We started off in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After about 12 total hours of flying, we landed in BA, where we immediately discovered the insanity that is driving. Lane lines are just suggestions. If there are only 4 lanes, at least 6 cars will squish into that space. There are very few stop signs at intersections. People just kind of slow down and make sure no one else is coming.
On the first day, we checked into our hotel and explored our neighborhood, Palermo SoHo. It's full of cute shops and restaurants. It's rather appropriately named because it reminds me a lot of SoHo in NYC.
In the evening, we took a tango lesson. Buenos Aires is the home of tango, and Argentines are very proud of the dance form. Through the language barrier, it was fun to get to know a few locals and to participate in an authentically Argentine activity.
After working up an appetite dancing, we had our first steak of the trip at Don Julio. I wasn't wowed, but it was good. The vegetables were awesome! And we had a great time sitting outside in the gorgeous, decidedly un-Chicago-like weather.
We woke up the second morning to cloudy skies and rain. This was to be our big sight-seeing day in the city, so we grabbed umbrellas and set off. We toured the Teatro Colón, the country's main opera house. We walked up and down Av. 9 de Julio, the world's widest avenue, and through the Puerto Madero neighborhood.
For lunch, we sampled BA-style fugazzeta pizza at El Cuartito for lunch, along with empanadas. Empanadas were a big part of our trip, and I have no regrets about this.
The next morning, I took a gorgeous run through Palermo...
|These gorgeous trees were in bloom all over the city.|
|This was my breakfast every day. Someday we will meet again, friends.|
...before heading out to the outskirts of town for a day of polo. We learned the rules of the game while snacking on homemade empanadas. Then, we got to go watch a match. In between chukkas, we practiced our own skills with the mallet and made friends with the horses.
|Oh, hello. We do this every day. This is our life.|
After the match, we were treated to an amazing barbecue lunch and then played with the ranch dog's new puppies! They were only 2-weeks old!
Back in the city, we ventured to La Boca, the colorful neighborhood at the mouth of the river that's home to tango dancers, the Boca Juniors football stadium, and lots of stray dogs. (The stray dog thing is a theme all over South America, as we found out on this trip.) La Boca is on every must-see list, and frankly, we found it slightly terrifying and not very scenic at all. We high-tailed out of it there as soon as two stray dogs started fighting in the street. No bueno!
We celebrated our travel companion M's birthday with drinks at the Alvear Palace Hotel and dinner at Cabana Las Lilas. The service was very strange, but the steak was the best I ate on our trip. We sat out on the terrace with a view overlooking the river and scene in Puerto Madero. It was a wonderful way to say goodbye to Buenos Aires.
Buenos Aires was such an interesting and beautiful city. I appreciated that it has a rich history and culture of which its residents are very proud. I wish we had a bit more time there. I felt like we just scratched the surface of what the city has to offer. I guess we'll just have to come back some day!
|View of the Rio de La Plata from the airport. Not too shabby.|
Next stop: Mendoza!