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Published: June 27th 2010
Colonia de Sacramento
I never ordered road signs as pretty as this for Ringway.
In between visits to Buenos Aires we visited Uruguay. The boat from Buenos Aires to Colonia de Sacramento is pretty slick. We just turned up at the terminal, ordered our tickets, paid for them at another counter, went back to the original counter to collect our tickets and check in luggage (we didnt have any), went upstairs to customs control, got stamped out of Argentina, moved to another window to get stamped into Uruguay and got straight on to the ferry which was almost ready to leave.
Colonia was a ghost town. But then it was Monday, so none of the museums were open (and the whole town is basically a museum) plus we pulled off our favourite trick of showing up during a national holiday.
Colonia is, well, colonial. It seems to be hanging on to the past for fear that moving into the 20th, let alone 21st, century might just ruin it's main source of income ... tourists. The only noticeable sign that they have any modern preferences are the hire cars. All electric, mainly golf carts but some three wheelers and beach buggies too. Blissfully quiet and pollution free.
We left for Montevideo
This is classy ... most were golf carts.
the following day. While it is picturesque, Colonia is the sort of town you can visit in half a day.
Montevideo is also quiet. Battle of Las Piedras was 199 years ago today and they take their holidays seriously around here. The only excitement is the Peñarol v. Nacional game on the last day of the season. TVs are out on the streets, people are watching through cafe windows. Cafes and bars themselves are full. Until about 5 mins after the final whistle when the celebrations of Peñarol winning the league die out and everyone goes home. Not even a celebratory beer. We expected more from South American football supporters.
The National History museum in Montevideo is small, free and quite informative. We also took a look at General Artigas' mausoleum. It's quite subtle in comparison to leaders of Communist states. No embalmed body on display, just a casket with some important dates in his life (and therefore the history of Uruguay) on the walls. No entry fee, gates or queues just a couple guards either side of the casket.
We had intended to visit the Centennial Stadium (so called because its completion coincided with the centenary
So much for following the sun around the world.
of the formation of the republic in 1830) before leaving Montevideo, but we were a bit late getting our bus so we only viewed the site of the first World Cup final from afar. Uruguay are already lobbying to host the 2030 finals and it would be a bit poetic if the stadium name could have a double meaning.
Back in Colonia the museums are open, tours of the town are taking place and it's generally far more upbeat than the town we left a couple of days ago. We pretty much explore everything the town has to offer all over again in the 4 hours we have to kill before we catch the ferry back to BA.
Not exactly a thorough investigation of the country, but it was easy to like the place. Very friendly people, European in style and typically good steak for this area of the world. They just need to get over their failings in the World Cup for the past 60 years!!
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