The Magic of Mendoza, Argentina & the Vendimia

Selection of Malbec wine bottles on display

Are You planning travel to Argentina? Thinking about places to visit and when to go? We have a great recommendation for you! One of the most important festivals in Argentina takes place at the end of February through the first week of March. The Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia (The Grape Harvest National Festival) celebrates the most important export of Mendoza, and perhaps all of Argentina…wine.

Settled in 1561 by Pedro del Castillo, the city of Mendoza  is a relatively small city. It even feels smaller because of it’s quaint tree lined streets, and welcoming locals. The population of Mendoza center is 115,000 but climbs to 1 Million if you include the “metro” area. It encompasses 21 square miles and sits at 2,400 feet above sea level. The region is best known for it’s wine and olive oil production, especially for growing Malbec grapes. Because of it’s diverse terroir, Mendoza boasts some of the best Malbec wine in the world. Its varying bouquets are based on assorted soil, altitude and temperatures. Grapes are grown here from 2000 feet to 5000 feet above sea level. Nicolas Catena Zapata is the person who pioneered growing at such high altitudes since 1994.

The Vendimia

The Vendimia attracts thousands of South American artists, tens of thousands of tourists (especially wine enthusiasts) to Mendoza.  They celebrate all 18 of the provinces that make up the State of Mendoza.

Celebrations aren’t limited to just this time, though. All through the month of February each of the 18 provinces of Mendoza have celebrations and ceremonies related to the wine harvest. This time of year is very special for the entire region. You will be able to have very unique experiences during the wine crush. We suggest roaming around the outlying areas of Mendoza center too. Enjoy lots of wine tastings, rent bicycles or hire a driver and take a tour of the whole region.

This year the schedule of the Vendimia is from February 26 through March 6th:

February 26th –  ‘Blessing of the fruits’ ceremony.

March 3rd –  1st parade of Vendimia ‘Queens’ competing for the title of “Queen of Vendimia”, crowding the city streets, throwing fruit and even giving out bottles of wine.

March 4th –  ‘Carousel of Vendimia’ This is a morning time parade featuring cowgirls in traditional outfits on horseback

Night of March 4th – The ‘Central Act’ is a fabulous production including over 1000 participants, and ends with the coronation of the ‘Queen of Vendimia,’ and with fireworks from the nearby Cerro de la Gloria in General San Martin park. This is the quintessential celebration when Mendocinos (what the locals refer to themselves as) and visitors take to the streets and parties to share the local elixir.

March 5th –This is a repeat performance of the previous night with additional Argentinian and international artists.

March 6th– A third night repeating the grand finale celebration with additional national artists.

Getting There

Depending on your itinerary you can fly into Mendoza ‘s international airport “Aeropuerto Internacional Gobernador Francisco Gabrielli” (MDZ). This traveler chose to first fly into Santiago, Chile where we stayed a few nights to explore that area before flying from Santiago, over the Andes, to MDZ. Argentina also has great bus lines, and there are even first class lie flat seats available from Buenos Aires for less than $100…but make sure to book a window seat to get great views of the countryside!

Your time in Mendoza and South America will be very memorable, and you will want to stay in touch while you are there. Be sure to get connected using the OneSimCard Universal E international SIM card or the eSIM World E international SIM card. Data rates in Argentina start at $13.00 for 500MB plan on the eSIM World E international SIM card for travelers. OneSimCard is the leader in global roaming SIM cards catering to international travel with access to hundreds of networks in 200+ countries and territories.

 

Poland Is a Land of Rich History and Natural Wonders

Wawel Castle in Poland
Wawel Castle and Cathedral in Krakow

Poland is a country in Central Europe known for its rich history, culture, and natural beauty. The country has a diverse landscape that ranges from the rugged Tatra Mountains to the sandy beaches of the Baltic Sea. Poland has been shaped by its complex history, which has left behind a wealth of architectural and cultural treasures for visitors to explore. From the medieval Old Towns of Krakow and Gdansk to the communist-era architecture of Warsaw, Poland has something to offer for every type of traveler.

