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“ A Side Trip From BA: Rosario The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly ”

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We are back from Rosario. The trip did not go as planned. But, we made the best of it.

We were scheduled to leave the bus depot from BA to Rosario at 10:30AM for a 4 hour trip. Our departure was over an hour late. Our Chevallier bus was supposedly a deluxe bus. But, it had to be one of the oldest one in the fleet. :( The A/C did not work. The bus was as hot as a sauna. We were lead to believe that there would be beverages available on the bus. Not so! :( To make matters worse, the bus driver smoked which is against bus rules. There was an accident on the highway. So, we had to take a long, slow detour on secondary roads. After 6+ hours, we finally arrived at our detestation. I arrived very dehydrated as I am on diuretic pills for high blood pressure.

After settling into our boutique hotel, we went to a local parilla for a delicious steak dinner. Once again, we made the mistake of ordering a dinner, each. We took back most of my steak & some buns to the hotel to store in the frig. We enjoyed steak sandwiches the next morning for our breakfast. :)

Our first full day in Rosario was extremely HOT! I ended up with heat prostration. It was a very unpleasant sensation to have my legs turn into rubber bands as I walked down the sidewalk. We hailed a cab & went back to the hotel. I had a very long cool shower, drank lots of cold water, & rested into the evening.

We saw some of the stunning neoclassical buildings of Rosario. There were many styles including French, Italian, Spanish, English, & Arabic. Wrought iron, marble, carved doors, copper doors, carved wood or marble statues graced many buildings.

The most expansive & beautiful public area was the National Flag Memorial. This monumental complex is built from blocks of travertine marble. It covers an area about 10,000 square & sits near the shore of the Parana River. The central tower is 70 meters high. The vistas from the top of the towers is breath-taking. The grandeur & scale of this complex brings to mind some of the Art Deco movie sets of the Third Reich.

Pellegrini Avenue has many fine restaurants, cafes, bars,& pizza parlours. But, most importantly, was the amount of helado shop! It was graced with two or three per block! Of course, I had to do some major research. The best ice cream I had was the triple chocolate.:)

Our favourite meal were at a fishing club on the shores of the Parana River. I had gnocchi in a tomato cream sauce that was laced with baby shrimp. My DH & our Porteña friend had a whole fish called boga. It was tender, flavourful, & fine grained.

The worst meal was at a Mexican restaurant. We came to the consensus that the cook & the bartender had never tasted Mexican food or a Margarita! LOL! The edge of the drink glasses were rimmed in sugar. The drink was pink & was as raw & harsh as homemade hooch. I worried about losing my eyesight! LOL!

The next two days brought rain, lightning, & thunder. We managed to get out during a break in the weather to the highly touted Independence Park. We were dismayed at the neglect & vandalism within the park. The man-made lakes were over-run with garbage & smelled like sewage lagoons. The rose garden was almost nonexistent. Monuments & statues were defaced, broken, & covered in graffiti. It was very sad to see what had been
such a lovely park in a state of disrepair.

The city area that we saw was very dirty. Unlike BA, the building caretakers & restaurants do not wash & clean the sidewalks every morning. The city did look better after the rains.

Our main focus of the trip was to spend time on a boat on the river, bird-watching. Also, to attend Carnival across the river in Victoria. Neither materialized due to a lack of transportation & torrential rains. But, we made the best of our trip.

Our return bus was everything the previous bus wasn't. It was new, comfortable, on time, & had A/C. The return trip was uneventful until leaving the Retiro area. Then, my entire back was sprayed with thick white foam. Two teenagers came to "help." Both my DH & I yelled "No tomcar." The boys melted into the crowd. Welcome back to BA!

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