Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Paraty & Angra dos Reis

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Day Trip to Cabo Frio and Arraial do cabo

Cabo Frio and Arraial do Cabo are part of the Região dos Lagos, where one can see some of the most beautiful beaches of the State of Rio de Janeiro. It is located some 100 km north of the city of Rio. They are small cities on the coast. On high season they attract young people from all over the country.
On this day-trip, I went with my mother, my sister and her husband. Besides some relaxing time by the beach I was also looking forward to having the "Cocada do Adão". It is a famous pastry in Brasil, but Adão or, Adam in english, makes the best cocadas. They are made out of cocunut, condensed milk and some other secret ingredients!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Impressions of Argentina

(In case you are not up to reading the whole text, at least you can check the pictures below)

For me traveling is always good. No matter where I go. It is an opportunity to see things on a different perspective and get to know people and places with your own eyes rather than reading on a magazine or hearing from somebody else´s experience.

My mother had been planning a family trip and in the end we got to go to Argentina to spend the New Year´s. The itinerary included 3 days in Buenos Aires, the capital, famous for being the land of Evita Perón, Carlos Gardel and Tango, soccer and parrilla(a very unique type of barbecue with, supposedly, the best steak you can find in the whole wide world). Then we were up to San Carlos de Bariloche or just Bariloche, a gorgeous, small town in the coutryside, extremely touristic, located close to the border of Chile. Bariloche is part of the Argentinian Patagônia.

Overall the trip was awesome! It was fun to travel with my parents, my brother and his girlfriend. We had a blast! It was non-stop. I had forgotten what was like to travel with my family and then it became clear to me why I am the way I am when I travel. I know my friends in US think I am crazy cause I am not happy just sitting down and relaxing when we travel.

So here is what I thought of Argentina. Good things first:
Very well mannered people and generally real good looking too. Very musical. Honest and straight forward. Buenos Aires is very warm and cosmopolitan. You see people walking on the streets which for me is a big PLUS! Bariloche is wonderful. Great looking city! Very Green, with a gorgeous lake and surrounded by hills. It has a medieval style, with rock and wood archictecture, giving it a very cozy feel. We got to visit Vila Angostura and San Martin de los Andes. The first one 90 km away from Bariloche and the latest one 190 km away. They were really cute too. Adorable would be a good word to describe them.

From Vila Angostura we got a boat tour that took us to a forest that according to the people there inspired Walt Disney on the creation of Bambi´s forest. I am not sure I saw that there. Maybe I just need to watch the original Bambi again.

The low points of the trip were:
I was a little underwhelmed with Buenos Aires. Argentinians love to describe it as "Muy Lindo". Buenos Aires has NO natural beauty, its beauty is all man made, which is fine if it is well preserved. If not, it becomes trash. I feel like the city was dirt, visually polluted and not properly treated. They insist in comparing it to European cities, I have my doubts about the similarities...

My biggest surprise was the Argentinians. They were just like people have described them. I would be very wrong to say every single Argentinian is rude but we had some serious bad experience dealing with them, specially women. It takes a lot for them to smile. It is so odd. They reminded me of the Armenian ladies at Zankhou Chicken. That is how angry they come accross.

Anyway, all in all, the trip was fantastic. Would I return to Buenos Aires? No! not by choice. There are other places I want to visit before I get back to a place like Buenos Aires.

Pictures from San Martin de Los Andes