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January 4, 2013 / JustinKays Porter

A Taste of Buenos Aires

We arrived to Buenos Aires all in one piece; slightly jet lagged, slightly disoriented, and slightly overwhelmed, but safe and sound! After a long flight, what seemed like an even longer customs line, and a relatively short shuttle ride, we checked into our hotel in the Retiro neighborhood of Buenos Aires.

We spent the afternoon wandering the streets of Retiro and Recoleta. When we left the hotel, our first goal was to find lunch. After arriving in Buenos Aires and navigating our tired selves through customs with highly questionable Spanglish, we were famished! We wandered down the pedestian-only Florida Avenida, with lots of shops, street performers, hagglers, and construction. We found our way to a cafe and had empanadas y cervezas.

Our wanderings took us through Retiro and into Recoleta. The closer we got to Recoleta, the more we liked Buenos Aires! The tree-lined avenues, the variety of architecture, the locals out for coffee and dog walks, and the slowness of a lazy Saturday afternoon were a much better transition to South America than the craziness of the airport, the hotel, and the hustle of Retiro. We walked along the streets and eventually found ourselves at the Recoleta Cemetery. The Cemetery was definitely on our to-do list for Buenos Aires, but we kind of stumbled on it by accident. The surrounding open-air markets and grassy parks drew us in, and before we knew it we were standing at the gates of this famous cemetery.

Just outside the Recoleta Cemetery

I know, I know; it's odd to talk about a famous cemetery right in the heart of a big city like Beunos Aires. But think about it like the cemeteries in New Orleans. Everything is above ground, very ornate, and very well taken care of. It's fascinating and slightly creepy to walk between (and look inside!) the thousands of crypts in the Recoleta Cemetery. Apparently, this is where all of the rich and famous Argentinians are put to rest, including Evita Peron, although we didn't stick around long enough to find her… We are planning to come back here during round 2 of B.A. this trip, and hopefully take one of the tours. So you can think of this as a sneak preview!

A typical alley of tombs in Recoleta

After some time at the Cemetery, we decided we were too hot and too thirsty to do anything else. So we found a shady outdoor table and had some beers. The combination of jet lag and beers increased our levels of exhaustion, so we found our way back to the hotel and turned in for an early night.

Lessons learned in Buenos Aires on Day 1:

  • It's hot. Very hot.
  • Most people speak English, but very much appreciate our butchered efforts at Spanish. Most conversation proceed in halting Spanglish with lots of gesturing.
  • You can get a great bottle of Malbec and not so great cheese and crackers for dinner at the corner market for about 10 bucks.
  • Napping in public places is highly encouraged by the locals: we'll have to remember this when we come back in two weeks!


One Comment

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  1. michaelstpaulporter / Jan 9 2013 6:36 am

    Love this! Especially like the picture in front of the ancient tree. I’ve never seen one so it famous? Glad you are enjoying your trip, and sampling some Argentinian Malbec along the way too. We have Ruta 22 on the list at Christos. I can’t wait to catch up on more of the blog…A welcomed vicarious escape from Minnesota Winter! Hugs & Love to you both, -Michael

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