By Eleni Haberis, Class of 2019
During my time studying abroad, I have gotten the opportunity to split my semester and live in both Buenos Aires, Argentina and Santiago, Chile. I’ve been able to see different parts of Argentina, Uruguay, and Peru, but my favorite place that I traveled to was Bariloche, Argentina. Bariloche is in the foothills of the Andes mountains and is considered part of the Patagonia region which, believe it or not, is more than just a store that all the Catholic University boys shop at!
I traveled with a friend of mine from my program, which I enjoyed because we were able to set our own schedule and activities without feeling pressured to follow a formal group schedule. We did not have an agenda, so we followed the suggestions that the man working at our hostel gave. On our first day there we took a chairlift up to the top of a mountain. We essentially had no idea what we were going to see, we just heard it was cool. Once we passed above the tree line we were able to see what we were getting ourselves into, and my jaw dropped. Beautiful blue lakes, all resting between mountains that didn’t even look real. It felt like we were in a National Geographic catalogue! We spent hours at the top just sitting on rocks and taking in the beauty of nature. Afterwards we took the chair lift back down the mountain, rented bikes and rode the 17-mile bike trail through the mountains. Although this was tiring— I hadn’t been on a bike for probably six months before this— I did not even notice and felt nothing except exhilaration, because our surroundings were so amazing. Even pictures could not do it justice.
The next day we decided to go for a hike— at this point we considered ourselves adventurous nature girls, so why not. We were some of the only ones on the trail and went up about 6,000ft. This was one of the most serene experiences of my life; I felt so close and connected to the earth. We spent the entire day on the mountain and then had to go home and pack for our flight the next morning. The only thing I would’ve wished for was more time! I am beyond thankful for this experience and all the other ones I have gotten while I have been abroad, and I cannot wait for more.