One of the top tourist attractions in Poland is the Wawel Castle in Krakow. This magnificent royal castle sits on a hill overlooking the city and is a symbol of Poland’s rich history. The castle has been the residence of Polish kings for centuries and is home to a collection of art, artifacts, and treasures. Visitors can take a tour of the castle, which includes the Royal Chambers, the Crown Treasury, and the State Rooms.

Another top attraction in Poland is the Old Town of Krakow, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Old Town is home to some of the most beautiful architecture in Poland, including the Main Market Square, St. Mary’s Basilica, and the Cloth Hall. Visitors can also take a stroll down the picturesque streets and enjoy the many cafes, restaurants, and shops.

The city of Gdansk is another must-see destination in Poland. The city is known for its beautiful Old Town, which is home to the famous Long Market, the Neptune Fountain, and St. Mary’s Church. Gdansk is also known for its shipyards, which played a key role in the Solidarity movement and the fall of communism in Poland. Visitors can take a tour of the shipyards and learn about the city’s role in the country’s history.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum is another top attraction in Poland. This former Nazi concentration camp is a powerful reminder of the Holocaust and the atrocities committed during World War II. Visitors can take a tour of the camp and learn about the history of the Holocaust, as well as the lives of the prisoners who were held there.

Finally, the Tatra Mountains, which are located in the southern part of Poland, are a must-see destination for nature lovers. The mountains offer a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, skiing, and rock climbing. Visitors can take a cable car to the top of the mountain and enjoy the breathtaking views. The Tatra Mountains are also home to several beautiful lakes and waterfalls, which are perfect for swimming and fishing.

In addition to these top tourist attractions, Poland also offers a wide range of other activities and sights for visitors to enjoy. The country is home to many national parks and nature reserves, as well as a number of historic sites and monuments. Visitors can also enjoy the country’s rich cultural heritage by attending a traditional folk music concert, visiting a folk art museum or take a cooking class to learn how to make traditional Polish dishes.

When it comes to accommodation and transportation, Poland has a wide range of options to suit all budgets. There are many hotels and hostels in the major cities, as well as vacation rentals and camping sites in the countryside. The public transportation system is well developed, and visitors can easily get around by train, bus, or metro.

In conclusion, Poland is a country that offers a wealth of cultural, historical, and natural attractions for visitors to explore. From the medieval Old Towns of Krakow and Gdansk to the communist-era architecture of Warsaw, the Wawel Castle, the Old Town of Krakow, the city of Gdansk, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, and the Tatra Mountains, Poland is a must-visit country for everyone.

If you are travelling to Poland, don’t forget to pack your OneSimCard Universal E or download our OneSimCard eSIM World edition SIM card(s). You will undoubtably want to stay in touch with and share your memories with your family and friends while in Poland. OneSimCard offers great rates for roaming in Poland with it’s EU data packages starting at $29.00 for 5GB of data.

Discover the Majesty of Switzerland & Share with Your Switzerland SIM Card

Lauterbrunnen Alps
Lauterbrunnen Valley and Alps

Switzerland is known worldwide as one of the most beautiful places on earth. It is no wonder why with the towering Alps, lush green valleys, sapphire blue lakes, and varied cultures. Switzerland is an international destination for people with varied interests.

Introduction

Switzerland is also (and officially) known as the Swiss Confederation. It is made up of 26 Cantons, with Federal offices located in Bern. The population of Switzerland is ~8.2 million, with ~1/4 of the population being expats from other (mostly European) countries. This makes Switzerland the country with the most foreign population.

The climate of Switzerland is as varied as its population. There are three main geographies of Switzerland. The Alps, the Swiss Plateau, and the Jura mountains. Most of the population reside on the Plateau where all of the major cities are located. The climate is temperate, but ranges wildly depending on the locality. You will find year-round snow and glaciers in the mountains, but also palm trees in the southern plateau.

