Archive for August, 2010

La comida (food)

August 31, 2010

At Abuelo’s house breakfast is a typical one of cheese and cold meats on bread.  He had sweet spreads too (like marmalade and dulce de leche which is like caramel).  Almost all of the hotels we stayed at also had a range of cakes and sweet treats to have with coffee at breakfast too.  Mum says she doesn’t like cake for breakfast but she tried a lot of them for someone who doesn’t like them.

Medias lunas literally means ‘half moons’ and are little croissants that often have a sugar glaze on top.  These are popular at breakfast and also at tea time (around 5pm) to keep you going until dinner which is usually at 9pm or 10pm.

Empanadas are South American pies.  They are cooked in the oven or fried.  They are eaten as a snack, or entree or as a takeaway dinner on non cooking nights.  Mum and Papi had these for dinner with beer on more than one occasion!

Ham and cheese sandwiches are commonly on the menu as a snack or light lunch in most cafes.  Papi prefers lomitos (steak sandwich) and papas fritas (french fries).

Bread baskets, often with a cheese spread or pickles, are almost always given complementarily in restaurants.  White bread is almost always on the table at home too.  This was a bread basket at a fantastic restaurant in Cordoba.

Parrillas are big BBQs and are easy to find because meat is so central to the Argentinean diet.  Often parrillas are even at petrol stations and truck stops (out of the city) so travellers and truckies can get a proper meal.  You can choose which cuts of meat you want and have with salad and bread.  Quick, easy and healthy we stopped at many of these on our long car trip days.

Papi introduced Mum to asado from the parrilla which is ribs but they are cut the other way than in Australia (although we have found a Brisbane butcher that will cut them like this for us).  Check out the knife!  Lots of restaurants have over sized knives like this.  I wanted to try one out but Mum always put them out of my reach.

Another of Papi’s favourites is Milanesa (schnitzel).  This is a Milanesa Napolitana which is kind of like a pizza on top of schnitzel.

There is a heavily Italian influence with lots of pizza and pasta available.  The pizza has lots of meat, of course.

And a food post about Argentina wouldn’t be complete without a picture of an alfajor!

We’re home!

August 30, 2010

Tired but with big smiles on our faces we made the long journey home.  I discovered Shrek and managed to get lots of sleep too.

I liked watching Shrek. Mum says at home I can watch it with sound.

Mum let me sleep on her seat with her. It was very comfy.

Last supper

August 28, 2010

Back in Buenos Aires we returned our trusty rental car and went to have a bite to eat with another of my cousins, Peli (the younger brother of Lourdes who we caught up with in Rosario last night).  Peli is a dress designer and Lourdes showed us some of his dresses on famous models in her magazines last night.  I wonder if he’ll make me a beautiful dress one day?

Singing in Rosario

August 28, 2010

Rosario is our last stop before we’re back in Buenos Aires.   It’s a beautiful city and we’re staying with my cousin Lourdes down near the river.  I had such a good time at her house learning a funny song. 

It goes like this:

Vamos de paseo, too too too

En un auto feo, too too too

Pero no me importa, too too too

Porque llevo torta, too too too

It doesn’t rhyme in English, but this is what we’re singing:  

Let’s go for a drive, toot toot toot

In an ugly car, toot toot toot

But I don’t mind, toot toot toot

Because I have cake, toot toot toot

Day excursion to Carlos Paz

August 26, 2010

In Argentina, it’s traditional to go on a trip with your class mates to celebrate finishing primary school and graduating secondary school.  When Papi was 12 he went on such a trip to Cordoba with his class and his Mum came along as one of the teacher helpers.  He had particularly good memories of going out to Carlos Paz which is only 40 mins from Cordoba city and he wanted to show me and Mum.  

We started the day with a drive along Ruta de las Cien Curvas (the 100 curves route) around lake San Roque.  I tried to count the corners to see if there were exactly 100 curves but I lost count looking at the views.   

After lunch we went to Cerro de la Cruz (The Cross Hill) and decided to climb it. 

Up

and up

and up we went.  There were 14 little crosses on the way.

and a great big cross at the top.

Mum did say she was keen to do some exercise today.

We took the chair lift up the next hill to see the views from there.

And thought the 20 minute ride on the sky train was a good idea.  Although it was a 100m ride to a tourist shop.  18 minutes in the shop and a 100m journey back.

The views were pretty good though!

To finish off the day we went to one of the alfajor factories since the area is famous for it’s delcious alfajores.  We didn’t get to see through the factory but we did buy a box.  Mum thought a box would be too many but she didn’t put up much of a fight.

I can understand why Papi had such good memories of this place.  And now we all have good memories of Carlos Paz.

Exploring Cordoba

August 25, 2010

Some interesting things about Cordoba:

  • It is the second largest city in Argentina
  • It was founded in 1573
  • There are a number of churches, convents and houses in the city from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries
  • It’s Argentina’s centre of arts and learning

and it was a beautiful day today to explore the city.

There was a lot to look up at on our morning walk.

particularly churches

I liked the central plaza too

we saw some more of the city on a big red bus. We sat at the top.

and saw more old buildings and churches.

Are we there yet?

August 24, 2010

Papi said today’s 540km journey from Tucuman to Cordoba would take 6 hours, so after road works out of Tucuman, ferocious winds along highway 157 (our route), slow city traffic into Cordoba and Mum and Papi talking and / or singing the entire way I was getting very grumpy when I was still in my car seat 7.5 hours after setting off this morning.  At least today all the petrol stations we went to actually had petrol!

I was very happy to finally be at the hotel

For map lovers (yes, I’m thinking of you Iggy) here’s a better picture of our 3,555km odyssey around the north of Argentina.  Today we did I to J.  See, it even looks long on the map!

Lunch, getting stuck and 1816

August 23, 2010

Papi wanted to sleep and sleep this morning so we had a quiet start to the day.  When Papi finally got out of bed we went to have a late lunch with Max and Laura who were enjoying their first day of being husband and wife!

Laura and Max

We stayed at their house a little longer than we intended because we got stuck in the lift.  We pressed the emergency buzzer, but no one answered because it was Sunday.  Then we tried calling the phone numbers on the notice inside the lift, but we had no phone coverage.  Fortunately someone heard Papi yell out for help and together they broke the door so we could get out.

We had to break the door to escape!

Whilst in Tucuman we went to visit one of Argentina’s most important historical places.  Casa de la independencia is where Argentina declared independence from the Spanish in 1816 and is just around the corner from where we are staying.

Casa de la independencia.

La boda (the wedding)

August 23, 2010

The wedding was beautiful!  We walked over to The Jockey Club on the other side of the square at 9pm for a 9:30pm ceremony followed by dinner.  The singing and dancing got started after that.  Now I see why Mum made me have an afternoon nap!  Mum took me  back to the hotel around 1:30am which was a long, long, long time after my bed time.  The others partied on until morning.

Los novios, Max and Laura.

We were all dressed up too.

Making a new friend.

The party went on until the sun came up in the morning.

Tafi to Tucuman

August 23, 2010

Dinner in Tafi was baby goat cooked in the traditional way.

Tafi del Valle to Tucuman took only 1.5 hours and we didn’t stop because we were due in Tucuman to have lunch with Max.

Leaving Tafi.

The roads were still twisty and turny but there were more trees. We still had to dodge animals along the way.