A tree lined street in Colonia

The lighthouse through the trees

The gate and wall of the old city

The view over the town from the top of the lighthouse

The wall of the old city by the river

The road along the river

Red flowers along a street

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

Across the River to Uruguay

May 8, 2008

Then as it was, then again it will be

Though the course may change sometimes

Rivers always reach the sea

- Led Zeppelin

The ferry slowly pulled out of the dock at Buenos Aires to cross the Rio Plate, a 3 hour journey to Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay. As the ferry left, the smog surrounding the city, invisible within the city limits, suddenly became noticeable and the taller buildings of the city faded together as the boat moved further out into the river. I took the slow boat since it was cheaper and there really wasn´t anything to see for the next 2 hours until we got within viewing distance of the Uruguay shoreline.

It was off-season so the town was empty and very quiet. It was very pretty with the cobblestone streets lined with tall trees and the historic buildings of the old district. The water front area was covered with lush vegetation and some colorful flowers while a lighthouse with superb views of the town dominated the old city. There were also the remnants of the old city wall and gated entrance. After a few hours of walking around I had seen everything of interest and as it was a bit too cold to go to the beach I went back to the hostel and waited for dark as it seemed like the old city would be very picturesque at night with all the street lights attached to the buildings.

Walking around at night was like walking in a ghost town. Half of the restaurants were closed and the others were almost completely empty. I passed maybe a handful of people on the streets but otherwise it was still and silent, almost a bit too quiet if it weren´t such a safe and touristy neighborhood. The lighting at night was not quite as I expected but it was still pretty, although the lack of anything to do helped me to decide to depart for Montevideo the next morning rather than staying another day as I had previously planned. Perhaps in high season the town is much busier but in the off-season I enjoyed its tranquil atmosphere and empty streets, definitely a drastic change from Buenos Aires, but one day was enough.