Regions

The Alps

The Alps are among the highest and most rugged mountains in the world. The highest peak is Dufourspitze. It is the second highest in Western Europe at 4,736m and is a challenge for any climber. They were formed by the collision of the African and European plates, and continue to grow.

Besides climbing, the Alps are home to a myriad of winter sports like skiing (alpine and cross-country), sledding, snowboarding, and summer sports like para-gliding and skydiving.  For the less active, the valleys in the Alps offer absolutely stunning vistas and easy hikes. One of the favorites is the Lauterbrunnen valley. Lauterbrunnen is home to the highest railroad in Europe (Jungfrau Railway), taking you to the peak of Jungfraujoch at 3,454m.

The Plateau

The Plateau is where you will find all of the major cities and beautiful lakes. With Zurich and Basel in the north, Bern centrally located and Geneva in the South, the Plateau is a collection of rolling hills, lakes, rivers and culinary delights like cheese and chocolate. (We recommend a trip to the picturesque town of Gruyere where the cheese is king and the views are stunning. kick back and enjoy some fondue!)

Gruyere
The cobblestone streets of Gruyere

 

Lake Geneva is easily the most famous of the large lakes, but Lakes Zurich, Lucerne, and the twin lakes of Brienz & Thun are all equally beautiful. If you visit the twin lakes, stay in Interlaken and you will have easy access to both lakes! You can enjoy swimming, boating and hikes around the lakes.

The Jura

The Jura mountains aren’t as famous as the Alps, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth visiting. It is the demarcation between France and Switzerland. The Jura aren’t as tall and rugged as the Alps, but there is still lots of great opportunities for hiking, climbing, skiing, and cycling. This region is also known for its watchmaking industry. You can even be an “Apprentice for a day” and build your own watch!

The people of Switzerland are as varied as its geography. The landlocked country boarders France, Italy, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstien. This mixing of cultures creates a diversity in language as well as food, Local dishes are pulled from all of these countries and tend to align country to which that canton is closest. For example, one of our favorite lasagnas was enjoyed in the south, closer to Italy, while in Zurich we had fantastic bratwurst closer to Germany. This melding of cultures also shows in languages spoken, and traditional dress.

Getting Around

When travelling to Switzerland from international origina you will typically Fly into Geneva or Zurich. You may also find flights into Bern, but this is smaller international airport, and is typically used on a regional basis. Once you are in country, the train system is a fantastic way to get around. The trains run remarkably on schedule and are always clean and modern. You will find that the local trains are also used by schools to transport their students, so don’t be surprised to share the ride with lots of kids.

Speaking of trains, we recommend the GoldenPass Line for sightseeing. The GoldenPass trains are designed with huge windows  so you won’t miss a bit of scenery. There are 3 main lines: 1) Montreaux > Zweissimmen, 2) Zweissimmen > Interlaken Ost, & 3) Interlaken Ost > Lucerne. You can break up the trips stopping for a night or two in certain areas (we highly recommend the Lauterbrunnen Valley) and enjoy what these localities have to offer. You can also join an organized tour who will handle all of the bookings and activities along the way.

Summary

Switzerland is a truly majestic country with varied geography and cultures. There are many, many activities to enjoy year-round for people of all ages and physical abilities. We recommend travelling in June or July for the best weather. So grab your passport, pack your binoculars to make sure to see all of the stunning vistas and don’t forget your OneSimCard eSIM World or standard global roaming SIM card (the Switzerland SIM card we recommend is the Universal card) because you will want to stay connected to share all of your memories!

What is the Best Travel eSIM Card & Why?

Phone that includes eSIM.

We discussed eSIMs (embedded SIM cards) in a previous post. eSIMs aren’t all created equally, though. An “international eSIM card” is a bit of a misnomer. International / travel eSIMs are the of roaming SIMs as physical SIMs move into the past. The reason for the change is because device manufacturers save space on the device by replacing the physical SIM and it with eSIM technology. eSIMs are probably better called “SoftSIMs.” They are simply nothing more than a piece of software downloaded into devices enabled to understand this technology. What makes for the best travel eSIM then?

