Escaparse de Nueva York
* A Jew in Iguazu - part two. AKA, Adios a Argentina - part two.
* Adios a Argentina
* Two Touristy Towns
* El Chalten
* To the end of the earth
* Going South - too far South
* A Jew in Iguazu
* Graffiti 2
* Puerto Madero
* Graffiti 1
* ĄCorta mi pelo!
* Adventures in Recoleta
* Recoleta Cemetery
* Linea A trains
* Buenos Aires
June 05, 2005
Two Touristy Towns
First of all, something cool will be brought back for the first person who can tell me why this picture is liguistically interesting.
On my way up from Patagonia to Cordoba - my next stop - I took few days in Bariloche and Mendoza. Both are pretty firmly on the Gringo trail - Barilocheīs a big ski resort town and Mendozaīs both the capital of the main wine-producing region and the nearest town to Cerro Aconcogua, not only the higher mountain in the Andean mountain range, but also the highest mountain in the entire Western Hemisphere at over 22,000 feet. Unfortunately it was a fairly cloudy day, and the best picture I could get of it still looked like it was smoldering.
We hit Bariloche first, and since it was in between seasons (it was already cold, but not quite ski season) us and a British couple had the entire hostel to ourselves. The town itself is nothing to write home about - the most interesting things being their cute faux log cabin phone booths and their unfortunate choice of names for a childrenīs clothing store.
Even off season though, the hikes outside the city area great, with most rewarding you with quite the grand vistas after youīve hiked up a few hundred feet. Not that the hiking is all fun and games though - we also came across the Cemetery of the Mountains.
After a few days in Bariloche, my traveling companions headed to Chile while I headed North to Mendoza. The most popular excursion there is to take a bodega tour (Bodega here means a wine store - different than what it means in New York) and get smashed, but thatīs not really a great time for a solo traveler. So instead I took one day to walk around town and one day to head up into the Andes.
The first thing I noticed about the town is that I nearly broke my leg by almost stepping into one of the irrigation trenches that run between the sidewalks and the streets almost everywhere. Mendoza is a naturally dry region, so the wine producing areas have to have an extensive irrigation system, which I guess also runs throught the town.
The second thing I noticed was their tallest building. And here I had mistakenly thought that New York had the skyscraper that most resembled a giant syringe - the Conde Nast building at 4 Times Square. Iīm trying to get everyone to call that the "Baxter Building." Another cool thing brought back to anyone nerdy enough to know why. Itīs not a bad landmark for a smallish town - it even lights up at night. They wouldnīt let me up the thing, but I did find my way onto a nearby roof for a decent enough view.
The last thing I noticed was right off the main square there was a little monument to the 50th anniversary of the founding of Israel - and on the other side of the square was another monument - placed on the exact same day - to the Republic of Syria. I would have liked to have been around for that City Council debate.
The next day I took a full-day tour, and decided to test my liguistic abilities by going on one in Spanish. While I couldnīt understand a quarter of what the guide said, I did manage to meet a few folks and have some pretty decent conversations en Espaņol - as for the tour, it was OK. We saw some llamas, got to go sledding (I also checked out what was in that thingy at the top, which turned out to be nothing more than graffiti by some Bolivians), ran into some some weird type of Roosters, and visited the Puente del Inca, a natural stone Bridge. Thereīs some building carved into the rock also, that I think used to be part of a nearby resort. Unfortunately due to the fact that itīs winter and everything is pretty snowy up in the mountains, we couldnīt actually walk across the bridge and visit the building. We also couldnīt get up to see the statue of Cristo Redentor that marks the border (and commemorates the end of the border dispute) between Chile and Argentina. An interesting example of Religion trumping Nationalism in this particular instance. I wasnīt that dissapointed I missed it though - Iīve already seen the huge one in Lisbon, and am only a week or two away from seeing the even bigger one in Rio. And heck - I even made my own back in Bariloche.
Posted by Moses on June 5, 2005 07:18 PM
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