Buenos Aires is such a cool city – it’s huge and it’s busy, vibrant and colourful, energetic and pretty. There are parks and trees and green spaces right in the centre of town (not to mention in the suburbs). It reminded us of a little New York (one of my favourite cities), and also had a very European feel to it. It is a very easy city to navigate and there are lots of gorgeous statues and monuments to orient yourself towards. The riverside has been redeveloped and is a lovely area to stroll along, with lots of cafes and swanky-looking restaurants serving awesome steak and seafood dishes.
The weather was perfect while we were there – both times – and we spent all our time walking from one area to the next. There is so much to see in Buenos Aires, but even just wandering is a fulfilling exercise.
We visited the Museo Nacional de Ballas Artes and various other wonderful museums and art galleries, picnicked in parks and strolled the exclusive streets of Recoleta. We watched tango in a public square and went to the zoo; while it was sad to see some of the animals obviously going a bit stir-crazy (we watched a brown bear run maniacally around the little pond in his small enclosure), there were these crazy kangaroo-rabbits roaming everywhere, and little baby otters about the size of a computer mouse.
Tall got his football fix (kind of) and took a tour of the Boca Juniors stadium; he was hoping to get to a game but our timing wasn’t right. He also went to Recoleta Cemetery, (where Eva Peron and other famous and iconic Argentinians are buried) one afternoon when I needed to have a nap, and came back to report that it was worth the visit.
We stayed at a serviced apartment right in the heart of the city, and then in Palermo (at a cute hostel with a feisty kitten and a young host with whom we played wii until the early hours of the morning) where we had a great time exploring the neighbourhood with its funky bars, delicious restaurants, groovy boutique stores and relaxed atmosphere.
We had a few good restaurant experiences in Buenos Aires. At one, the wine Tall ordered was served in a penguin-shaped ceramic jug, and in another, he was unable – for the first time ever – to finish a piece of steak. I think his cattle-farm-boy pride was wounded on that occasion!
At another, I ordered a pork fillet dish which was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten – the waiter provided a steak knife, but the pork was so tender that it wasn’t necessary. On the same occasion, we chatted to an older American gentleman who had lived in New Zealand for 10 years. Suddenly our waiter was at our table with the wine list, explaining that the gentleman wanted to buy us a bottle of wine! Needless to say, we were extremely surprised – that only happens in the movies, right??! – but the gentleman insisted, saying that New Zealand “did so much for [him]”, and that it would give him much pleasure to do this for us. Being pregnant, I think I sampled half a glass, meaning that my husband was very tipsy by the time we left!
We left Buenos Aires reluctantly, and only the promise of more adventures further south softened the blow of leaving. Would I return? You betcha – in a heartbeat!