By Erin Hancock
(Parque Lezama and Obelisco de Buenos Aires)
Buenos Aires has quickly taken the top spot in my favorite cities of the world. It has the style and fashion of Europe, the flare of Latin American culture, cheap wine, good food, dancing every day of the week and lots to do.
(Plaza de los dos Congresos)
Depending on your tolerance for heat and humidity, walking around the city can be a very enjoyable experience. The buildings are beautiful and there are parks and cafes at every turn.
If you love wine, Argentina is a wonderful destination. For a few USDs, you can enjoy a bottle of good quality wine. Of course you can splurge on higher end options with a pleasing price tag compared to North American standards. The Mendoza region of Argentina (close to Chile), has wonderful wines known the world over especially thanks to their climate that boasts 320 days of sunlight! Although we couldn’t make it to Mendoza for a famed vineyard tour, we did treat ourselves to Anuva Wines tasting session, which turned out to be a wonderful party!
Ok, I’ll admit it – we were the rowdy table! Always accepting offers for refills, making jokes, yelling out our first guesses at trivia, etc. Wonderful new friends (left to right) Megan from Madison, Sylviane and John from New York, and Luke and Connie from Halifax – you guys made it a great night! (PS-stay tuned for an accidental run-in again with Connie in Lima where we ended up going paragliding….these things happen).
The wine pairings with top quality tapas made for a full sensory experience. Spicy corn chowder, spinach empanadas and dark chocolate truffles were the highlights.
And after the wine tasting, we wanted to continue exploring the night life in the soho neighborhood of Palermo, so we headed to to indulge in Argentina’s celebrated fried cheese called provoleta. A little goes a long wine…ahem…I mean way.
And sangria also flows like water in Buenos Aires. I don’t think a day passed where we didn’t consumer some wine. Travel time well-spent.
It would be difficult to speak about visiting Buenos Aires without speaking about tango dancing. Even for those more inclined to watch than dance, there is so much to enjoy. Plaza San Telmo is a popular square near where we were staying so we had an evening ritual of sipping wine while watching tango. Sometimes it would be professionals and other times there would be a milonga (a public, open dance for anyone wanting to dance tango – and there is a website so you can find one throughout the city every day of the week http://www.buenosairesmilongas.com/).
We were lucky to be put in touch with Ignacio (thanks Liz!) who showed us some of the traditional food and gave us a little tango lesson. It would have been a shame to leave without at least trying it.
From what I’ve witnessed so far in South America, the walking tours and biking tours are simply wonderful. Especially if you’re staying a short time or if you want to get your bearings early in your stay, get yourself into one of these.
(Casa Rosa and Parque Colon)
(Julia and Erin at Puenta de la mujer (Woman’s bridge), Puerto Madero)
(Memorial to Falkland’s war in 1982, read more here)
(Torre Monumental – previously Torre London before Falkland’s war in Retiro Neighborhood)
Out for a run
Staying in Boca
If you’re a football (soccer) far, you’ll know the name Boca. We stayed a few blocks from the stadium. It’s a bit of a rough neighborhood, but taxis are affordable. Plus, the colorful neighborhood of Caminito is a short walk away where you’ll find great street food, markets, all the soccer paraphernalia you could ever want and adorable colorful buildings.
Market and streets
A tradition to ring in the new year is to throw old papers out the window…a cleansing of sorts. So people throw their personal papers out the window into the streets but also banks and businesses do the same. So basically it’s a huge mess, but a somewhat poetic one too.
The flea/art markets of Buenos Aires are really fun, full of colourful wares, lots to eat and so many people to see.
-Signing off from arguably the best city in the world