Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Destination 4: Rosario

Let me see how many descriptive phrases I can stick together to describe Rosario.  It's like this cool, laidback, indie, semi-hipster, stellar little city about four hours northwest of Buenos Aires.  Maria and I arrived there Tuesday morning.  For the first hour or so, we walked up and down streets looking for our hostel, but realized that we had a bad map and the bus hadn't dropped us off where we thought it had.  So we grabbed a cab.

The hostel we stayed in was called Che Pampa's.  Rosario is the birthplace of revolutionary icon Che Guevara; his face and name are everywhere.  The place was really cool.  It was an old rowhouse, refurbished and redecorated.  It was all bright colors and cool music (I was geeking out when I heard The Strokes and The Black Keys within ten minutes of each other) and a great view off our little balcony.  We just needed to drop our bags, shower, and change our clothes before we headed out on the town.  We didn't have solid plans for Rosario: we had read about a few museums and the monument to the national flag, so we figured we'd check them all out.  What we didn't read about was all the shopping.  We left the hostel, bound for the flag monument, but within two blocks we were distracted by a peatonal (pedestrian street, like Calle Florida in Buenos Aires) lined with stores.  We saw dozens of shoe stores with the same beautiful boots we'd seen in Bs As, only here they were actually affordable!  Suddenly our mission in Rosario was for each of us to find a pair of boots.  For me, it was the first pair I tried on:

Maria had a harder time.  Three or four pairs, two or three stores, but she finally got hers, too.  After we finished, we walked down to admire the flag monument for a while.

Then we went down by the water, got hot dogs, and snacked for a while, enjoying the sunlight and the people-watching.  That's what I'm going to remember most about Rosario, I think: the peacefulness.  It was decidedly urban, especially in comparison with the other places we'd been in previous days, but it was not Buenos Aires.  It didn't have that hurried feeling of chaos.  It was so nice.  Any time not spent shopping here was spent sitting in a relaxed, sort of pensive silence.  As it got near sunset, we went back to the hostel for a bit.  We met some people-- a girl from Holland and a girl from Argentina-- and watched a movie before heading back out for dinner.  We went, of course, to another excellent pizza place.  Afterward we went to the movies.

Wednesday morning, our bus was at 11:00.  We checked out of the hostel around 10:00 and grabbed a cab.  We had full-reclining seats and meal service again, despite the short duration of the trip.  When we got in at Retiro, we started walking up Avenida del Libertador, looking for a stop for the colectivo 61.  We never did find it, and actually ended up walking all the way back to the Resi.  It wasn't terribly far, but I think next time we'll make sure to look up how to get home before we leave the city.

So, there you have it!  My first major traveling excursion in Argentina.  FIN.

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