Yesterday we took our first program-sponsored trip to Colonia, Uruguay. It started with us catching a boat (called a buquebus) from the port in Buenos Aires (in Puerto Madero) which would take us across the Rio de la Plata to Colonia, Uruguay. While most of the boats take about 3 hours to make the crossing, API had reserved the faster boat for us so that we would have more time to explore Colonia. Thus after an hour of relaxing, browsing the on-board duty free shop and drinking maté with our tour guide Gaby we arrived to the small town of Colonia, Uruguay.
A short walk brought us into the town center and we spent the first couple of hours walking around and visiting a couple of museums, which had everything from old art and artifacts to dinosaur bones! We then stopped for lunch in the plaza at a great little restaurant which had traditional Uruguayan food as well as some amazing homemade pastas and desserts. I had the spinach ravioli with parmesean in a sage sauce and split some tres leches cake for dessert. Heavenly!
After lunch we headed to the lighthouse where we climbed dozens (or maybe hundreds?) of winding steps to the two balconies and took a bajillion pictures of the breathtaking view of the Rio de la Plata and the town of Colonia. A little more walking around and it was time to head back to the buquebus station to get our passports stamped and take the boat back to Buenos Aires.
Although it was a fairly short trip it was great to get out of the city for a day and just relax and spend some time with the rest of the group. I feel so blessed to have chosen a program for study abroad that I love so much. I've heard some stories about people in other programs not getting along or getting placed with bad host families, etc, but I'm happy to report that everyone in our group gets along great and we all love our resident director Carmen, our tour guide Gaby and our host families. :)
I'm excited for our trips to an Estancia, to Tigre, and to Ushuaia later in the semester as well as our API Gives Back day of service. Keep an eye out for posts and pictures!