Taking the one-hour ferry from BA to Uruguay, we time traveled back to 1920 and spent the day exploring the sleepy town of Colonia. The cobblestone streets were straight out of a movie and the culture is much slower than in the city – a welcomed change for us – we were able to slow down and enjoy the moment.
Portón de Campo.
Colonia, and Uruguay in general, obsess over old cars. They were everywhere. I also loved all of the cafes, which literally pour into the streets. The food was similar to Argentina (meat, french fries, and pizza), although they sure love their milanesas (aka sandwiches). Restaurants opened at noon, closed from 4-9pm, then reopened for dinner. Very weird. Seems to me they would be missing out on a great deal of profit from the visiting tourists during this time, but I guess a siesta is more important 🙂
After walking around Colonia and enjoying the views from the lighthouse, we rented a golf cart and explored the other parts of town. Driving up the coast, we came across a small beach with local fisherman. Unfortunately, the water wasn’t very clean so we decided to just observe rather than submerge.
Our self-guided tour took us to an abandoned bullfighting stadium, Plaza de Toros Real de San Carlos, which was plastered with “No Trespassing” signs, but we found a break in the fence and decided to be adventurous (aka rebellious), and journeyed inside to see the arena. It was incredible! Officially opened in 1910, Plaza de Toros only hosted 8 fights as the Uruguayan government outlawed bullfighting in 1912. However, standing in the middle of the arena and imagining the culture and history that took place there over a century ago was truly remarkable.
Besides the bull arena, the other landmarks in the town were a tiny Catholic church and the lighthouse (Faro) with beautiful 360 degree views of the town.
Friends have since shared other incredible places to visit in Uruguay, like Punta del Este, but with only one day to explore, we had to choose the closest route.
A cloudy sunset to send us on our way, back to Buenos Aires…
Until next time, Uruguay…