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Colonia del Sacremento, a farewell to Uruguay

After the storm came in Cabo Polonio, it continued to be rainy and dreary.  So we decided to start our journey back.  This meant going west back towards Montevideo.  A long bus ride on a very crowded bus (where Laurent had to stand for over 2 hours!) deposited us back off in the city.  We stayed there overnight, had  another fabulous steak dinner and the next afternoon, we left for Colonia del Sacremento.

Discovered in 1680, Colonia sits right on the water and was a crucial smuggling port back in the day.  The Portugese and Spanish fought heavily over it.  But in the end, the Spanish won.

Colonia is often visited as a day trip from Buenos Aires.  There is a quick (one hour) inexpensive ferry that shuttles people back and forth between the two cities.  Colonia is not quite a city, more like a big village.  It oozes charm from every one of it’s cobblestoned streets but because it is so easily accessed to and from BA, it suffers a bit from being a touristy destination.  People are walking around with cameras slung around their necks, waiters from restaurants are beckoning to you from the street and most of the people and the things there are centered around tourism.  And this was the off-season on a weekday.  I think I might have liked it a lot less in summer on a weekend.

Despite this, you can’t help but get sucked into Colonia’s charm.  Due to it’s compact size, the whole city is easily walkable.  First there are the cobblestone streets everywhere, with vintage cars lining the sidewalks:

Between the streets and this colonial architecture, you can’t help but fall in love with Colonia:

Then there are the ocean views with the stunning sunsets.  Uruguay has some of the best sunsets I have ever seen.

Our view from where we ate (another pizza!  I am eating more pizza in Argentina & Uruguay than I have in New York!)

We had one more day in Colonia.  We walked around, took more photos and enjoyed the amazing weather.  And of course we ate!  We stopped in a place that was recommended, not only for its homemade tasty sandwiches but also for the tranquil garden.  You could listen to the birds and the ocean while eating your sandwich and drinking your (surprisingly good) beer.  The beer in Argentina has thus far been substandard.  It’s cheap, yes.  But it tastes like PBR.  Not my cup of tea.  Finally, in this garden oasis, I had a lovely sandwich and at last a good beer!

The cafe overlooking the garden

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For dessert we went to another cute cafe and I finally got to try the luscious chocolate torta!  It lived up to the hype.  Yum.  And can you guess what was in the middle? Yup, dulce de leche!

Because Colonia is full of tourists, you can feel safe all of the time.  I haven’t felt this relaxed walking around since we started this trip.  We even felt safe enough to take the camera equipment, including the tripod, out at night so we could get some nice shots and enjoy the city by night:  

If you would like to see all the photos from Colonia, please click here.  For now, we bid an adieu to Uruguay and tomorrow we will take the ferry back to Buenos Aires.

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