South America April - June 2010, Eastern Europe 2009

For the sake of keeping all blog posts in one place, going to keep this Europe travel blog page rolling...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 64


Home tomorrow - mom&dad, flights in a 430 so see you around 6?

Bye for now!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


This is the worst keyboard ever but I am going to battle through it for a quick post. Arrived in Mtl three days ago, and man it feels good to be back in Canada and back in montreal. Getting into the Pearson airport in Toronto with people speaking to you in English was glorious. It was a long trip home, Buenos Aires to Santiago to Toronto to Montreal, then express bus, metro and a 15 min walk, but I made it! the first day was a complete bummer because I lost a lot of money hta fell out of my wallet I guess when I paid for something and had my hands full. I then decided to treat myself and get a haircut. Also managed to hang out with Katie, my old Montreal roommate, so that was cool. After having met a group of girls at the hostel, three of us, myself, a kiwi and a Parisien, went to a beer tasting festival for a few hours. Came back ate dinner and talked in a mix of languages, Spanish, English, French. Good times. I am loving being able to use my french and I get to al lot particularly at this hostel where a lot of people are from France, all the girls in my room are.

Yesterday also managed to go on a big reminiscing tour of the city, walked everywhere, up the hill to mcGill down St. Catherines and back up to the Plateau. It was the best day, had it all to myself and the weather was amazing: warm and sunny.

Today I rent a bike I think and bike around the city, maybe pick up a new book, all weather depending though.

Anyways thats it for now, see you in 4 days! Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Goodbyes to the South

Last full day and night in Buenos Aires. Last few days have been action packed (relatively speaking), starting with the most insane antique market on Sunday. I have never ever seen so many antiques in my life! In San Telmo, one of the barrios (neighbourhoods) in BA there is a market that fills the famous square on Sundays. But not only does it fill this square (as we thought), oh no, it goes 6 or 7 long blocks down the street, pretty much back into downtown BA and spills into all these crazy side markets that are hidden within adjacent buildings. Sometimes more than one level high. Mom and aunt Rita, you two would have died.

So, yes, I did spend some money and got more STUFF to weigh my bag down but honestly it was hard to hold back, especially spending the whole day out there. Only disappointing factor was that because every tourist in town had turned up for it, everything was fairly overpriced. Both Owen and I couldnt believe they could charge so much for everything, because there was SO much of it, but we came to the conclusion that everyone is secretly a hoarder and wants to keep their stuff, or because itÅ› only once a week, they need to make their money in one go by asking more.

Anyways overall it was an interesting, yet exhausting day.

Yesterday, we caught the 3 hr ferry to Colonial, Uruguay. Colonial was very pretty, reminded be of an old Italien town (had originally been Portugese) with the scooters to boot. Again things were expensive because it is a tourist town and surprsingly (i dont know why I found it surprising) but Uruguay isnt that poor, compared to say Bolovia so things arent cheap. We almost didnt make it ebcause I forgot my passport and had to run all the way back to the hostel and then back to the ferry, which now I am sore, making it with only a few minutes to spare.

Today Owen goes to skate, I r-organize my bag, and we go to the best steak house in BA for the last supper.

Cant wait to get back to Canada!


Friday, May 28, 2010


Owen and I just came back from a really amazing tango show at a very famous space of Av, 25 de Mayo. I will post pics soon but imagine smokey atmosphere with great wine, legs flying short skirts and lots of female skin, good looking dark handsome men, an orchestra, dark lights, a maitre d in black and whites, show lights, theatre costumes. We were definately amazed and impressed and so glad we attended. We have found this really great restaurant in San Telmo, which appears close on map but is really 45 mins walking from our hostel, it is very old and has everything that I would appetimize as European. Last night owen and I went there for a bottle of great wine, housemade cheeze and meat (spicy salami, bolognese, smoked thin ham slices, ravioli and cheey tomatoes. It is eating so extravagently for a quater of the price. I especially love being able to splurge on a bottle of wine with dinner, fairly unaffordable in Van. Today we also visited the famous Ba cemetary full of notorious BA families and scandalous policians. It was unbelivable to see how manu dead people could fit into probably a sqaure acre of the ultra extravagent "death houses" (will post to describe). Here lies Evita and almost all of the past presidents from the past 100 yrs.

Tomorrow Owen is going to check out the skatepark and I might do some shopping but am seriosly trying to remind myself I have no job and funds are dwindling.

Hope to hear some Van news.


Thursday, May 27, 2010


We have arrived to the final destination! Well for Owen at least. Wow big city, busy city. Reminds me a lot of New York, a lot of people and cars filling the streets, big posters for plays and shows going on, giant advertising screens etc. This is all of course mixed in with over a 100 yr old buildings and spanish everywhere. Can wait to check out the city and am glad we have plenty of time to do so. Our hostel is massive, kind of like a hotel, has all the amenities and luckily we are in only a 6 person dorm room.

It was so strange booking my hostel in Montreal because there wasnt one option downtown mtl that was less than twice the cost of a night in a hostel down here, guess its all a part of coming back to reality.

how are things in Van?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hello BA

Today Owen and I went on a big mission to get to the zoo in Mendoza, which doesnt appear to exist but we got to walk for a long time through this massive park in the eastern part of town. Was a neat park palm trees, camping, kind of reminded me of the endowment lands by UBC as it has a university located within it and big wide streets lined with trees and a walking path. Yesterday was fun, Owen and I checked out a wine tour starting at 2pm, which took us to an olive oil factory, two wineries and an artisan chocolate/ liqueur factory. To be honest, we both found the olive and chocolate factory to be much more exciting than the wineries, maybe because we got to test a bunch of different things rather than only two kinds of wines that were promptly sale pitched to you to purchase after you had tested them. One of the wineries was cool because it very old, the grandchild of the initial owner still ran the winery so it was neat to see how an old boutique winery operated. The major wine in Mendoza is Malbec, originally from France, but whose grapes grows best in Mendoza and is pretty much the only place in the world where Malbec grapes are grown. So you want to try some real Argentinian wine, try some Malbec.

Wine is also ridiculously cheap here, you can find it for $2-3 CA. Leather is another cheap item, I almost bought a pair of handmade leather boots the other day from this guy who dressed like Mad Max (they had old re-cycled tires for soles!) but alas they only had ones with ugly designs on it in my size. As I mentioned in a previous post, yesterday and the day before were national holidays here so everything was closed. Today, even though the holiday is over, everything is still closed! Pretty annoying but both Owen and I hope to do some shopping before we leave Buenos Aires. I think we also going to try to make it to Montevideo in Uruguay because supposedly there is a really great market where the ferry lets you off.

Tonight we leave for Buenos Aires on a 14 hr bus, the last one! Thank god. We were going to ball out and get the fancy bed seats but it was way to expensive so again we get the ghetto seats, oh well, last one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyways going to go enjoy the last of our few hours in beautiful Mendoza (probably the nicest and cleanest city we´ve been to so far), talk soon.


Ps. swelling is gone, finally!!