The world is becoming more and more data centric, so most eSIM providers only include data usage, They don’t bother to support voice or text. However, voice and text remain important for the international roaming SIM market. The growth of data centric applications like WhatsApp, Facetime, Telegram, Skype, etc. are changing the way providers deliver their services. You can communicate with friends and family, post messages and even place video calls with data only. This doesn’t work well for the international traveler, and is a major problem/flaw. It forces the international traveler to use another provider to place calls and send and receive SMS. This is because these roaming eSIMs don’t include a phone number. Without a phone number you can’t call your Uber driver, talk to your bank, call the restaurant that you are running late, etc.

This is where OneSimCard international eSIMs really stands out. Our international eSIMs support Data, Voice & Text messaging. Our SIMs include an EU based phone number and you can also choose alternate phone numbers (Personal Extra Numbers, or PENs). You can get in-country phone numbers in 70+ destinations with OneSimCard eSIMs.  You can set your alternate number as your caller ID so that your phone appears to be a local caller. What’s more is you can get a USA phone number that is a true mobile number. This USA mobile number allows you to receive 2FA verification messages required by banks, the IRS, and pretty much any other US company.

Usability is another important feature making an eSIM the best international eSIM.  eSIMs should be simple to install and have flexible plans. Flexibility is key as travel patterns. Meant for a single country, most eSIMs aren’t flexible because you can’t move between countries. OneSimCard eSIMs are designed to be used over and over for years, and in many different countries. Our plans are flexible; even in a single trip. We also offer 2 different eSIMs: our World eSIM for the greatest # of destinations, & our Asiania eSIM for use especially in Asia and Oceania.

The amount of support and applications available from the eSIM provider is the last factor for rating travel eSIM cards. OneSimCard is one of the only international eSIM providers with its own VOIP app (available in Google Play and Apple APP Store)for US and Canadian phone numbers to reduce the cost of Voice and Text services. OneSimCard also has eSIM apps in Apple App store and Google play. You can manage all aspects of your travel eSIM right in these apps. Multi-lingual customer service is also available by phone, email and online.  

You need to read the fine print and look at the reviews for eSIM service providers before you buy. There has been a rapid growth in this space, and COVID forced some closed. We have been in business for over 27 years, and have a 4.5 star rating with Shopper Approved with 2500+ reviews.

More information about our international roaming eSIM is available on our website: https://www.onesimcard.com/esim or simply scan this QR code. This page will help you further understand why the OneSimCard international eSIM for travel is the best option for your eSIM enabled phone when you are abroad. You can also reach out to us, and ask any questions that you may have. 

Wishing you safe travels!

Need a SIM card for China? OneSimCard has you covered.

Winter Olympics. Credit: Vecteezy

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are upon us. If you are one of the lucky attendees of the Olympic events, then you may be wondering about how you can stay connected affordably and reliably while in China.

Depending on your Chinese language skills, procuring a local SIM card can be a major hustle. With OneSimCard you don’t need to worry about this. OneSimCard has you covered and no Mandarin skills are necessary.

All of our international SIM cards including eSIMs will seamlessly work in China. OneSimCard will automatically switch to a local Chinese network when you cross the border.  The OneSimCard eSIM World even offers two networks to choose from, which provides extra coverage for those willing to venture off the beaten path.

You can download OneSimCard travel eSIMs from anywhere in the world. For the ease of eSIM management, you can also download an optional OneSimCard travel eSIM app.   

If you use a lot of data, you can save money by ordering an optional discount data plan. The 30-day 5000 MB Asiania Discount Data Plan on the OneSimCard eSIM Asiana is a great value. It will provide 4G LTE high-speed internet in China as well 14 other countries including the USA, Australia, and others for only $62.50.

Different duration and size data plans are available on other international SIM cards. To see all rates and coverage, please visit our international roaming rates page.