My youthful travel therein made me happy

While Buenos Aires is currently my favorite city en el mundo, I’ll admit I was originally a bit apprehensive when I chose to study abroad here, mostly because of the incredible and accessible traveling that living in Europe allows for. However, over the past month my jealousy at the Euro-trip the majority of my home and college friends are on has all but subsided (although to those reading this, your pictures are amazing and I miss you!).

For the past three weekends, I too, have been fortunate enough to travel. Consequently, I’ve had so many memorable experiences that it’d be quite a challenge to blog about just one of them…which is why this post is going to be more of a travel-log than my other ones. So, here are some of the highlights (pictures attached) from:

Mar de Plata-
While the weather was not phenomenal during my IFSA program-sponsored trip to this cute beach town, we did take a lovely boat ride around the city. I definitely think this is a better place to visit in the peak of summer, but it was certainly nice to escape the big city for a quieter atmosphere.

Tafi de Valle-
This was the first stop on my northwest Argentina adventure during a weeklong vacation for Semana Santa. One of my goals during this week was to try as much local food as possible, hence when my traveling buddies, Sophia and Julie, and I finally arrived after over 24 hours of travelling on the omnibus, and eyed the bright yellow dish sitting on the table next to us, we ordered our first (and I’d say best) humita of the week. The corn-based deliciousness was light, yet also filling, and a great way to kick off what Sophia and I deemed “eating our way through the northwest.”

This small town in the province of Salta is one of the most remarkable places I’ve ever been. We started our day biking to a bodega (vineyard) next to a backdrop of enormous, red mountains. We did a hiking excursion in the afternoon through the Quebrada de las Conchas valley, which was absolutely breathtaking. Of course, Cafayate is also home to wine-flavored ice-cream…need I say more?

We discovered the BEST tacos at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant called La Doña and also found mouth-watering lomito sandwiches at a corner stand (did I mention we were eating our way through the northwest?). This week also marked my first time ever staying in hostels, and the one we stayed at in Salta, Sol Huasi, was easily the most fun.

Llama, landscape, and live singing pretty much capture my experience in this incredible pueblo. The highlight of this stop was unquestionably dinner at La Pena de Carlitos, where I tried llama for the first time—DELICIOUS. Of course, being treated to a live folklore performance while eating, something I was immensely looking forward to (as a side note: we traveled around this week on omnibuses—10 buses in 6 days, to be exact—hence I listened to a lot of Mumford & Sons on my iPod andwas constantly in the mood for folk singing), simply made this one of the most memorable meals of the trip.

This was the last stop on our whirlwind six-day tour of northwest Argentina and the excursion to Las Salinas was definitely the most impressive part of this town. It’s hard to gage the vastness of these salt fields in pictures, but the enormity of the attraction is really unique.

IFSA took us to Colonia, Uruguay this past weekend, where we spent an afternoon at our program director’s stunning home on the beach (actually more of an estate), stuffing ourselves with choripan and steak. The next day, we travelled to a beautiful bodega called Narbona where I experienced a classier version of a Cornell wine tour. And on Monday I saw one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen in my life. Overall, it was a phenomenal trip.

Needless to say, I could not feel more fortunate or happy with my abroad experience thus far. This weekend, I’m headed to Patagonia for the finale of my travels this month, and while I am indescribably excited, I’m also looking forward to returning and staying put in Buenos Aires for the next few weeks (it’s definitely a sign of how comfortable I am here that I miss the city when I’m gone). This semester is already passing at a disconcerting speed, but I’m so excited for all the aventuras to come, and also currently not sure if I ever want to leave!

About Olivia

Hola! My name is Olivia and I’ll be spending the spring semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’m an English major, Spanish minor (but potentially major, depending on how the semester abroad goes) in the College of Arts and Sciences. Outside of academics, I’m a member of the club tennis team, the co-chair of Colleges Against Cancer, and a sports writer for the Daily Sun. I’m a really active person who loves the outdoors, which is why South America is the perfect place for me; Patagonia and Machu Picchu are just two of the many places I hope to explore. I’ll be living in a homestay, and even though it won’t always be easy, eight years of studying Spanish will definitely help me get by. And although I have a terrible sense of direction, I’m genuinely looking forward to all the places I’ll discover while lost in Buenos Aires. Of course, I’m also ready for the steak, wine, partidos de fútbol, and potential tennis sports star sightings (Juan Martín del Potro, here I come). I can’t wait to share my experiences with all of you!
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