a day trip to uruguay

uruguay and the unesco world heritage site of colonia del sacramento sit just across the river from buenos aires. since visiting another south american country was as easy as a ferry ride away, we decided to take a day trip. as we waited to board we all oohed and aahed at this lovely (albeit a bit ragged) airedale who was greeting passengers. her name was lady and she was owned by the man running the coffee shop at the port.

i've never been to cuba, but it kept coming to mind as we walked across the cobblestone streets of this lovely town.

old cars were everywhere, brightly painted.

first things first. as the ferry was really early, we had breakfast upon arrival. i am a convert to two of the great foods in south america: one is the submarino - a mug of warm milk with a chunk of dark chocolate dropped into it. 

oh. my. god. 

and the other is the national cookie of argentina (and presumably, uruguay) called an alfahora. they come in a variety of flavors - this one is filled with chocolate and dusted with coconut. 

voila - breakfast of champions.

the town is astride the rio de la plata river, the widest in the world - so wide at points that it seems like the sea - but it doesn't drain into the atlantic ocean for miles. 

the town dates to the 1600s - part of the original gateway is still standing. a pack of jubilant wild dogs accompanied us through our walking tour, even entering a church, much to the consternation of our tour guide - see the pack leader barely visible below

colonia is a popular destination for honeymooners and weekenders from buenos aires 

what - time to eat again? (if you're like me, eating is one of my favorite things to do on vacation)

we stopped at a traditional parilla (pronounced parisha) where grilled steak is on the menu. 

steak is big in south america. and the steaks are actually big......
we ordered some grilled peppers to go along with it

and some french fries dusted with garlic and parsley

not only the steaks are oversized down here...

we looked out over the river - its name, rio de plata, means silver river........

in the late afternoon we boarded the ferry back to argentina

 entertainment was a phil collins concert from the 80s

somewhere between susudio and in the air tonight i was mesmerized by the sunlight on the water and drifted into a silvery slumber

as buenos aires appeared like a mirage in the distance


  1. What a beautiful side trip for us to enjoy with you. Thanks for a lovely time and the food pictures too. That steak is BIG! And they say we eat a lot of beef?

  2. Wow,,just plain old WOW,,plus you should put a disclaimer at the beginning; "Danger-Do Not read with less than 2 hours before lunch"...:)

  3. WOW, it is indeed very Cuba-esque. I love your photos and I think you;ve discovered my favourite breakfast. I may have to move to BA soon :)

  4. fascinating and beautiful; it looks so calm there :)

  5. It almost looks like you've traveled back in time with the architecture and the cars from the past. I'm typing on a computer almost that old. The sunlight on the water is gorgeous. What an amazing trip you are taking - thanks for taking us along.

  6. Glorious!!!

    From the perfect breakfast trough the tree lined streets, to the glistening sun. What a day of beauty and discovery.

    Thanks for bringing us along!

  7. How I love to visit you..I am always thrilled as I view each and evey photo..I can almost taste that warm milk with Chocolate..and that cookie..Oooh My..and the lovely shot of the street with the trees on both sides..I can almost feel the breeze.Thankyou Amanda,for letting this mom from a small town,that has traveled just a wee bit..experience sweet Argentina.Big Hugs,Cat

  8. What a perfect day. I adore the pops of color from the cars. And, those tree lined streets are so picturesque.

  9. I'm amazed how beautifully you blog while traveling. I'm so glad you are all having such a wonderful time, and that you are sharing a glimpse of it with us. I'm enjoying this so much Amanda.

  10. I can 'tick' off another country - virtually. I love the cars!!

  11. And then the climax: those last two photographs are awesome!

    The entire journey, in photographs, is amazing. Such an incredibly beautiful place. Thanks for sharing!
    Ann Carbine Best’s Long Journey Home

  12. Was that a maple leaf on those cobblestones?
    Thanks for the travelogue.

  13. rosaria - i had heard argentina was big on steak and we found out just how popular it is - it is very good but does taste different than u.s. beef

    glenn- sorry hehe ;-) i have gotten addicted to taking fotos of meals i really love! that way you can relive the whole experience over and over again!

    loree - if i could have that every day for breakfast i would be very happy indeed ;-)

  14. val - what an observant comment - it was very calm there! almost like you were entering another century, time and place....

    sarah - you noticed the same thing as val - with all the old model cars it did have a feel of entering a time machine~

    marion - you are most welcome - thanks so much for visiting and for your kind comments♡

