City Pros & Cons

Curitiba Travel Blog

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Argentine flag

My tour of South America has just about come to an end, so I wanted to leave my blog readers with a couple pros and cons of each big city that I was privileged to visit.  My time on this beautiful continent was spent in the following cities:  Buenos Aires, Colonia, Florianopolis, Rio de Janeiro, Iguaçu Falls and Curitiba. 

 

The first city on my trip was Buenos Aires, Argentina.  I absolutely fell in love with this city.  There were many pros to Buenos Aires.

Uruguayan flag
  The city was lively and there was always some place to go or something to do while we were there.  For example, our group attended tango and flamenco shows during our stay.  The market that was open every weekend was also great.  As far as food was concerned, I loved eating ham and cheese empanadas there and drinking cappuccino Italiano.  One of the things I didn’t like about Buenos Aires was the fact that almost every Argentine I met there smoked.  Another was the distance from our residencia to the group’s regular meeting place.  Our group was divided into three residencias and there were no other Georgia Tech people in our dorm.  It was fun meeting new people, but whenever the Tech people had to go to a site, those living in the Uriarte and Paraguay residencias had to hike to Borges to meet up with the rest of the group.  I also didn’t like the fact that there was no spicy food in Buenos Aires at all.
riding ATVs!
  No matter which restaurant I tried (Korean, Indian, etc), the food was rather bland.  It was almost as if spices didn’t exist in Buenos Aires.

 

The second city I visited was Colonia, Uruguay.  This city was the opposite of Buenos Aires, which appealed to me at first.  Buenos Aires was a big city, while Colonia seemed like the quiet town where everyone came to relax.  It was fun being away from all the hustle and bustle of the big city for a weekend.  I enjoyed the historic sites of the city, but I didn’t like the fact that all the streets were mainly one-way.  I received a warning citation because I didn’t realize that the street signs pointed in only one direction.

Brazilian flag
  I did enjoy riding the ATV around town though, regardless of the citation.  As far as the nightlife was concerned, I didn’t like the fact that Uruguayans went to parties at the crack of dawn.  It was around 4am when the nightclub we went to started to get packed.  I was so tired that we left when people were starting to come in.  The Uruguayans are nuts!

 

The third city on my trip was Florianopolis, Brazil.  Floripa (which is the city’s nickname) was absolutely beautiful.  I was only there for a couple days, but it was enough for me see some of the sites around the town.  I enjoyed the beautiful views of the ocean and mountains and even the women.  Of all the Brazilian cities, Floripa definitely had the best looking women.

soaking in the rain in Paraguay..we looked ridiculous
  Supposedly the supermodels all congregate there during the summer months.  Maybe I’ll return during the summer on my next trip to Brazil.  I didn’t enjoy almost being robbed my first night in Floripa at the Posada our group was staying at.  It was mainly our fault for being loud, but it put things into perspective on how we should behave while in a foreign country.  I enjoyed taking Portuguese classes there, but I didn’t like the fact that the hot water in our bathrooms had to be heated prior to coming out of the shower head.  I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to enjoy the beaches of Floripa because I left to go to Rio during the long weekend we had while we were there.

 

My next stop was Rio de Janeiro.  This was by far the most intriguing city of this entire trip for me.

the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro
  First of all, Rio is unbelievably beautiful and is the epitome of what Brazil is viewed as around the world.  The beautiful beaches and high mountains and various islands give Rio a distinction that sets it apart from every other Brazilian city.  I enjoyed the beautiful views the city had to offer from its tourist sites:  Corcovado and Pao de Acucar.  I was also able to visit a friend of mine from high school whom I hadn’t seen in 5 years.  He took me around the city and showed me things that most tourists don’t really get to see of the former capital of Brazil.  His family was also kind enough to make sure that I felt at home while I was there.  The one thing that I didn’t enjoy about Rio was the constant fear that the city exuded.
Iquazu Falls
  The favelas had an unspoken power that even the police couldn’t control.  Seeing even my friend’s dad fly through red lights for fear of being robbed at gunpoint while waiting at a traffic light was something that was new to me.  It was a feeling that I had never felt while I was in the States. 

 

I was able to visit Iguaçu Falls next with my group.  Unfortunately this year, the falls was only at 1/3 of its normal power due to insufficient rain in the land.  I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t see the falls at its full power after coming all this way to see it, but nonetheless, being able to go into the falls and get soaked under one of the waterfalls was an experience I will never forget.  I enjoyed it immensely.  We were even able to cross the Paraguayan border while were staying at Iguaçu.

my grandpa...turning 80!
  I didn’t really like Paraguay that much because it was pouring rain that day and we had to walk in the rain.  I was soaked from head to foot, but I still managed to get a flag while I was there.  I was on a quest to get a flag from every country I was in while in South America and I am proud to say that I’ve succeeded in my venture. 

 

The last stop in my South American adventure is here in Curitiba, Brazil (from where I am writing this last blog).  Curitiba seems to be a safe city thus far and every class we’ve had here speaks of how this city has grown from nothing to one of the most habitable places on earth.  The city has an impressive public transportation system and its citizens seem to be proud that they are in a city that is continuing to expand.

made the trip more exciting
  I liked the hotel we are staying at, but I didn’t like cramming for finals while I was here.  Unfortunately I had no other choice, because my trip was to be cut short by a week, due to my grandfather’s 80th birthday in Dallas, TX.

 

Overall, I have enjoyed all the cities I’ve visited while on this trip to South America.  Each city has its pros and cons, but if I had the choice to come on this trip again, I would do so without hesitation.  The World Cup taking place this year has only added to all the excitement while we have been down here.  It has been a blast and I hope that future students who also come on this trip enjoy it as much as I have. 

vances says:
A brilliant summary...thank you.
Posted on: Jun 30, 2006
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Argentine flag
Argentine flag
Uruguayan flag
Uruguayan flag
riding ATVs!
riding ATVs!
Brazilian flag
Brazilian flag
soaking in the rain in Paraguay..w…
soaking in the rain in Paraguay..…
the beautiful city of Rio de Janei…
the beautiful city of Rio de Jane…
Iquazu Falls
Iquazu Falls
my grandpa...turning 80!
my grandpa...turning 80!
made the trip more exciting
made the trip more exciting
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photo by: joesu