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Day 60 – Things to Do in Colonia When You’re Not Dead

December 9, 2010

Location: Colonia and Montevideo, Uruguay

Date: Thursday, December 9, 2010

This morning I traded in the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires for the laidback charm of Uruguay. Specifically, the town of Colonia located a three hour slow ferry ride from Argentina. Formerly, a colonial town (Colonia!) it’s now a sleepy town across the bay from Buenos Aires.

Marie and I had a few hours to kill before our evening bus to Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital and largest city. Wandering the quiet streets made it feel like we were decades away from the European sophistication of BA. Most of the streets were cobblestone. Tourists wandered between historic buildings, but without the hustle of those in Argentina’s capital. People here still say double “L’s” and “Y’s” as “zsho” like their Argentine brethren, but not with the same urgency or speed.

As if to underline the city’s aesthetic, we stumbled across an old school car (a Gremlin?) painted like a quilt made by an acid trippin’ grandma. No pretense. Just something the owner wanted. The town seemed so laid-back, it couldn’t bother to restore some of its old buildings. Cobwebs crept up old doors. Windows were busted out. What was strange is that there was no menace. No feeling that we were in a more dangerous part of town. It’s as if the good people of this place just forgot things got broke but, when they remembered, they’d get around to it.

There wasn’t much to do in Colonia. Just enjoy the stillness. Soak in the calm. As we rolled off to Montevideo late that night, it was hard not to feel affection for Colonia. If I wasn’t so pressed for time, it would have been a nice place to park for a spell. Sometimes nothing’s all you want to do.

GALLERY: Click through to see a couple overhead views of Colonia, a peek inside one of Colonia’s historic churches (think blue), and more pictures of old buildings in various states of distress.

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