Tango, platform shoes, empanadas, green parks, Yerba mate, dog poo and amazing wine – this is Buenos Aires! I’m not sure if it’s just that we’ve been traveling for so long now and I’ve becoming a lazy tourist, but for me Buenos Aires is more a city for being than for seeing.
We have spent most of our two weeks in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, wandering through parks and oh-ing and aw-ing at the hippy, happening neighborhoods of Palermo and Recoleta. Everywhere you look there is someone sipping Yerba mate (the national infusion of Argentina), whether it’s in a museum or walking on the side walk, and without exception, everyone looks incredibly trendy. I’d say 98% of women are very serious about the platform trend here and wear platforms of no less than 4 inches. I’ll be honest, I felt like I was sticking out like a sore thumb in my flat havianas and converse.
On the weekends the parks pack up with young and old sprawling on the grass, listening to buskers and soaking in the sunshine. Beer hawkers and ice cream salesman weave through the crowds shouting cerveza and helado.
The playgrounds in these parks also aren’t half bad either. They may have wooden slides (who came up with that cruel idea???) but they are always filled with little tots looking to do a toy exchange or ready to play cars.
Its like a morbid miniature town
The only really touristy things we did were visit the Recoleta cemetery (I know this doesn’t sound like a tourist activity but trust me it is!) and visit the colourful quarter of La Boca. The Recoleta cemetery makes its way onto the itinerary of every tourist visiting Buenos Aries because it is the final resting place of all of Argentina’s presidents and Argentina’s forever sweetheart, Eva Peron. I felt a little weird joining the masses here taking selfies next to tomb stones and wandering around in short shorts and heels but it is truly something worth seeing. Each mausoleum has its own architectural style. Some are lavishly up kept with marble flooring and chandeliers while others are very creepily crumbling and covered in thick cobwebs. Surprisingly, Nu thought this was a really fun outing. It was like very morbid miniature town!
Getting lost in La Boca
La Boca makes the list for its brightly painted houses and the famous football stadium where the Boca Juniors play. We made the poor decision of walking there and landed ourselves in one of the not so great Buenos Aries neighbourhoods but were helped by one of the nice police officers that man nearly every corner of the city and made our way safely.
Caminito is really all you need to see in this barrio and even though it’s just a few small blocks it’s packed with charm. This area wasn’t always so cute though. Railway tracks used to run through the neighbourhood and when the rail line closed in the 1950’s the area virtually became a landfill. It was the Argentinian painter, Benito Quinquela Martín that painstakingly painted the abandoned street with pastel colors and set up a wooden stage. This area became a hotspot for tango clubs and performances and you can still see tango dancers practicing in the streets today.