Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Uraguay & Argentina

After staying the night with a family friend in Quito (the Ecaudorians we met were SO nice!) we flew to Lima, Peru, and had a twelve hour layover in the airport there.  We couldn´t leave the airport because they charge a $60 tax, but the seats in the airport were nice and cushioned, and I caught up on a lot of sleep there. Next, we made it to Montevideo, Uraguay.  We were hoping that prices there would be lower, but they were almost the same price as in the United States, especially near the airports and bus terminals.  Uraguay is in winter now, so it was cold, and we didn´t know anyone there, so we quickly caught a bus to Colonia, which is a colonial town.
Colonia was originally settled by the Portuguese (who took the Native´s land just like the settlers did in Oregon), and then the Spanish took it from the Portuguese.  There were buildings there, mostly churches and convents as well as a fort wall, that were built before the United States was even a country!  The most amazing thing is that THEY ARE STILL STANDING after  hundreds of years!  We also met the cutest dog there, who I named Don Perro (Sir Dog in English) who followed us for miles just to get pet.  His face looks just like the face of my parent´s dog, Mr. Dibbensworth.
Following that, we went to Buenos Aires, Argentina, which is a beautiful city.  The architecture there was amazing- many of the buildings had gorgeous statues and carvings and were very old.  They also have huge plazas, kind of like big parks, but not with play equipment.  Instead, they have room for people to gather, walk around, and enjoy the fountains and statues.  We saw the Pink House, which is Argentina´s version of the White House, and we ate all kinds of delicious food, including palm heart pizza and empanadas.  After two days in Buenos Aires, we headed to Rosario.
Rosario is truly a beautiful city.  They have many parks and they keep the city a lot cleaner than most cities are in South America.  I never really knew why it was so important to put garbage in a garbage can where it belongs until this trip to South America.  Very few people here put their garbage where it belongs, and because of it, everything is covered in garbage and it stinks.  Even the beaches here have trash all over them, and it kind of ruins the scene. 
People in Rosario are very polite, and we enjoyed visiting the top of their Monument to the Flag, which is a huge tower that you can take an elevator to the top of and look out on the whole city from.  It is right next to a very old church where we went to mass, and that church has a little secret mini church underneath it!  There is a lot hidden under the ground of these old cities, like tunnels and casks.  We took a long bus ride to our next destination-Iguazu Falls.  It is one of the natural wonders of the world, and we are going to go explore it tomorrow.  Mr. Madison used to be a tour guide here in 2003, and he worked here for two years, so I am excited for a great adventure at the falls.

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