend our only day in this pretty town, and am grateful that I was able experience the marvelous magic of its history! Highlights of the Day:
- Golf carts!! ...Especially since the one we were driving was faster than the one my Dad was driving
- Amazing salad plate my Mom and I ate for lunch
- M&Ms from the Duty Free shop on the ferry
- Tea time: Snorting fresh cream while Chris lapped up his coffee as if we had never eaten at a table before (... Mom and Dad, we are just trying to make you proud! LOL!)
- And of course... exploring the beautiful streets of such a historic town!
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