Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas Vacation: Uruguay and Argentina!!

A lot of people decided to head home or see a little more of South America during the Christmas holiday, mainly because it is nearly impossible get work done during this time of year because everyone has already checked out..

I started my holiday vacation by visiting my original host family in Guarambare, where I participated in a family tradition of decorating the tree and nativity scene. My Host Mom, Gudelia, has the yellow shirt and my host nephew has the red shirt on.

This is the love of my life, Fabricio. jijijiji, the son of my Host Sister, Azucena

The view coming into Punto del Este, Uruguay, A big tourist destination for Brazilians..

A beautiful look out peak in Punto del Este.

At the pier, these crazy guys were waiting for some fisherman scraps (right outside the yacht club)

Nice lighthouse made into a home in downtown Punto Del Este

"Mano de Dios" or Hand of God sculpture on Sculpture Beach, I swear Punto del Este had a beach for everything.. Surfing, Relaxing, Partying, and apparently Sculptures..

Downtown Montevideo, Uruguay. We went to a bustling market where people cook the food right in front of you and enjoyed some "mixtas" which I think was white wine mixed with champagne... It is a very popular place to socialize on Fridays and Saturdays to celebrate the end of the work week.

We took a day trip to Colonia, which is a awesome riverside town across the river from Buenos Aires.

Beautiful streets and architecture in Colonia

My travel buddies, Karen on my right and Laara on my left.

On the way back from Colonia we passed the afternoon in Laara's cousin's country home.

This is Laara's second cousin on the pony... He was three years old and just rode bareback all around the house...The yellow house was built Laara's Family.

The countryside made for the perfect sunset! We also drove about 15 minutes to the beach where we rode on her cousin's Katamaran, which was beautiful as well!

After a little over a weeks time in Uruguay, we took a three hour boat ride from Colonia to Bueno Aires, Argentina and spent about 5 days exploring the beautiful city.

We got a little taste of the Argentinian Tango on the boat ride over!

The Busy streets of Buenos Aires!!
Happy New Years Eve!

We went to see a Tango show and the restaurant gave us these crazy costumes

They also provided the silly string for the midnight celebration!

Found this Street sign representing Paraguay by doing the Paraguayan "high-five"

The biggest cemetery ever in the Recoleta part of Buenos Aires.

La Plaza de Mayo where they still have the marches of the "Madres de los desaparecidos" or "Mothers of the disappeared" who protest every Thursday on behalf of their children who were kidnapped during the dictatorship and were never seen again...very sad.

"La Casa Rosasada" The famous Pink House where Evita used to give her speeches and is still used as the President's place of work.

"Palermo Viejo" which reminds of of a Georgetown kind of area, with old historic neighborhoods and cute restaurants and shops.

One day we went to the zoo!

Laara and Karen on the oldest subway train that is still running in the world (apparently!)

One of the last parts of town that we visited is called "Caminito" and it's supposed to be the artisan part of town.. you can see all the buildings in the background are painted with lots of different colors. It was also VERY touristy, but I liked the artisan markets because you could find a lot of unique pieces.

Overall the trip was the perfect balance. The first week in Uruguay was really relaxed with an amazing tour guide (Laara's Aunt) and a beautiful home to stay in. The second week in Buenos Aires we had a little more independence staying in a hostel and a little more high energy in such a bustling city. Was a great trip with amazing people and I can't wait to see more of Argentina because it has sooo much to offer!!!!
<3 Julie