Montevideo Beaches Montevideo is located near the place where the La Plata River flows into the ocean. A beach line of over 20 km stretches along the estuary. The nearest beach was just a five-minute walk from our house, so we often spent time there. https://youtu.be/80IoQQxceAs By the way, the river waters were not suitable for swimming. The water was murky, thick, and full of seaweed and sand lifted from the bed by river currents. However, the beaches themselves were clean and had soft, yellow sand that the boys adored so much. Equipped with sticks, spades, and toys, Michael Jr [...]1234565
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It was still warm in Buenos Aires, but winter was coming, bringing the first cold days in early February, so we decided to go further. The capital of Uruguay was chosen for a reason. Travelling around Malaysia, we noticed that wealthy citizens often move to Singapore. The same goes for Latin America. Many rich people living in Buenos Aires move to Montevideo. So going to Uruguay, we knew we were going to stay in a city with a high—at least for Latin America—quality of life. Ships regularly sail from the capital of Argentina to Montevideo, so we bought tickets to one [...]1234565
Colourful Houses of La Boca La Boca is considered to be one of the brightest and memorable districts in the city. That’s where de Mendoza created the first settlement in 1536. After the reconstruction of Buenos Aires, the area was built up with shacks where black slaves were kept. In the 19th century, deserted La Boca became the refuge for thousands of European immigrants (mainly Italians). New citizens turned the former shacks and warehouses into houses and painted the walls, roofs, and windows with different colours. By the way, the reason for choosing such a colour palette is prosy: poor migrants [...]1234565
Puerto Madero There was another reason to hurry to get to Buenos Aires by January: Helen dreamt of celebrating her birthday in the capital of Argentina. We chose Puerto Madero, the old port district, for our celebrations. Today the area is considered one of the most prestigious and expensive in the city. Looking at its wide avenues and glass skyscrapers, you can hardly believe that several years ago Buenos Aires’ authorities thought about razing the entire district to the ground. The idea came up once a new port was built, and Puerto Madero got deserted and became one of the most [...]1234565
Safety in Buenos Aires During our stay in Argentina, the boys still stuck to their usual schedule: they went to bed well after midnight, therefore, as a rule, we explored the capital in the evening. Buenos Aires is far from being the safest place for evening walks. The expats that we had a chance to communicate with warned us away from walking in the city in the dark and recommended us to be cautious, to leave expensive devices and jewellery at home, to dress casually, keep a low profile, divide money and cards into two wallets (to give the thieves the [...]1234565
We chose January, the hottest month in Argentina, for our visit to the country. The region is famous for its natural wonders, and we certainly dreamt of going to Patagonia, wanted to walk around its national parks, admire the huge breathtaking waterfalls, and see glaciers. However, we realized it was quite impossible to try to accomplish that with two-year-olds, so we decided to stay in Buenos Aires during our first visit to Argentina to explore the country and its culture from the capital’s perspective. History of Buenos Aires Buenos Aires — one of the largest capitals in the world — is [...]1234565
Orosi Heading southeast of San Jose, you can find yourself in a small village - Orosi, hidden amid green hills. It’s one of the oldest settlements established by the first Spanish settlers in Costa Rica. The valley’s climate and soil were perfect for agriculture, while River Reventazon provided the locals with freshwater supply. Orosi is still inhabited with a population of around 5,000 people. It’s a very quiet place with a calm atmosphere - it feels like time here is frozen. In fact, this is where you can find Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi - the oldest still-active Catholic church, [...]1234565
Else Kientzler Botanical Garden We found information about an interesting place on TripAdvisor - Else Kientzler Botanical Garden which is not far from the capital. After reading plenty of positive reviews, we decided to pay it a visit. The Garden is part of a large agricultural company - InnovaPlant S. A., which cultivates and grows decorative plants for international export. In 1998, the company’s owner, Ludwig Kientzler, decided to establish a botanical garden and named it after his mother Else. At the moment, the 7-hectare park territory houses over 2,000 species of plants, including unique species from New Zealand, Japan, Madagascar, [...]1234565
San Jose - the capital of Costa Rica Even though we decided not to live in San Jose, we still decided to set some time aside for a visit. After all, a country’s capital is the center of its life and culture. This was when we first experienced the unpredictable local weather. We drove in wearing t-shirts and shorts, since it was a clear, warm day. But people in San Jose, which was only an hour’s drive away, were wearing jackets - it was rather cold outside. The temperature suddenly dropped to 13-14 degrees, which we never expected, so we got [...]1234565
Leisure with children First, we tried to hire a babysitter for the children, but we quickly realized that it was almost impossible. No one wanted to move out of the city away into the forest. So, we took care of the boy ourselves, always coming up with different forms of entertainment. The boys loved it in the new house. This was their first house without a bathtub, so we bought plastic tubs, where Robert and Michael Jr. could splash around gleefully. https://youtu.be/xr9liLlKmww It was around this time that their interest in music reached new levels. We gathered all the pots, [...]1234565