Before we left, Laura’s mom, who was visiting from Miami and did not speak any English, had asked what we wanted for lunch. I knew I was in meat lovers country but I did let her know that I wasn’t much of a meat-eater. And she said no problem. That, I understood!
Note: I became a “vegetarian” later in the trip, not because of my experience here, because apparently pollo (chicken) is not considered meat. I love hamburgers but this is not hamburger country. This is a land that loves carne (meat) and enjoys all kinds of tastes and textures that, unfortunately, I just cannot appreciate. It was easier to just say that I was soy vegetariano (I am vegetarian). If you know me, please laugh. If you don’t know me, I say this because I am not the biggest fan of cooked vegetables yet I ate more than my share on this trip.
Laura and I ventured out and we walked into the historic center of town. We passed a lot of places I had visited the day before, but this time I got a fully translated explanation of what I was looking at, and the history behind it. I couldn’t have asked for a better guide!
Laura gave me a history lesson on the Spanish and Portuguese influence on this very important port city.
There are eight museums in the (for lack of a better word) system. Each focuses on some part of the Spanish and Portuguese history that this city is so full of because of the history that created this city. All of the placards in the museums were in Spanish with no translations anywhere.
As a teacher, Laura was keen to improve my Spanish before I left Colonia! She’d let me read the plaques in the museums and once I got the words translated to the best of my ability, I had to give her my best guess of what it actually meant. Then she would give me a proper English translation since many of my translations didn’t make much sense! Close, I was told. I think she was just being very nice.
We walked along the waterfront and chatted like old friends. I learned that Laura didn’t like heights but she insisted I climb to the top of the lighthouse for some incredible water views while she waited on solid ground below.
The walk up, was not for the faint of heart.
I did love these trees on the way up.
The views up were incredible.
Laura was sure to point out the Calle de los Suspiros, a famous street in Colonia that I had noticed the day prior but did not know why everyone was taking photos since there was no signage noting the street had any significance.
After museum hopping for a few hours, we went back to Laura’s apartment where her mom, Marcela, had prepared us a traditional Uruguayan lunch – Ravioles Con Tuco. She had made the raviolis from scratch while Laura and I were out exploring Colonia.
Tuco, is actually like a meat sauce. But it was more meat, less sauce.
I was slightly nervous to dig in as I knew I was in meat-eating country so I asked for a small, pequeno, portion of sauce. I made it a point to try everything put in front of me on this trip.
I don’t know how she did it but Marcela had me asking for seconds. With extra meat sauce.