Colonia is a small colonial town (name might give that away;) founded by the Portuguese but fought over until the Spanish finally won and took over. Due to the old Portuguese architecture and cobblestone streets, the old town is a UNESCO world heritage site.
It is just a short (about an hour) fast ferry across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires and a common day or side trip. Though just that short ferry away, you do need to go through customs each direction, which is handled quite smoothly at the ports. Ferries are huge with comfortable seats, duty free stores, cafes, etc. And they are FAST. They claim to have the fastest fleet in the world and I wouldn’t doubt it. I was left wondering why the Hyannis ferries are not this nice!
We spent our time exploring the town; it isn’t big so we certainly saw all of the old town thoroughly as well as checked out a local beach, though we were there about a month early for it to be the time of year for that.
There are a number of small museums, which we also visited. Many cafes had sidewalk seating and it is generally very picturesque, if not breathtaking or with a blockbuster attraction.
We went to a parilla (grill) restaurant, which are traditional in both Argentina and Uruguay, where they cook meat of all types on a grill over open flame (indoors, in this case). You can order things individually, e.g. one sausage or get a plate to serve 2 or 4 etc. This is food for 4 (also included a large plate of fries!). Note the only vegetable was 1 lone roasted (on parilla) pepper. Jack and Nate now refer to this as a “pile of meat” restaurant, and we have been to a few.
It was just before an election of some sort so there were lots of banners and advertisements. Interestingly candidates seem to have individual numbers (as well as names, obviously) which are displayed prominently on all ads.
Nate and, to a lesser extent, Jack were thrilled our hotel had a warm (too warm?) indoor pool. I tried the hot tub, which bizarrely was colder (just) than the pool. The pool wasn’t hot tub warm, but very warm. Regardless it was a nice way for them to get some kid downtime.
After our ferry back to Buenos Aires we had an afternoon free before our flight south, to the Switzerland of Argentina. How does this place compare to the real Switzerland? You will have to wait for our next post….