Rosario, Argentina’s third largest city with about one million inhabitants is situated right on Rio Paraná. It is a university town and Che Guevara’s birthplace.
Arriving in Rosario, we first went to Hostel Rosario, whose website listed Air-conditioning among its services, no luxury with temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius. Well, not only was the address given on their website wrong, but the hostel was run-down and had no air-conditioning. So we set out again searching and quickly decided to stay in a “real” hotel, the Hotel Imperio, which for only a few Pesos more had air-conditioning, comfortable rooms, a nice breakfast buffet, a good WiFi in the room and a cool swimming pool!
Upon Heidi’s suggestions, we lunched at a vegetarian restaurant. Gilles stuffed himself with greenery like he usually does with meat and fell sick the same day. This convinced him that it was wiser to return to his “parrilla diet” of tons of grilled meat, which he had so much enjoyed in the last weeks …
With temperatures between 37 and 42 degrees Celsius, we had little chance of enjoying the city, although its motto “La major ciudad para vivir” may very well be true.
The city of full of parks and most streets are lined with trees, but its most attractive asset is the accessible waterfront along Rio Paraná. Along Costera Sur, you find many places to do a barbecue, Argentineans’ favorite past time. There were several of them being fired up when we passed by in the evening. We simply could not comprehend that people would create even more heat in these temperatures. But according to Clarin, a national newspaper, every person eats an average of 67.2 kg of meat per year, so we guessed every opportunity must be used. Nevertheless, it looked really harmonious to watch big families or groups of young people enjoying their “Asado”.
On Costera Norte there are “Balnearios”, beaches with services including umbrella rental, showers, volleyball nets and outdoor bars, THE place to be during the summer.
A few minutes from the city center, there are many nice bars and restaurants on the waterfront and the promenade is also used by people who feel like jogging with 40 degrees: at t around 11:00 pm, it still felt too hot for us to sit outside and we decided for an air-conditioned restaurant, which we usually avoid like the pest.
While Gilles spent the day in a darkened, cool hotel room to recover from eating too much salad, Heidi diligently set out to visit a few museums. After walking her feet sore for hours, she returned home without setting foot in a single one: either they were on summer schedule, or were closed for the summer or closed altogether.
The only sight we visited was “Monumento Nacional de la Bandera”, a monstrous stone complex. In the crypt under the tower rests Manuel Belgrano, who designed the Argentinean flag. In the museum the original flag can be seen plus all the flags of the Latin-American nations, their hymns and sometimes jars! with “tierra” from these countries.
Boulevard Orono definitely needs to be mentioned with its many old elegant buildings from the 19th century in between high apartment buildings. This street has four lines of tall trees, two on the “paseo” in the middle of the street and two on the sides.
During our second night in Rosario we were woken by the loudest thunder we ever heard, it sounded more like an explosion. In the following downpour the place cooled down in no time. Nevertheless, it was time to leave and we hoped on the bus and after passing through flat Pampa with lots of cows four hours, we arrived in Buenos Aires.