Don't Cry for Us! (but a week in Buenos Aires is not enough)
Even though we weren’t ready to leave Uruguay, we boarded a high speed ferry from Montevideo to Buenos Aries, Argentina. We had one week left before our return flight to the states and our time in South America was rapidly coming to an end.
Buenos Aries was the perfect place to end our adventure in South America, as it was the city I most wanted to visit on the continent. Maybe thats because I am a romantic and I have read about it’s comparison to Paris.
I have seen it featured in movies and I knew that it would be beautiful. We would have to pack a lot into eight days. We could rest when we got home.
Buenos Aries is located about two hundred kilometers across the mouth of the Rio de la Plata from Montevideo. The trip is a two and a half ride on a very fast and luxurious ferry. We had reserved a small AirBnB apartment in the heart of the historic section of the city and we were looking forward to exploring the cosmopolitan capitol of the country.
We checked into our apartment and found that it was perfectly situated for exploring the beautiful historic buildings and streets. The apartment was a one room flat on the seventh floor of an old building.
It was about the size of a hotel room with a kitchen and bathroom and a balcony overlooking the busy streets below. At forty dollars a night we were happy to settle in for our final week in South America.
The center of Buenos Aires is the Plaza de Mayo where the Argentinian presidential palace, Casa Rosada, is located. The balcony overlooking the plaza from Casa Rosada, or Pink House, was made famous by Eva Peron when she addresses the citizens of the country.
Film fans will recognize it from the movie “Evita” starring Madonna. The plaza also is home to the Catholic cathedral that was the home of Pope Francis before his new job.
Because of the size of the city, we decided to buy tickets for the Hop on Hop off bus. We have found that this is a quick way to get a good overview of a new city and lets us discover places that we might want to spend more time in.
It was by far the best city tour of our trip. After two days of a great overview we knew a week would not be enough time to really explore each barrio.
Buenos Aires is the seat of government and culture in Argentina and we explored the Legislative Palace, the Teatro Colon, several museums, and the local restaurants and cafes. And, no visit to Buenos Aires would be complete without watching talented dancers performing the dance of the country, the tango.
Of course, as we hopped off the bus and visited world class museums (all free with no admission charges) and passed world class venues for polo, soccer, horse racing, and tennis, this only fed my fantasy of living in Uruguay. I could imagine visiting Buenos Aires for long weekends to take in concerts, the theater, or sporting events.
We also enjoyed the city's free walking tours. On one such tour we met an amazing family from Oregon taking a year and a half sabbatical from their jobs and traveling the world with their two children. South America was the sixth continent on their travels. They were home schooling the kids and keeping up with friends and family through a blog.
We compared notes and found that we had similar traveling lifestyles. While we are just beginning our travels around the world, they were just wrapping up their journey. It made me wish that we would have done this as a family before our kids started high school. They are an inspirational family. You can checkout their blog at https://harperadventures.wordpress.com
We soon found a familiar rhythm in Buenos Aires, and it wasn't just the Tango. We would wake up, sit on our balcony and plan our day. I then began lathering on sun screen, dressing in layers, and putting on comfortable shoes for a full day out exploring the city.
Our apartment was in a great location and we could walk out of our door and head to a nearby attraction such as a museum or a tour. We would then have a leisurely lunch.We walked everywhere and often found ourselves exploring wonderful public parks filled with sculptures and gardens.
In the late afternoon we would visit another museum or attraction and then have a light dinner or drinks. We would return to the apartment around 9 or 10 pm. We felt completely safe walking everywhere and we were both smitten with this beautiful city and it's people.
Over the previous seven months we have slowly become acclimated to the culture, customs and pace of life in South America. We have seen beautiful landscapes, engaged in epic adventures, met wonderful people, and made lifelong friends. Our travels have reminded us of the old saying “Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver the other gold.”
All in all, a week in Buenos Aires was a great way to relax, wind down, and enjoy the final week of our South American adventure. While we are leaving South America, South America will never leave us.