There was more to our time in Buenos Aires than I've reported in the last few posts. The time we spent roaming Palermo and other residential neighborhoods. The various parks and green spaces, the pizza, grilled meats, and traditional Argentine dishes. The trip by train to the nearby river town of Tigre.
But we'd better keep the story moving forward. After a week in Buenos Aires, we boarded a large ferry boat and headed across the estuary separating Argentina from Uruguay. It's famously called the Río de la Plata, or as it is sometimes translated into English, the River Plate. But let's be realistic, it's really more estuary than river. As we headed out onto the water, we were granted a nice view of the city we were leaving behind.
Uruguay itself, a tiny country sandwiched between the two huge countries of Brazil and Argentina, was forged as an independent nation mainly in order to create a buffer zone between the ambitions of those two larger countries, which had fought to a stalemate in a war in the region. And while this small territory has a border with Brazil as long or longer than the one it shares with Argentina (depending on how you want to define the border along the Plata River), culturally speaking, Uruguay is much closer to Argentina.
South America has no shortage of historic neighborhoods and cities. There are Unesco World Heritage sites to be found in just about every country in Latin America, and many more whose colonial buildings and other storied locations deserve international recognition. I've been fortunate to have the opportunity to explore and even live in or near several of these beautiful places over the past few years. Colonia, though, for its superb summer climate, lush foliage mixed with lovely cobbled streets and well-maintained old buildings, all facing a quiet inlet on the Atlantic coast, made for one of the most peaceful historic locations I've had the chance to visit. Sit in the shade of an old tree, taking in the fresh sea breeze amongst its silently aging walls, and its history begins to descend serenely upon you, leaving an impression of timelessness. Timeless, in the sense that your short stay starts to extend into one of those eternally lasting, long, sunny afternoons we've all enjoyed in the midsummer. And timeless, because at that moment you feel at one with history, at one with the place you're in, a place you already know you'll never forget.