July 12, 2008
Parque San Martin, named for the general who led Argentineans in revolt aginst Spain, covers over 500 acres of land in the heart of the city of Mendoza. Majestic gates of curly-cued wrought iron lead into the park, which has everything from a rowing lake and ‘yacht club’ to an ungroomed forest with a camping area.
Gravel footpaths lined with park benches and palm trees make the perfect place to read the paper, cafes and foutains dot areas of the park covered in giant oak trees. Elegant promenades through rose gardens and open knolls are the perfect place for a picnic and afternoon stroll.
Students gather for study groups and to drink mate, young couples seek out secluded places to smooch, bus loads of tourists come though armed with requisite cameras. A map is reccommended to get to all the best things the park has to offer, whether you have kids in tow that want to hit the playground, or the zoo and science museum is more your style.
Don’t miss the Cerro de la Gloria–the highest peak in the park, which offers a panoramic view of the city of Mendoza. It’s also where the week-long festivites take place during the Fiesta de la Vendemia–the grape harvest festival. Every year in March, a Harvest Queen is crowned from a group of contestants from the region. Along with the pagent come parades, traditional music and folkloric dances, and lots of wine drinking. Salut!
Reminder: I’m taking Empanada of the Month entries now! rebeccatcaroAThotmailDOTcom