The best word I can use to describe my initial impression of Buenos Aires is grand. Arriving at the seaport via ferry, the boulevards were large and the streets were multi-laned and massive. There were parks, statues and works of art that dotted the trail to our hostel and people everywhere. My overall opinion changed as we spent the next week in this city, exploring the lavish Recoletta neighbourhood, the colourful and vibrant La Boca, the always-busy and usually seedy Monserrat, the ultra-hip San Telmo and some of the poorer areas which were just around the corner from the affluence. In short, Buenos Aires has some of everything. And the upper class is in an entirely different league that the middle and lower.
We spent the first two days on our own actively trying to do and see nothing of importance! Jasper’s parents (Jan and Annemie) were arriving on the 29th for a short but wonderful visit and we wanted to save all the best sightseeing for when they arrived. We ran some errands, ordered a super-pancho (hot dog with chips that is sold everywhere in Argentina), checked out the pub scene and searched fruitlessly for sushi for two days. But we reasoned that it has been and would continue to be a busy journey, so some downtime is nothing to feel overly guilty about.
When Jasper’s parents arrived, it felt really nice to be with family. We did some sightseeing (they had organized a half-day tour), we went to a tango show, walked around and went to the MALBA museum, but we also just took lots of time to sit on patios and relax and catch up. We stayed in a beautiful hotel and had delicious food, and for four days, we forgot that we were dirty backpackers on a budget. It was heaven.
We had New Years’ Eve dinner at a restaurant around the corner from the hotel and it was entertaining (they had dancers) and delicious – a great way to begin 2017! From our hotel room, afterward, Jasper and I watched the fireworks all over the city of Buenos Aires.
When Jan and Annemie left on January 2nd, we both felt very ready to move on as well. We felt that we had spent a good amount of time in South America and had a good feel for the area. We have seen so much and traveled so far in our time here that it is hard to believe that it was only three months. But we were both excited for the next part of the adventure. The next day we would be flying to Cape Town (via Brazil and Angola) to kick off a month in Southern Africa. We spent our last night in Argentina doing a tango lesson, which felt like the perfect way to cap off that part of the world.
Happy New Year!! ❤