International delights

The trip that I had been looking forward to the most finally happened: Buenos Aires!

I went with a group of eight other international students to Buenos Aires, Argentina for three days. Arriving there consisted of a two and a half hour bus ride north along the coast and then an hour and a half boat ride across the river in to Argentina. We ended up staying in a hostel that was really close to the center of the city and close to many major streets.

We arrived around 1pm on Friday afternoon and were scheduled to take a tour of the city at 2pm. After a quick snack, our tour van picked us up and took us around the city. Our guide pointed out some of the prominent buildings, parks, statues, and various attractions, and at many points we were able to get out of the van to take pictures and explore a little bit.IMG_0691

One of our first stops included a very famous cemetery in Buenos Aires called Cementerio de la Recoleta (The Recoleta Cemetery). It may seem weird to some to view a cemetery as a tourist attraction, but this particular one has been described as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world and it is the resting place of many prominent figures, including former first lady, Eva Perón, and former Argentine president,Bartolomé Mitre.


I would not even call these tombs – more similar to small mausoleums. You could actually see inside of some of them and see the coffin inside. Very chilling, but incredible at the same time.

Another stop included La Boca neighborhood of Buenos Aires, which is known for its colorful buildings and tango dancing. Surely enough, there were plenty of people dancing in the street and the buildings looked like they were out of a Dr. Seuss book; spectacular neighborhood, to say the least.

La Boca

La Boca

IMG_0744Later that evening, we walked around the city, and compared to Montevideo, Buenos Aires is gigantic. There always seems to be things going on and it was all a bit overwhelming, but exciting at the same time. Needless to say, we were all exhausted from travelling, and after a hearty meal of Argentinian meat, we decided to rest up for the next day.

Casa Rosada - literally means "Pink House" - the office building for the president of Argentina

Casa Rosada – literally means “Pink House” – the office building for the president of Argentina


Puente de la Mujer (“Woman’s Bridge”)

Since we were a large group, it was expected that we all were not going to want to always do the same thing, so the following day, half of the group went to an art museum, and I went with the other half to La Bombonera fútbol stadium in La Boca neighborhood, which is home to Buenos Aires’ fútbol team Boca Juniors. We toured a museum dedicated to the history of the team, and afterwards we took a tour of the stadium.



Of course, we couldn’t go to Buenos Aires without doing a little shopping. Later on after meeting up with everyone, we all spent a few hours touring Avenida Florida, which is basically known as being one of the best streets for shopping in Buenos Aires. You’ll be glad to know that I stayed within my budget, but also managed to get a few souvenirs!

On our final full day, we went to Mercado San Telmo, which is a huge market that takes place every Sunday. I have been to a few markets in Montevideo, but nothing compared to this one in Buenos Aires. It was massive! Vendors were selling everything from handmade jewelry and clothing, to leather goods, to art, to food, to antiques, and more; so much neat stuff. I really had to restrain myself from buying too much!


We spent our final evening strolling through a park and taking in the city. Buenos Aires is an amazing city, and I definitely would love to go back someday. Even though we spent three full days there, we barely made a dent in the amount of things there are to do and to see in the city.


We unfortunately had to leave Monday morning, but my week of Argentina was not over yet, because Tuesday was the 2014 World Cup Qualifying match with Uruguay playing against Argentina in Montevideo. All of the more than 40,000 tickets sold within the first day and a half of going on sale, so I felt very lucky to partake in this important event. Of course, I had to buy a giant flag of Uruguay so that I could wear it as a cape…when in Uruguay, do as the Uruguayans do!


No surprise, Uruguay won 3-2 after a very tense game!

So far this week, I visited Argentina, went to a fútbol game where Uruguay played against Argentina, not to mention I live in Uruguay, and today, I got a little taste of the world!

Every semester, the Intercambio Office at la Católica puts on what they call a Feria Internacional (International Fair), where the exchange students from each country set up a small stand in a common space at the university where they share pictures, food, clothing, basically the culture of their home country. Many students from various countries participated, including Mexico, Austria, Guatemala, England, Germany, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and of course, the United States. We had a giant American flag displayed across our stand, and for food, we decided to serve crackers with peanut butter and strawberry jelly to try and emulate a PB&J sandwich, and we also served coke floats, which is just vanilla ice cream and Coca-Cola in a cup; similar to a root-beer float, but root-beer doesn’t exist in Uruguay.

Many of the Uruguayan students were really taken back by the idea of a coke float, and many were extremely hesitant to try it, however, although they did admit it was a strange a new concept to them, our coke floats were a delicious success along with our crackers.

As you can tell, I have had a very exciting week, and it is only going to get busier. Next week, I have a 7-14 page paper due, and next weekend I will be going camping.

For now, I am ready to catch up on all of sleep I missed while in Buenos Aires!

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