DAY 48: Initially, our plan included a 2-3 day trip to Uruguay right before our flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil. That plan involved leaving most of our luggage at a hotel and traveling light to both Colonia de Sacramento (and its UNESCO site historic quarter) followed by a trip to the capital Montevideo. However, when the Bepko Grandparents decided to join us in Buenos Aires, we decided to convert the Uruguay passport stamp to a day visit to Colonia.
The city of Colonia is about a 1-hour ferry ride from Buenos Aires. This city was established by the Portuguese as a counterpart to the Spanish city of Buenos Aires. It is located about 32 miles due East of the Argentinian city. The city changed hands multiple times and with each occupation, building were erected in the style of the current occupier. When the Spanish has the city… brick structures were built. When the Portuguese owned the city… it was stone buildings. This hodgepodge collection of buildings, along with portions of the original stone wall, made for a great visit.
Unfortunately for the kiddos… it was an early morning for them. Although the ferry to Uruguay left at a respectable 9AM, it was recommended to arrive one hour early in order to checkin. As one needed to go through Immigrations prior to boarding, we decided to pay close attention to this recommendation. Or course, it only took 10 minutes to work our way through the boarding process which meant a little time to wait. And no Priority Pass lounges here… SAD!
The ferry took about an hour and we arrived in Colonia, Uruguay with lots of time to explore before our 7:45PM return ferry. The first step was renting a golf-cart for my dad. He injured his leg during the Lima portion of our trip and was still having problems. And knowing the one of the “selling points” of this historic city was the cobble-stone roads……
… we thought it might be best if he rented one of the golf carts!
It was a nice 10 minute walk from the ferry station to the historic area (for us able bodied Bepkos). It was pretty cool seeing a stone wall around much of the historic section… and entering through an old drawbridge and gate.
Several of the roads were off-limits to vehicle as they were the original stone roads. The building were a mix of brick buildings, stone buildings, with some scattered new builds. But the whole area was quite lovely.
The city had scattered multiple vintage cars around the area to serve as photo props.
In addition to the cobblestone streets and stone buildings, there was an older lighthouse next to a burned out convent. Of course, the requisite Catholic basilica was lovely – especially the outer walls which retained much of the original architecture.
We decided to give ourselves 7 hours in the area which might have been a little too long – maybe we should have taken the earlier ferry back to BA. However, the weather was quite lovely and Jeni and I just lounged in the grass in a park by the ocean for an hour while the kiddos drove around the area with my parents in their golf cart.
As we did have some additional time, we decided to stroll along the coast towards the more modern part of the city. It was a lovely 5km walk along the various beaches. And some of the tree-lined streets heading away from the historic district were quite photogenic.
Finally, after a ride back from the newer part of town in the back of a golf cart, we just had time for some coffee, hot chocolate and pastries in a cute tea room overlooking the water. Then a quick march back to the ferry station for our ride home.
Our kiddos were waiting for us at the terminal having taken yet another golf cart trip!
Even though it was less than 10 hours on the ground in total, it still counts as another country. Current tally on the Bepko World Tour is up to 6 countries in 7 weeks!
TOTAL MILES TRAVELLED TO DATE (including the Uruguay ferry visit) : 9554 miles