11.26.2007 - 11.26.2007
Today was an early day (6:00 a.m.) because we had to get to the ferry boat before 8, and we didn't want the long story (that we didn't tell you earlier) to get any longer!
The ferry terminal is only three blocks away from the hotel — although during morning rush hour, you take your life into your own hands trying to cross the streets. We departed at 8:45 on a 50 minute ride across the Rio de la Plata to go 67 miles to this historic town in Uruguay. The boat was much like being on a wide body jet, except many people walked around — eating, drinking, and talking.
The tiny barrio of Colonia del Sacramento seems to be untouched by time. It dates back to the 17th century. We walked on streets and past houses that were built as far back as 1680. It was an eight block walk from the port to the old city; once there, we bought an admission to at least 10 museums for about $1 (for both of us).
We toured old houses that dated back to the days when this was a Portuguese town, looked at old remnants of native peoples' tools, looked at dinosaur skeletons and stuffedanimals, and even visited the tile museum; creating and firing ceramic tiles was once a notable industry here.
Walking up and down the cobble stone streets, we were treated to a variety of flowers, fruits and greenery. Eventually, we found a "watering hole" near the waterfront for refreshments — it seemed like the one cool spot in town. Once we resumed our walking tour, we visited the Iglesia Matriz, one of the oldest churches in the country. After that, it was time for lunch. We chose Pulperia de los Faroles, just next to the Plaza Mayor (the main square). Susie had a chicken breast and mashed potatoes and John had a chicken leg stuffed with ham, mushrooms and peppers. (Why don't we think of things like that?!) We promptly voted this the best meal we had on the trip so far.
After lunch, it was time to meander back to the port to head back to Buenos Aires — and, believe us, we needed the walk after that meal. We arrived early, so there was time to just watch people until our departure. On the journey back, our seat mate was an interesting woman from Puerto Rico, a fellow American, yes — but so much more at ease because she was quite at home with the Spanish speakers. We could have benefited from some Spanish lessons before we left home.
The evening back here in Buenos Aires started with a happy hour stop at — where else? — two of the better known Irish pubs in B.A. First was the Kilkenny Pub and then we stopped at the Druid Inn. Funny thing, though, at these pubs: they have lots of tap beer spigots for Guinness, Beamish, and other Irish beers...but they really only have their local stout or Warsteiner German lager on tap! Oh, well, it's the thought that counts!
Finally, it was dinner time. What to eat? Good Argentinean beef, of course. We made our way one more block to Las Nazarenas, an asador, a sort of steakhouse. No vegetable plates, just meat cooked over a spit on the fire. Argentinean presidents have eaten here, and now we know why. Two steaks (I'm talking a 2" T-bone for John), wine, dessert and coffee for $50. This, says Susie, was the best meal we've EVER had!