Exploring San Rafael, Mendoza

When in Argentina, make sure to visit the city of San Rafael. In the province of Mendoza, San Rafael has a clam atmosphere. Still very city-like; yet, with a small town feel.

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The city of San Rafael has a wide selections of restaurants. Although, not as much as the country’s capital, Buenos Aires. Make sure to stop by the Havanna. It’s a nice little restaurant that I got a lemon key pie for about one american dollar. This was back in July of 2013. Hopefully, the value of the dollar has not fallen too much.

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Walking down it’s streets, San Rafael is truly small compared to Buenos Aires.  The city’s streets are not as compacted as the capital’s. Also, the roads are not as filled with traffic.

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Never expected to see this guy here, Goku. Along with Chuck Norris, these are signs of globalization.

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From what locals have informed me, Dragon Ball, and a lot of other manga/anime, have a big audience in Argentina.  Still, seeing Chuck Norris here, shocks me.

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While in San Rafael, we actually made a detour. These nuns that we met in Buenos Aires, invited us to a local shelter for abandoned women to help them with some chores. It is hard to refuse to people that made you pizza for free. One of the chores, was digging trenches so that water can flow into the shelter. At the end, it feels good to help others.

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Make sure when visiting another hemisphere to know that seasons are the opposite from North to South. We had to learn the hard way that Summer up North is Winter down South. It was freezing and this was our heater in the picture above.  It started snowing, while we were here. The lesson here is to bring a jacket.

 

The province of Mendoza, Argentina’s Wine country

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The Province of Mendoza, a wine geek’s paradise. The Province is full of wineries. With it’s inexpensive and sweet wine, the Province has gotten a boom of enotourism.

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We bought a bottle of wine for about two american dollars. For high end wine, the cost was about sixty american dollars. Regardless, both wine were good. Most of their wine-making  technique come from Italy. So, their wine, whether inexpensive or high end,  is on a world class level. Make sure to check out local wine museums. I recommend going to bodega la rural, they gave a detailed history class of Argentine wine. Also, this is where we were able to buy our two dollar bottle wine.

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The Province has many similarities to America’s most famous wine country, Napa and Somona County, California. The similarities are striking. Napa  and Sonama  are counties located in the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of  mountainous terrain. While, Mendoza shares the Andes mountains with Chile to the west, as shown in the picture above. Also, many of the cities are named the same. In the San Francisco Bay, there is a city called San Rafael and another city called Santa Rosa. Ironically, the province of Mendoza has cities with the same name.

America’s Independence Day en Argentina

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Published by Hugo Morel

When traveling to Buenos Aires, you will land at the Ministro Pistarini International Airport. Located in the city of Ezeiza, in the province of Buenos Aires.  The airport is about 22 kilometres (if you are american, 14 miles) away from the actually city of Buenos Aires. There are many shuttle buses from the airport that connect you with the city of Buenos Aires. Also, you can use city taxis that can drop you off to your destination. I always prefer taxis because it is a great to get an insight of the city from a local. Beware of shady taxis drivers!! If traveling from Newark, I do recommend traveling with United Airlines. They gave us dinner and breakfast with a great movie selection.

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Published by Hugo morel

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Before we went to the city of Buenos Aires, we stayed on a military base called Campo de Mayo. Campo de Mayo is one of Argentina’s most important military base. Located in the province of Buenos Aires. Walking down it’s halls, you do get an eerie feeling of sadness. No one ever told us it’s dark history. It wasn’t until after we came back from our trip, we found out it’s history. From 1974 to 1983, was the time of the Dirty War. The Dirty War was a time of state terrorism in Argentina. During this time, Argentina formed the right winged death squad called Argentine Anticommunist Alliance. The death squad, as stated in it’s name, fought against communism. They used the military base to hold the captured leftist guerrillas. Some locals rumors claim that the captured guerrillas were brutally experimented on. Also, the pregnant guerrillas’s newborns were taken away never able to see their mothers again. Lesson of the day, try not walk it’s halls at night.

Published by Hugo Morel

Published by Hugo Morel

Published by Hugo Morel

Published by Hugo Morel

On America’s Independence Day, we were invited by Gauchos for free steak at their ranch. This was a way of welcoming us, Americans, to their beautiful country. Probably one of the kindest forms of hospitality I ever encountered. The Gauchos are Argentine “cowboys.” They herd cattle year around, similar to the western movies. Their main form of income is earned through hunting. Our Gauchos friends put on a rodeo for us. After the rodeo was finished, they even let us ride their tamed horses. From fear, I did not even attempt to ride one. Horses are pretty tall, it looks like quite the drop to the ground.

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Published by Hugo Morel

When checking out the Province of Buenos Aires, make sure to not just go to it’s capital city, Buenos Aires. The province has a lot to offer. From the Gauchos to it’s Military bases, the province of Buenos Aires has so many hidden jewels of culture and folklore. Check it out when you get the chance. Also, make sure to bring the right plugin for the outlets. Otherwise, you might have to buy an overpriced plugin adapter. Unfortunately, talking from experience.

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published by Hugo Morel

Buenos Aires, The Global City

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published by Hugo Morel

The Global City called Buenos Aires, Argentina has many attractions, as in: landmarks, churches and cultures. It is a city of many cultures that have been brought over from it’s immigrants. Buenos Aires, as a global city, has immigrants from all over the world but, most of the city’s immigrants come from Italy.

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Published by Hugo Morel

The Italian Immigrants have left a mark all over in the Argentinian city. Clothes, cars and food have all been imported by the Italians. The city had quite a few pizza shops. I went with a group of people in a somewhat escorted tour. We were fortunate enough to be able to go into a house of nuns, who cooked us homemade Argentine pizza.We had interesting choices of toppings. One of them was scrambled eggs, which was delicious.

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published by Hugo Morel

published by Hugo Morel

published by Hugo Morel

When checking out the landmarks, make sure to stop by the widest avenue in the world called 9 de Julio Avenue. The Avenue was named after Argentina’s independence day July 9, 1816. During the time we were there, which was ironically on July 9, the city was fixing the avenue. This was back in 2013, there should be no construction, hopefully. This  Avenue promotes Buenos Aires presence in the world. Also, standing in the middle of the Avenue is the Obelisk.The Obelisk is located on the Plaza de la República. The Obelisk is usually associated with it’s lights during the night, making the area somewhat the “Times Square” of Buenos Aires.

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published by Hugo Morel

Buenos Aires, being a global city, has religions that are practiced from all over the world. The dominant religion is Catholicism. The city has a deep history with the religion because of the Spaniards. The Catholic influence can be seen by the streets’ names, churches and the schools’ named after saints.  One church to definitely stop by is the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral. The the Buenos Aires Cathedral is the city’s main church. Also, the church has the remains of the general José de San Martín. The General was responsible for the Independence of Chile, Peru and Argentina from Spain. This is where we were lucky enough to meet the nuns that invited us to some homemade pizza.

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Buenos Aires has many hidden treasures full of culture. Traveling down it’s busy streets, you can get glances from all over the world. From the African merchandise to the Europeans playing their windpipes. The city has an abundance of culture, only suitable for a global city.