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Cloudy With a Chance of...Ash??

5 days in Buenos Aries

View 11 months around the world on geldere's travel map.

In case you haven’t heard, a volcano erupted in Chile spewing ash and snarling flights in South America. We first learned of the volcano when looking at a weather report which read: “partly cloudy skies with some ash”.

After finishing our travels in Uruguay, we headed across the bay via ferry to Buenos Aires (“BA” - as travelers call it). We arrived in BA and immediately noticed a difference in architecture from Brazil and Uruguay. BA has a very European feel and on certain streets, if you did not know any better, you would swear you were in Paris. BA is a dynamic, bustling city with a host of things to see and do which could keep a visitor occupied for weeks.

We were very fortunate to have family in BA who let us stay with them. Jeff’s Uncle John works for the US Foreign Service and is currently stationed in the city. After experiencing the hostel lifestyle for a few weeks, it was wonderful to have a home for a few days.

In addition to putting us up for a few days, Aunt Heather and Uncle John gave us their local perspective on the city and acted as our tour guides on several occasions. We spent time downtown visiting the Cementerio de la Recoleta, a large mausoleum that houses the remains of wealthy and famous Argentines, including Evita . We also went to the neighborhood of La Boca, a bohemian section of town built by Italian immigrants which is a mecca for local artists. We managed to take in some tango over lunch and coffee in San Telmo, known for its antique stores and fairs. I’ve officially become hooked on cortados (an Argentinean coffee with milk) and have had enough caffeine to make a rhino’s heart explode. I should also take a moment to comment on how fabulous the beef and wine are in Argentina. We were treated to a fabulous dinner by Jeff’s family and had a steak to die for (the restaurant’s name was “Kansas”). Whoever said we’d lose weight on this trip did not sample any of the food, wine or beer in South America.

Our other days of sightseeing included walking around downtown to Avenue Florida, a bustling part of the city where we ate at the swankiest McDonald’s I’ve ever seen (we finally broke down after three-weeks on the road) and went on to see the pink presidential palace, known as Casa Rosada, where Evita roused the masses around 1950. We probably walked several miles that day viewing Iglesia San Ignacio, BA’s oldest church, as well as Palacio del Congresso, which was modeled after Washington DC’s own capital building.

I’ve learned that Argentineans by nature are very nocturnal. Dinner generally does not start until 10 pm, with cocktails and drinks at 12 am, and then heading out to the clubs or bars around 2 am. Most clubs seem to close around 7 am, like I said…nocturnal. Many people in Argentina (as well as Uruguay) drink tea from a Mate. The tea leaves get scooped into a bowl like cup and hot water is poured over top. You drink from what looks like a porous spoon connected to a straw. The basic concept is that the spoon acts as a tea filter.

Our time in BA was a combination of sightseeing and relaxation. We had a great stay and are very thankful to have family that was so accommodating. After being spoiled, it’ll be an adjustment going back to group bathrooms and bunk beds :)


Our next stop is Salta in northern Argentina (not to be confused with Salto, Uruguay where we hung in the hot springs)…we’ll write again soon!

Posted by geldere 17:18 Archived in Argentina Tagged paris buenos mate evita aries

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