Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

6 Weeks Left! And Rosario, Argentina

Incredible. It’s been 100 days now here in Buenos Aires, and I only have six and a half weeks left.  Time is passing by so quickly, and I still have so much to see and do.  When they prepare students for studying abroad, they tell them that all students fall into this rushed period of needing to get everything done in a short period of time.  Most students think they can avoid this, but everyone gets in the same trap: the trap of routine.

We become so set on becoming part of the city life and culture that we live its daily life as if we didn’t have a number counting down the length of our stay, until we realize that we do.  From then, its a crazed struggle to schedule bus trips, flights, concerts and the like.

Luckily, I am realizing this now, so that I can work to schedule events soon.  Still left on my list: trips to Mendoza, Argentina, Calafate to see the glaciers, Colonia again for Thanksgiving, take part in Tango lessons, and see a local soccer game (not the Argentine national team).

One of my previous goals got knocked off the list this past weekend.  Our study abroad organization took us on a two day trip to Rosario.  Unlike Colonia, Rosario is an Argentine city, but in the same vein it has little in common with Buenos Aires.  Rosario is a city of 1.25 million people, making it tied for second place (with Cordoba) on the list of Argentina’s most populous cities.  Like Buenos Aires, it is a city built on a river; in this case, the Rio Parana, one of South America’s longest and widest rivers.  However, its coastline couldn’t be any more different.

Buenos Aires’ coast, lamentably, is only made up of shipping docks and dirty water; no beaches can be seen, and there is relatively little green space along the shore.  Rosario, on

the other hand, has a coast lined with parks for Argentines to enjoy during great weather, which we had the fortune to experience, along with great restaurants as well specializing in seafood.

We arrived in Rosario on Saturday about midday after a four-and-a-half hour drive.  We stayed at the Holiday Inn of Rosario.  For those of you don’t know, I don’t have a television in my host family’s house and my bed is about the size of my body, so the ability to stretch out and flip through cable TV offerings was truly rewarding, as odd as it sounds.  Anyways, we were then taken to a fantastic seafood restaurant along the coast, and my friend and I polished off an entire fish.   For the first time, I ate a fish eye, and I have to say it was quite delicious.

The rest of the weekend was filled with many walks and tours along the parks of the coastline, which were throughly enjoyable, and another dinner on Saturday night at a very classy joint.  However for me, the highlight of the weekend was visiting the National Flag

Monument.  The Monument is an absolutely enormous concrete structure in the center of Rosario paying homage to the heritage of Argentina and its (in my opinion, great) flag.  At the center of the tower is the crypt of Manuel Belgrano, Argentine statesman and creator of the flag.  At the Southernmost end of the Monument is the flag itself, and at the Northern end is the gallery of honor featuring the flags of the all the Americas.

The monument itself was overwhelming and fascinating.  It is regarded as one of the only examples of fascist architecture in Argentina, built in the 1950s and characterized by its imposing, concrete structure and language engraved on the statues speaking of defense of the “homeland”.  The front of the tower was made to look like a boat, representing the discovery of Argentina, and statues on the sides depict various figures, such as the Atlantic Ocean, the Rio Parana, the Andes, and the Mother Protector of the Nation.

I couldn’t get enough of this massive monument and took lots of pictures of it, and you can see them in my latest photo album on Facebook.  Aside from the aforementioned activities, we also took a 3 hour boat ride up and down the Rio Parana, from which we could see the

entire Rosario coast and the nature on the other side of the river.  It was a perfect afternoon, and a great weekend to get away from the daily grind of Buenos Aires.

Well, there’s still so much to do! Next up, hopefully, are a club soccer game and Calafate.  I’ll keep you posted.


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