Wednesday, May 5, 2010

From Rosario

Rosario is about 4 hours by bus from Buenos Aires. It sits on the River Parana. It has always sat in the shadow of Buenos Aires. Three times they tried to become the capital, each time succeeding in vote, but getting vetoed by the President in Buenos Aires. It also seems to me that is the start of a somewhat tropical feel that will just continue as I go north. The river has some pretty decent vegetation on the other side, and although winter is approaching, it is sill 60-70 degrees.

It is known for several things. First being the birthplace and city where Che Guevara grew up. I walked by the apartment building. There was nothing more than a sign outside indicating this was the place. For all I know, there probably is someone living in the apartment he grew up in. I suppose I was looking for a museumm or some information, but maybe it is good that they aren't totally exploiting this fact.

The other thing it is known for is a COLOSSAL monument to Manuel Belgrano, creator of the Argentinian flag. Here, he first raised the flag in 1812. This guy was important...there are streets named after him in every city. The monument has three parts. The first is a HUGE monolith. Then, there is a Greek palace type area with columns, a giant courtyard with steps, and finally a bridge leading to this.

The colors at night make are like the flag:

There's even a nice fire in the middle of the columns:

So I spent a few days walking around. On Monday night, I headed to a meeting of the Rotaract club, with was good because I got to meet some people from Rosario. After, we went out to dinner.

Cheesy photo:

Tuesday night, I went to a couchsurfing meeting called the 'Polyglot' meeting. It was basically for everybody to come and speak a lot of languages. I was impressed that about 40 people showed up to this, from places like Israel, Australia, Germany, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Italy, and different parts of Argentina. So, it was great, because basically it was a bunch of people practicing languages and correcting each other. Of course, English and Spanish were the default languages. There were plenty of people fluent in English, but I was able to help some people as well (in addition to being corrected myself in Spanish most of the time). One random random thing that happened at the couchsurfing meeting was I bumped into a girl and guy from Long Beach, CA. Well anyways, they were Rotary scholars, studying in Rosario, and so of course they report to Jorge in Chicago who coordinates the Latin America programs (for people who don't know, Jorge was President of Rotaract Chicago while I was Vice President). So that was just a realllly random run-in. Also, the couple I met from Lima knew the guy I stayed with there way back in February, so that was just another odd coincidence.

I went up the Obelist (flag monument), for some good views of Rosario:

I went to a history museum. They had a collection of High Roller Mate's from the 1800s or so. Nothing like drinking mate out of solid gold and silver:

This is something I found very funny. This electric water heater has a temperature setting for Mate. They really are serious about the temperature, can't be too hot, can't be too cold:

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