Wednesday, August 16, 2006

August 3

On Thursday, we checked out of our beloved Hotel Gran Hispano. This hotel was so wonderful--not fancy, but cheap, clean, in a beautiful old building in a lively neighborhood and full of friendly staff members. It also offers free breakfast--tasty media lunas (croissants) and cafe con leche. Yum. We checked our large luggage into the hotel's storage room and headed off to Rosario, a city about four hours north west of Buenos Aires. We took a very fancy bus--they gave us snacks and there was a machine dispensing free orange soda and coffee. We also got to watch the "classic" movie Mickey Blue Eyes. General Belgrano, the designer of the flag of Argentia is from Rosario, and the town is full of national and civic pride, symobolized by the enormous and very strange Monument dela Bandera (Flag Monument), which offers wonderful views of the Rio ParanĂ¡. After findng a hotel and checking out the monuement, we strolled around and looked at the beautiful late nineteenth-century architecture which dominates the town. We stopped by the Victoria, a cozy English-style bar where we tasted our only Argentine microbrew. It wasn't very good, but at least it was different. After some more sightseeing and shopping, we ended up returning to the Victoria for dinner. Unfortuantely, it was not the pleasant experience our beer stop had been. We thought our waitress-who was rude and brought Neilson the wrong entree--was frustrated that we were more Americans that did not speak Spanish, but then we saw her treating some Argentine's the same way. Anyway, it is a beautiful charming city, with one bad waitress. (With the exception of the microbrew image, Neilson took all these pictures.)

Hotel Gran Hispano balcony

Bus snack

Monument dela Bandera

Checking out the guidebook

A goofy monument

Rosario's own microbrew

The faded glory of the Hotel Romijor, our hotel

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