Colour, culture, taste and life in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Argentina is Passion. Colour. Food. Coffee (Cafe). Style.
After about a week I’ve seen many sides to Buenos Aires in Argentina. It’s not what I expected, but its still a vibrant and interesting city to visit.
Until visiting La Boca, I felt I could have been in France or Italy in Europe. So much of Buenos Aires architecture and food is of French and Italian style. Staying in the rugged San Temo area, I got a feel for more of the artists and locals compared to the other areas of the city.
The Recoleta and Palermo areas seem to be for the wealthy, with so many ‘palaces’ (mansions) I lost count. Argentina has had its fair share of wars and dictatorships, but it’s currently very happy with its 30 years of democracy. Protests are a daily occurrence, beggars and homeless people are noticeable and the city still admires the French in terms of style. Yet, they are lovely and friendly people.
I did a couple of walking tours to the point that my feet were blistered and my knee should have had a decent rest, but it was good to get an insight into the city.
Visiting the Recoleta cemetery is a ‘must-see’ attraction in Buenos Aires. As depressing as that sounds – it was an amazing site, in fact its in the top 10 cemeteries in the world. It is a small city of graves and mausoleums, where each family tried to out-do the family next to them it seems. Rows and rows of various styles of mausoleums line up, each with their own uniqueness and depth. Yes it was creepy, even in the bright, hot sunshine during the day. I thought it was incredible, but it wasn’t a comfortable feeling knowing that there were so many dead bodies all around you, above and below ground.
I did spot Evita’s grave, subtly positioned with her family in the Duarte mausoleum. Dark and completely understated, except for the bouquet of red flowers weltering in the heat at the door.
Due to the ferry to Uruguay being cancelled for 4 days of repairs, I decided to spend the morning looking through La Boca – the colourful quarter of Buenos Aires since the walking tour a few days ago was rubbish and hardly touched on its charm. La Boca isn’t really meant to be a safe area, but together with a couple of hostel mates we walked from the ferry terminal to the tourist haunts at 8am and it was fine. The surrounds of the tourist haunts are pretty normal in terms of architecture and life for the not-so-rich people of Buenos Aires, then the colour floods into the tourist area of La Boca.
Steak was on the menu for me most nights… I think I’m starting to get a belly… will work that off with hiking in Patagonia in the coming weeks I guess! The coffee is excellent when you go to a proper cafe (rather than the hostel coffee at breakfast).
I had a go at some free Tango lessons, but have to say they were much better in London. The Tango show on the other hand was a flamboyant show of colour, style and music. I can see how spending more money could have gotten a much better show, but it was worth seeing even if it was one of the cheaper ones at Cafe Tortoni!
That is all from Buenos Aires for now, onwards down Argentina I head to Puerto Madyrn to hopefully check out some whales, seals and penguins! Hasta Luego!
From what you said and what I can tell from your photos, La Boca would be the area where I’d probably end up returning to if I was in Buenos Aires. It’s just so colorful, and I like the different architecture style and street art too. The tango show is something that I’d love to watch as well, I cannot dance myself but I like the dance.
About the food, I noticed that you had a lot of meat and fish, do you think it would be difficult for a vegan like me to travel to Buenos Aires?
La Boca doesn’t have that much to it to be honest, but its a few good colourful streets.
As for food, there were plenty of pasta and pizza options and a few vegetarian restaurants, but I have a feeling being a vegan would be difficult – but if you stay at a hostel with a kitchen, then you can cook yourself!