Our Patagonia Adventure: Wandering Buenos Aires

Happy Monday, friends! This past weekend was super quiet, which was just what we needed to recoup from the short but busy week. I got my hands dirty with some screen printing, which I’ll happily show off in the next few days.

I wanted to finish up our Patagonia posts with our last stop, the beautiful Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires (which, for the sake of typing time, I’m gonna call BA from hereon out) is the capitol of Argentina and is also known as the Paris of South America, a title that made me eager to visit. Parisean architecture AND empanadas? Yes please!!

We had looked forward to ending all of our mountain time with a bit of city time. I was especially excited after having dinner with a couple who is from Paris who said that BA reminded them of home. Perfect! We boarded yet another 3 hour flight and headed to the capitol city.

I won’t bore you with all of the details of BA. Most of our days were spent walking and exploring all of it’s different neighborhoods. The architecture DID look like we were in Paris and the croissants were divine. We didn’t love our bed and breakfast choice at all (while the room was nice, our host was too busy partying to actually get up and make breakfast for his guests; instead he would just leave out a loaf of white bread and a pot of coffee. Apparently, he’s never stayed at a real B&B before.) but we did love the Palermo neighborhood where we stayed with it’s amazing shopping (they don’t name it after Paris for just it’s pretty buildings) and outdoor cafes.

J and I had about 3 days to wander the city, which was more than enough time for us. We’ve seen a LOT of cities in our day, so after a while they all start to look the same. There were a few totally worthwhile things to see, however. The first great sight was a book store. I know, I know… there are book stores all over the place. How can this one be so exciting? Well, THIS book store, El Ateneo, is housed in a former opera house, complete with a big ol stage turned cafe, box seats for reading and a stunning fresco on the ceiling that looks like it should be in the Sistine Chapel. AMAZING.

From there, we wandered to the Recoleta Cemetery, a giant maze of tombs of vaults where to most wealthy and famous of Argentina are buried. It was easy to spot Evita’s tomb… just look for the giant crowd of people… but other, less well known people also had amazing resting places with stained glass windows, marble floors and figurines of Jesus and Mary. The less cared-for tombs were more interesting though, with coffins stacked 5 high in rows and below ground, some so worn you could see the bones inside. These tombs often held the remains of over 15 people, full families chilling together after death. After about an hour of wandering around, it felt a bit creepy and I was ready to get outta there!

On Sunday we wandered to San Telmo for their world-famous antique market. I was so excited that we were going to be in town for this weekly event. I’m not sure that all the antiques sold here are really a deal, but it was fun to wander about looking at lots of old junk. I went knowing exactly what I wanted — a blue seltzer bottle. Random, huh? Lucky for me, San Telmo was chock full of vendors selling antique seltzer bottles in all designs and colors. Of course, I wanted the most expensive color (shocking), but I love it so much! And I was happy to discover that my purchase of a turquoise bottle from 1933 was about $50 less than what I found on Etsy. Success!! The San Telmo fair is also good if you’re just up for some people watching and free tango shows.

There were other things we did in BA but at this point most of it is a blur. I DO remember that the ice cream was some of the best and creamiest I’ve ever had — right up there with gelato from Italy — and that the subways were hot and sweaty but super cheap. We had heard that you could get a fancy steak dinner in BA for about $15 and were stoked about that, but didn’t find deals like that anywhere. I think that a year or more ago you could find amazing deals for everything in BA (they had a major economic crash in 2006), but we found all the restaurants to run at least $10 per person for a basic meal. We did splurge and get a fancy steak dinner one night — still a deal at around $25 per person — but it wrecked my stomach which is never a good things when you have to share the bathroom with random Korean men. Ick.

All in all, we enjoyed Buenos Aires but both agree that the best part of our Patagonia trip was –shockingly — Patagonia. We LOVED the mountains, the scenery, the small towns, the sites and the people we met down there. It was an epic trip that we’ll remember forever.

All photos ©2012 Jason Ward Studios.

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4 thoughts on “Our Patagonia Adventure: Wandering Buenos Aires

  1. Wow, what an amazing book store! My husband loves even the ordinary book stores, he can wander around for hours, I would never be able to get him out of this one! 🙂

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