We spent a couple of days in Colonia, Uruguay, earlier this week. The official name of the small town (pop. about 20,000) on the Rio de la Plata directly across from Buenos Aires is Colonia del Sacramento, and it is the oldest town in the country of Uruguay. It is a one-hour fast ferry ride from Buenos Aires, as opposed to the capital of Uruguay, Montevideo, which is across a much wider section of the river and is a three-hour ferry ride. If I correctly understand the sign by the old wall — it was a walled city — it was founded by Portugal in 1680, a hundred years before the US Constitution appeared. It is an UNESCO World Heritage site. Here are a few more photos of the town.
The best part of this trip was where we spent the night. We stayed in a recently-remodeled house that had once been an atelier for an iron artist, has been converted into a guest house with three guest rooms by a painter from Buenos Aires, who lived many years in France. It is called Colonia Suites. It has one of the most distinctly creative environments I have ever experienced in a hotel or B & B, as if it was specifically designed for working artists or writers.
All the art is original. This is one of the most comfortable beds we have ever slept in. There is a CD player on a shelf to the left with a stack of classical CDs. There is also a TV, but what would you do with it?
Below is a view of the back garden seen from the patio just beyond the window at the work table.
There is an artist studio behind the vegetation on the right side, as well as a small table and a few chairs for taking the sun, having a drink, eating breakfast, doing some writing.
Breakfast was coffee or tea, a bowl of fruit, baguette and toast, butter and jam, and cheese and ham. The window looks out to the rear garden as seen from our room, which was above the kitchen here.
We also had a fantastic lunch at a French restaurant called Florida, on Florida street, of course.
More pictures from town.
The lighthouse from where the top picture was taken.
When you live in city of more than ten million people, like Buenos Aires, which people in Uruguay describe as living in a grand opera, some Verdi spectacle, getting on a ferry and riding an hour across the river to not only another country but another pace and another time is, or ought to be, considered necessary therapy.
I would like to go back for a month and finish my book at that table, in that room, and end the day with a cocktail in the garden.
Finally, a few more photos of street scenes and one of the French restaurant mentioned above.
So next time you pop over to Uruguay, be sure to stay at Colonia Suites and ask for the room in back overlooking the garden, and have dinner at Florida.