Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Rosario, another Resistencia? 20 July 2009

Rosario is famous for two reasons: 1. it is the birth place of Argentine legend Che Guevara, and 2. it is the cultural capital of Argentina.

With recommendations about this place from Argentinians who I have met on my travels, I had high hopes for Rosario.

I found a hostel at 8am, but, annoyingly they wouldn´t let me check in until midday. Grr! They wouldn´t even let me have breakfast so I stole an apple when they weren´t looking! Seriously, what sort of hostel was this?

On my way to the hostel I had felt rain in the air. So I wasn´t really in a rush to get a wriggle on. In fact, it is worth pointing out that since being in Argentina I haven´t really had to get a wriggle on to do anything... nothing ever opens at 9 which means mornings are quite leisurely. In fact no one in Argentina seems to rush in the morning, work starts at 9 or 10 for most people... 9 or 10! So vague! It´s a very relaxed place.

Sorry, where was I, oh yeah, it felt like rain. But, because I was refused breakfast and refused check in, I didn´t like to hang around where I wasn´t welcome so I decided to chance the dodgy weather and take a look around the town. I only planned a night in Rosario and wanted to crack on.

When I left the hostel i realised the weather wasn´t quite so bad as I first thought, it was cloudy but I couldn´t feel the rain anymore. I wandered down the road towards the pedestrianised shopping street. It felt like every other pedestriaised shopping street that I have walked down in Argentina. I wasn´t impressed. Then I spied a really pretty building. I took in the splendour and carried on to some plaza where the Argentinian flag was raised for the first time ever.

The plaza was actually quite nice and in the middle was a big tower that the LP says you can climb... you can´t actually climb it. Disappointed that I couldn´t climb the tower I wandered down to the river side.

The river side was not all that. Just a brown river. Not impressed.

I decided to walk along the river through the parks (the lady in the hostel told me they were nice) and I figured the river might get better so I ambled along.

It´s winter here, and so, the parks were not at their best... the trees were bare and the grass was pretty dead.

The parks were a bit empty and quiet and actually felt a bit dodge so I took myself back into the centre of town to hunt out Che´s first house.

As I wandered I came to the conclusion that I really like blue skies and cloud... crazy eh given that I come from the UK. But really, an average park looks a million times nicer in the sunshine, so on a grey day I wasn´t really feeling the love for Rosario.

I found Che´s house. Well, the block of flats that he lived in. There was a little flag saying ´Che lived here´ and that was it. Nothing more, nothing less. Hmmm... why was I here again?

It was only 12 but feeling uninspired by this city I went and grabbed some lunch.

After lunch I was at a loss at what to do. I had ripped out the page on Rosario from my Lonely Planet (Rosario actually has a whole page!) and found my way to the Museum zone.

I tried to go to the Art Museum but it was closed for Siesta. Then I crossed the road and went to a Provincial History Museum that housed a ´spectacular collection of mate cups´ according to the LP... it was closed because of the Swine Flu until further notice.

I found a bench by an artificial lake and sat and watched the pedal boats.

Then it rained.

I went and got a cup of tea in a cafe.

(I´m painting a lovely picture of Rosario aren´t I).

Then at 2pm I went back to the Art Museum. Fifteen minutes later, I had ´done´ the art museum, there can´t have been more that 50 paintings in there, and they were all distinctly average.

Hmmm... what to do?

The rain had stopped thankfully so I walked along a nice avenue and saw lots of lovely buildngs and a really cool mural in a park. Actually, this is where I should perk up a bit.. the buildings were really pretty, really gorgeous, very French and very Italian,it was a bit of an eclectic architectural mix. The pretty buildings redeemed the day.

I then killed 40 minutes in a super market where I bought some food to cook up for dinner.

I got back to my hostel and me two Brits who had been in Rosario for 5 days! 5 whole days! My first question to them after discovering this was: ´What am I missing?´ Turns out they were only there hanging around for the delivery of a new debit card that was somewhere in the post.

The evening in Rosario got better as myself and the two Brits got chatting to two Argentinian girls who we ended spending the night drinking with.

I guess I´ve painted a fairly bleak picture of Rosario, but, it is pretty and would be nicer on a pleasant day. The lake would have been a nice place to hang out around on a nice day, probably. In terms of towns, it was better than Resistencia, but I probably had a better time in Resi because I was with Rich and Rhiannon, and we were drunk. But meh, take it or leave it I guess.

Also, before I finish this post, I would like to apologise to readers who were disappointed with my far from articulate account of Resistencia as being ´a bit shit´, but, I´m afraid there is no better way to describe the place. I don´t like using such vulgar words unless absolitely necessary, so believe me when I say it was ´a bit shit´. But Rosario was marginaly better.

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