Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Living Like A Local

San Carlos de Bariloche: A relatively small town in Patagonia (Southern Argentina). It is home to approximately 108,000 people and is a little under 30,000 square miles.  Bariloche, like Zermatt, is also known for it's incredible skiing. I had the amazing opportunity to spend a month in Argentina with my ski team in the summer of 2007.

The resort we skied at was called Cerro Catedral, meaning "hill cathedral" or "cathedral of the mountain." The skiing was unbelievable; possibly the next-best to Utah! :) We even got to train with the Argentina national team!

We were training just about every day but the few days we had off, we wandered around the town or had off-snow training (dryland training). My coach was raised in Bariloche, so he showed us around local-style and even took us to tea and dinner at his parents' house one night! We got a delicious home-cooked Argentine meal, which is not one to be forgotten!
Argentina is famous for its chocolate and steak (two pretty random things, I know, but I completely understand why they're known for it!). There are probably about 10 different chocolate companies downtown, all with multiple stores like this. All the store is is one huge room of every kind of chocolate you could imagine! It was absolutely delicious! My favorite steak restaurant was at the resort and is called Rodeo. We got so much amazing food for so cheap! Which leads me to another thing I love about Argentina: how inexpensive everything is. We always had very high-quality meals and our individual bills ended up being only about $5 USD. Such a bargain! Plus, all the souvenirs and chocolate were reasonably priced as well! :)

I've been back to Argentina with my dad twice since 2007. The first time, we went back to Bariloche to ski because he wanted to see why we loved it so much! He definitely fell in love with it too! The last time I went back was with my whole family (except my mom) last December, but unfortunately, we never made it past Buenos Aires due to an airline strike. It was way cool getting to see a major city there, though, and such a difference from the Argentina I knew. I know I will visit again in the future and I recommend it to anyone who wants to see something completely different than the lifestyle we're used to here in the US.

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