Friday, November 16, 2007

PARAPENTE


To get a nice overview of the area around Mendoza, to be in the mountains and to get rid of my altitude sickness, I did the parasailing experience…
We drove in a 4-wheel drive to the top of the mountain “Cerro Arco” and from there the adventure started. The idea to sail in the sky is not human but because the take off speed was not that fast and the instructor presented very experienced, my fears were gone in a few seconds. From that point it was an amazing experience and a perfect way to get an outstanding overview of Mendoza. ¡Era bárbaro!
If you got the opportunity to parasail in Mendoza, do it!

Sebastiaan Frankenmolen photo

Friday, November 09, 2007

Spotting UFOs in Cordoba, Argentina



After only 4 weeks in Cordoba, I have already been able to learn a lot about the Argentinean culture and the people’s peculiarities. I am going to stay 5 months in Argentina to do a Spanish course and an internship. Cordoba is the second largest city of Argentina and famous for its lively student life and colonial architecture. Wandering through downtown Cordoba you will see many impressive buildings, like the Iglesia Catedral whose construction, started in 1577, and took more than 2 centuries to be finished. It’s really interesting to detect the various architectural styles of the church when you look at the façade more closely.
Getting involved in the social life of the city, you find out very quickly that Cordoba could be described as a kind of melting pot of all the provinces of Argentina, as you will encounter Argentineans from all over the country and therefore, you will listen to many different dialects. This has already led to various amusing misunderstandings. Fortunately, you get used to this after a while.

Apart from this, the city is also advantageously located within the Central Sierras, which enables you to easily explore part of the exciting countryside, without having to travel long distances. As part of the activity program, organised by my Spanish school, I went on a 2-day hiking trip to the somewhat mysterious Capilla del Monte, which is situated about 100km away from Cordoba city. We stayed in a hostel, ‘un hospedaje’ as it is called here, where Erika, the chambermaid, told us interesting stories about the mysteries of Capilla del Monte. Apparently, if you are very spiritual and lucky, you would be able to spot UFOs, which are said to have been seen in the region for centuries, and be inspired by the spiritual vibrations of the area. So when we set off the next morning to hike through the rocky Terrones, you can imagine that our eyes were constantly directed towards the sky to detect one of these alien objects. I guess we were just unlucky, but the breathtaking and amazing views of the Terrones, a rugged area up in the mountains with gorges and streams of water, made up for this very easily. You are led through the mountains on a narrow path that sometimes forces you to venture some climbing action and cross water streams.
That weekend out in the Sierras with my Spanish course was really fantastic and I can’t wait for this upcoming weekend where we are going to visit one of the Sierra’s National Parks, the Quebrada del Condorito, to spot condors. photo