The honeymoon continues with Ammon and Sasha:
Over and over again I have heard of Buenos Aires (BA) as one of the best cities in the world and easily everyone’s favourite capital in Latin America so I had high expectations without really understanding why. Our approach by ferry from Uruguay didn’t tell us much and it was shocking to be unceremoniously dumped out on the side of the road after getting off the ferry without any terminal to speak of. Not a great start.
We caught an uber and settled into our Airbnb in the Palermo neighbourhood, a nice area of tall apartment blocks and treelined streets. We were looking for somewhere safe, fairly central and reasonable clean and found it. It felt very livable wandering around going about our daily activities. BA is often mentioned as more European and classy than any other city in South America and that is probably true in the sense that in the centre you have that grand architectural look with majestic government and public buildings, and large well-used plazas and parks. What differs from Europe is the number of modern buildings mixed in and the scale of roadworks. There are streets that are 10 lanes wide right in the centre. A brief look at things wouldn’t clue you in that the country is continually falling on hard financial times. It still looks like there is a lot of money and influence here.
Unfortunately for us we didn’t allocate as much time as is truly needed to appreciate the city with only two and a half days. It didn’t help also that aside from the first day we arrived, it was often wet and relatively cold or threatening to be. We still wandered in the centre, admiring the monuments and facades and parks as best we could. We hid in coffee shops for warmth and even found a delicious cheap steak at a simple grill house restaurant.
|Just a typical building in the centre.|
|Colon Theatre on the left|
|Love the contrast between old and new|
|That is a lot of lanes….|
|Sasha’s favourite way to hide from the rain.|
A must see and an interesting outing in BA is the Recoleta Cemetery, a large walled off block of ornate tombstones of the historical rich and famous residents of Argentina. It is big enough that it is laid out with pedestrian streets. The only name I recognized there was Eva Peron but I’ll admit I know nothing of Argentina’s historical personalities. It was still very interesting to see and in many places the tombs are not well maintained and we could peer into the depths and see the coffins stacked below. Not creepy at all…
For Bre and I though, the biggest highlight in BA had nothing to do with the city itself but with a person. After ~14 years we met up with Edgar, a former exchange student who was one of the last to live with us before we shut all that down. He’s Venezuelan and only a few months ago finally left his country with his family to settle in BA and try to start over. He was still in a state of rebuilding his life and the stress that entails but took the time one evening to come over and reminisce with us. With Venezuela being the only country we won’t visit in South America on this trip, talking to Edgar really brought the issues to a personal level for us.