UNESCO world heritage site
14.12.2009 - 15.01.2010 30 °C
After a boat ride of one hour on the fast ferry from Buenos Aires you arrive in Colonia Del Sacramento, Uruguay. It was originally founded in 1680 by the Portuguese but kept changing hands between the Portuguese and the Spanish until 1822 after the Brazilian declaration of independence. For 6 years it stayed in Brazilian hands until in 1828 the independent state of Uruguay came to be.
When you cross over by boat during the summer there is one important thing to remember: Uruguay has daylight saving time and Argentina has not. Why is this so important? Because the boat schedules of the ferries are all in local time, but they do not mention any of this on the ferry or when you buy your ticket, so keep an eye on your watch, because we missed our ferry because we didn´t know. In hindsight this turned out to be a good thing because now we had to wait for the last ferry of 23.30 hours, and we got to enjoy the evening, a very good meal and sunset in Colonia. Which is, believe me, not a punishment at all. Because in the evening on the central square you have three café\restaurants and they serve excellent food, good beverages and every restaurant has a live artist(s) performing. And if that is not enough you get to enjoy a beautiful sunset in historic surroundings. What more can a person ask for?
After we came of the ferry in Colonia Del Sacramento we took a taxi to show us the neighborhood. You do not need to take a taxi, if you are just interested in the historic part. Just turn left when you leave the terminal and after five blocks you arrive in the old UNESCO world heritage site.
But the cab drive was no punishment either, we got to see how the new Colonia had developed and saw the people enjoying there Saturday off by lunching on the beach and in the parks and got to see the, now abandoned, Bull ring. It is slowly decaying, after the government of Uruguay adopted a law making Bull fights illegal.
But it has to be said the old historic part is the most beautiful and well worth a visit. It is only a very small part of the whole of Colonia Del Sacramento, but amazingly beautiful. Everything is kept in the way it was founded and the houses are still inhabited or used for business, such as hotels, café or ice-cream parlors. By the way you have to taste the Uruguayan ice-cream it is just delicious.
So if you are ever in Buenos Aires or Montevideo go take a boat or bus trip and visit Colonia Del Sacramento, you will not regret it. But remember the daylight saving time if you are visiting from Buenos Aires ;-)