  15. dear cat - you are most welcome ~ it makes me happy that you feel you are experiencing this place even a little bit - it's what I'm aiming for in this blog to try to get across the feeling of destinations such as this remarkable and unusual place~ xoxo

    farmchick - i was mesmerized by the cars too - each one was such a bright color, like a box of crayons -- and that tree lined street was so lovely to happen upon~

    dear lori - truth be told - i have returned from s. america!! but as i told geli the other day, the trip can go on forever in cyberspace! ;-


  16. janet - i loved the cars, too - i began to wonder if there was some antique car collector in the town - the cars sort of matched the world heritage status feel of the place!

    ann - you are welcome - and i agree with you - the last two fotos really surprised me at how well they captured the 'silver' nature of the rio de plata!

    paul - a good question - it may be a maple leaf. after all, it is fall in s. america and the trees were turning colors - the climate is temperate, sort of like the midwest--

  17. Thanks for taking us on the journey! The scene has a bit of old-world Europe to it. I love the lane of trees and old autos.

    (I take photos of food and have done so my whole life... got it from my daddy)


  18. I agree with Genie. It does look a bit like Europe in places. The milk and chocolate looks delicious. Does it melt inside?
    Also, the boat ride looks amazing.
    (I think you commented on my blog and I think I accidentally hit the delete instead of publish button. So sorry.)

  19. you've made me hungry and yearning for good food and travel to that gorgeous country! one rarely thinks of Uruguay. and those CARS! awesome, I love antique cars.
    lovely photos - really gorgeous

  20. oh do i love this, amanda! warm milk and cookies and cars and a glimmering ocean: what more could any person want?!

    like everyone else, i too thank you for taking me along on your trip. you are learning so much about the world and its people in your travels! and i learn vicariously through you :^)

  21. What a fascinating mix of colors and textures and flavors and styles! A feast for the senses, Amanda.

    Thank you so much for taking those of us stuck in the dreary rain into the sunshine with you...it's glorious!

  22. Amanda, you transport us to the most amazing places. Your photography is brilliant. And after seeing that amazing food, my bowl of cereal for breakfast doesn't sound exciting at all.

  23. genie - that lane of trees is unlike any i've seen -- and yes, fotos of food are *almost* as good as eating food!

    sonia - yes, the chocolate does melt, but instead of blending in with the milk completely it leaves a wonderfully gooey sludge at the bottom!

    mim - you are right - one rarely thinks of uruguay, which is why i wanted to take the opportunity to see it when it was so easy to get to! ;-)

  24. kj - thanks so much - i appreciate your comment ~ it makes me happy to know you enjoy my little reports from my travels ♡

    jo - i am back in the same rain now! but doing this post is my way of keeping one foot still in south america ;-)

    julie - i tried to make a submarino for myself the other day, but i used what i had in my cupboard - malted milk - a poor substitute for south american chocolate (hehe)

  25. here's what i want to know, when you travel like this, when you go to a new country and enter its air, its culture, its foods and noise and distinct being - do you walk differently? i have felt reborn in new countries, a stranger to myself, but it has been a mighty long time.

    how do you walk in uruguay?

    it looks like an absolutely wonderful place to explore - country and self.

    (thank you for your thoughtful comments and emails, amanda. yes, my friend.)


  26. I have never considered it, while in B.A. crossing to Uruguay for a day. I am happy to see you have enjoyed it.

  27. erin,

    i have often thought about how the light is different in other countries, but have not considered how i walk. i'm glad you asked, because it reminds me that i wanted to write about a subject very similar to this, about travel, change and being. something about the state of motion affects who we are.

    being in new country and being reborn......completely believe this. i know it is true. there should be a study done - wouldn't you just love to participate in that experiment ;-)

    how do you walk in uruguay? i bought a pair of boots there so i feel i took a tiny bit home with me and will tread there vicariously....


  28. ana,

    as the dutch love so many unusual pastries, do you think alfajores would catch on there?!?

  29. I wish to visit one day this interesting and gorgeous region full of culture and natural beauties. Your pictures as always are of high quality and well captured the scenery
    which strike your attention. My compliments.

  30. thankyou for taking us on your day trip.

    although i grew up in australia, i was born in uruguay. here you have captured it's subtlety well. you've made me long for another visit to my mother land.

  31. philip - i'm so glad you like the fotos - i love my new camera!!

    monica - all i can say is, what a beautiful country to be born in. i hope to return someday to explore it further.

    thanks so much for your kind comment.


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