Saturday, November 12, 2011

Colonial town of Colonia Uruguay

When you see the Southern Cross for the first time
 You understand now why you came this way
 'Cause the truth you might be runnin' from is so small
 But it's as big as the promise, the promise of a comin' day
Crosby, Stills & Nash

The charming town of Colonia de Sacramento sits 50 kilometers across the Rio de la Plata and a world away from Buenos Aires.  I am really enamored by this little colonial town. The pace in this historical town is much slower, than cosmopolitan Buenos Aires. I have always been attracted to places that sit on the water.

The side streets are tree lined with cobble stones. Much of the architecture is Spanish & Portuguese colonial. The United Nations declared this town a UNESCO world heritage site.

Colonia is the oldest town in Uruguay. The town was founded by the Portuguese in 1680, for its strategic importance. The Portuguese built  a walled fort, churches and a trade port. The Spanish acquired the town in 1771.

Uruguay has an abundance of lighthouses. Some of the islands surrounding Colonia in the Rio de la Plata  are dotted with lighthouses.  In Colonia, the Colonia Lighthouse is famous and administered by the Uruguayan Navy. There are 119 steps to the top if this lighthouse. The admission is 15 Uruguayan Pesos ( .75 USD). The Lighthouse was rebuilt in 1857, and sits on the ruins of the San Francisco convent.

Climbing to the top of the lighthouse is an experience, the stairs are narrow, and the doorways are low. I got a bit dizzy climbing the stairs to the top, but the site was well worth it! The views are incredible.
You can also see the faint skyline of Buenos Aires, islands, and other lighthouses.

There a lot of cute restaurants to have lunch or dinner. Like Argentina, lunches are GRANDE!

Time sits still in this town....

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