Since it didn’t require another visa or too much hassle we decided to take a side trip to the old, but very well preserved/restored Uruguayan city of Colonia del Sacramento, the oldest city in Uruguay.
You have a choice from Puerta Madera on the east side of Buenos Aires of taking the fast ferry (1 hour) across the Rio del Plata to Colonia, or the slow boat which takes 3 hours. Since it was only a day trip, we opted not to waste so much time crossing the river.
Remember this is river water, not the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean many of us are accustomed to, and due to the sediment content in the water, it is brown.
Old Town Colonia or Barrio Historica surrounded by water on three sides, is a World Heritage site made up of just a few streets that you could walk in an hour or so, but it’s so interesting with the beautiful old buildings, houses and plazas, many dating from the late 1600s, that we happily spent several hours wandering around.
The Portuguese founded the city in 1680 and are responsible for many of the historical buildings and the layout of the streets which apparently is quite different from the typical Spanish design.
The Portuguese built the gate to the city and a wooden drawbridge in 1745. The Spanish who had settled Buenos Aires on the other side of the river disputed this Portuguese holding and as a result Colonia changed hands back and forth many times with various conquerors until the Treaty of San Ildefonso in 1777. It has remained in Spanish hands since then, which is good because as bad as my Spanish is, my Portuguese is non-existant!
GetOffYourButts.com . . . . . . turned travel blog direct from Buenos Aires for the month of Feb.