We are in Uruguay now, based in Montevideo. On Sunday we drove to Colonia del Sacramento (but usually referred to simply as Colonia), a small city with a beautiful historic centre. Colonia is the oldest city in Uruguay and has been both a Portuguese and a Spanish colony. I was here over 15 years ago, during my first visit to Uruguay on a day trip from Argentina, and I was really keen to come back with the kids, as it is a really relaxing and charming place full of history.
The drive from Montevideo was quite easy, in many way Uruguay reminds me of New Zealand, lots of empty roads (in the countryside, not the city!!) and big farms. But here there are also gauchos on horses! Before arriving to Colonia we were greeted by a long long long line of palms (photo taken from the car).
Colonia is full of old buildings, and the weather was beautiful, although for the first time this year I felt Autumn approaching, possibly because the streets here are lined with platano (plane) trees with leaves falling on the cobble streets.
To add to the charm there are old cars all around, and charming little shops and restaurants.
We found an Italian style trattoria (many Italians came to Uruguay, so pasta and gnocchi are very common in this part of the world). And like in Italy, we sat outside to eat al fresco.
We had gnocchi, ravioli and omelette for lunch.
Colonia is on the very large delta of the Rio de la Plata (river Plate), so it looks like the sea, but it is still a river, and the water is brown. We went up the old lighthouse, which provides great views, and you can easily see the tall buildings of the city of Buenos Aires in Argentina.
There were a lot of Argentinian tourists around, and it is easy to understand why: you can take a ferry from Buenos Aires, a busy city of 12 millions, and go back in time into quiet and relaxing Colonia! I learned that many porteños (citizens of Buenos Aires) even have a house here to come over for the weekends.
And the houses look lovely! Of course I got a few more photos of doors ad windows for my Pinterest boards :-). Bye Bye Colonia, good to see that nothing has changed in the old district in 15 years!
Photos by Alessandra Zecchini ©