Monday, January 3, 2011


Geoff and I really enjoyed our trip to Argentina, even though it was a bit schizo and we had to take 8 flights in 9 days in order to get from place to place!

The three Argentinian cities we saw were Buenos Aires, El Calafate, and Ushuaia. Buenos Aires was really cool (obviously), because it had a lot of culture. On our first night there, we went to an exquisite tango show + drinks + introductory lesson. It was one of the most pricey things we did in all of our trip, but very cool!

There is a little touristy walkway called La Caminita that is quite famous in Buenos Aires. There are a lot of artesans there on holidays and weekends, with some really neat things, so we put on our shopping hats and went crazy. :)

Our last night in the city was New Year's Eve. We went out for some Indian food!! (I know it's a little ironic to be eating Indian food in Buenos Aires, but we can't get it in El Salvador, so...) As a bonus, we received some funny party favors (See Geoff with his plastic mask and tie below). We spent the rest of the night roaming the streets and enjoying the open-air partying atmosphere of Palermo, a neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Apparently, it is very hard to find a cab on New Year's Eve in Buenos Aires, after the cops started recently to crack down on drinking and driving. We had given up and started trying to walk across town back to our hotel, and we had actually walked for over an hour before we got lucky and bumped into a really nice taxi driver who was refueling at the gas station! He took us back to our hotel, so that we could nap for a couple of hours before getting up to catch our flight to Miami.

El Calafate was another Argentinian town we had stayed at during our trip to Argentina. The town is famous for its Perito Moreno Glacier, which is unique because it's the only glacier in the world that is actually advancing despite global warming! The guides explained to us that every year, there is so much snow fall over the mountain because of the pressure difference, that the snow compacts and accumulates into giant sheets of ice within 10 years, and slides down the mountain to join the existing glacier. The glacier is, in fact, larger in area than Buenos Aires, and it measures 60 meters above water and 140 meters below sea level! It is enormous.

Anyway, we got to walk with crampons on the Perito Moreno glacier, as well as spending some time looking at its generally awe-inspiring scenery. The front side of the glacier breaks off small chunks roughly every 5 minutes; those chunks fall into the water and make an impressive cracking noise. (Although the guides say that it's not nearly as safe as it looks. In a couple of decades previously, 32 people were killed from glacier explosions.)

And, the best part of hiking the Perito Moreno? In the end, they give you some whiskey, served over fresh glacial ice with the local chocolate/caramel dessert alfajores.

Speaking of foods, Argentinian cuisine is delicious. Besides alfajores, they also have a variety of craft beers and a steamed milk + piece of dark chocolate tossed into it combo called submarino. Roquefort cheese seems to be very prevalent as well -- an easy evidence of their heavy European influence. But, most delicious of all is their asador, which is lamb grilled on crucifix:

The lamb is divine with the traditional dipping sauce (Chimichurri?), which tastes spicy, citrusy, and super flavorful like the Indian vindaloo sauce.

After El Calafate, we went to Ushuaia, which is nicknamed "El Fin del Mundo" (The End of the World) for being the southernmost city in Argentina. It's a surprisingly small town, with some neat touristy features. We hiked a nearby glacial mountain, went out for a boat tour of the nearby islands that host a variety of sea creatures (including penguins!), and we also hiked through the national park to the ending marker of the southernmost Argentinian high way. (Truly, the end of the road.)

We also visited a lovely museum about all things Ushuaia and Patagonia, that is located at the site of a former prison of Argentina. (As it turns out, Ushuaia owes a lot of its development to the prisoners, who were sent to Ushuaia to work on a variety of public projects.)

(Did you know that the first European boats to sail around South America were small, like the one in this model?? HOW COOL.)

Anyway, I am coming back to what seems like a fair bit of work/errands before school starts in a week. bleh. Hope you all had a lovely new year! :) Ciao!


  1. For a split Zoolander second, I thought you meant that the first European boast to sail around South America were as small as the one in that model. :)

  2. i just LOVE living vicariously through your adventures, Mimi!

  3. Excellent blog. Thankyou!
    But do not believe that disinformation on global warming.

  4. I am staying some days at Buenos Aires, lolvey recommendations so i can dance some tango and go shopping i will follow your advice.After this i am flying to Calafate, to the hotel in calafate that lot of people in Buenos Aires recommend me, hope its not so expensive.