While we were on vacation in Argentina I took some video, and I was finally able to put something together with the footage! I set it to the song Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes because Jim always says it’s our song, and also because I had the song in my head so often while we were there. Somehow the beauty of the landscape reminded me of the lyrics.
Plaster crumbling from colorful old buildings, rusty iron balconies, black and white tile all cracked and broken, tropical plants so big they might be monsters. These are some of the things you see when you look into the a hidden courtyard in Buenos Aires. These things transport you to another world, a time of the past, and give you a glimpse at what Argentina might really be like: quiet, nostalgic, and somewhat falling apart.
After our time in Patagonia, we headed up to Buenos Aires to enjoy the last few days of our vacation. On our first day there, we quickly discovered that the streets of Buenos Aires are quite different from these whispering courtyards. Instead the streets are bustling and modern, with black and yellow taxis zipping by and people, young and old, walking swiftly to unknown destinations. Perhaps they’re on their way to a corner cafe to have a coffee or to an afternoon meeting in the hectic micro-center.
Or maybe they’re just on an afternoon stroll through one of Buenos Aires’ beautiful neighborhoods, each with its own distinct character.
My favorite neighborhoods were San Telmo and Recoleta. San Telmo is located just south of the city center and has a sort of alternative flair, with lots of run down restaurants and antique shops. Peek into any storefront and you might see hundreds of crystal chandeliers dangling from the ceiling. The neighborhood is also the home of a huge the San Telmo market, which occupies an entire city block and is a great place to buy antiques of all kinds, as well as leather goods, fresh veggies, and delicious sandwiches.
Recoleta, on the other hand is quite different from San Telmo. It’s a beautiful residential neighborhood famous for it’s Parisian-style architecture and many green spaces. We loved strolling through the heart of Recoleta, a series of central plazas full of people selling artisan crafts, street musicians, jugglers, and many residents and tourists relaxing on the grass for a picnic or a bit of yerba mate.
The trees in these plazas are especially amazing. Right when we stepped out of the cab we saw a beautiful group of rubber trees. We went over to take a look at it only to discover that it was one monstrous tree. I later learned that this famous tree, nicknamed Gran Gomero, has branches that span over 150 feet. Huge!
We also enjoyed strolling through the Recoleta cemetery, which is big enough to get lost in, and were amazed at the size of the mausoleums, each one bigger than the next. Many were falling apart from years of neglect.
It seems that every block of Buenos Aires has five cafes. We also appreciated that. We spent hours sipping coffees, trying new apperitivos, and people watching, as we tried to decipher what Buenos Aires is really about. We only spent three nights there, not enough to figure it out, but we were definitely enchanted, both by the busy streets and the mysterious courtyards within them.
Perhaps one day we’ll return to discover a little bit more about what Buenos Aires really is.
Hello! Sorry it’s been so long since my last post! In case you’re curious why it’s been so long, I’ve got two reasons.
First, I just returned from a two week trip in Argentina (it was amazing!) Below you’ll find some of the “how-many-sleeps-until-my-trip” graphics I made and used as Facebook wall cover photos before I left. The “sleeps” concept is something my boss’ son used to use when he was little and excited about a trip or the like. Always thought it was cute.
My second reason for not posting is a little less legit. I was finding it too difficult/stressful to actually do one big project a week, I guess because I was busy with my job, preparing for my South America trip, and this 21-day cooking challenge that I was doing.
Because I want to keep this blog going, I’m going to go back to posting small projects for now, and then hopefully have some bigger projects interspersed. This will definitely take the pressure off and somehow leave me a lot more room for creativity and inspiration.
Annnnyways, I’ll be posting more from my Argentina trip in the upcoming days. Can’t WAIT to go through all the pictures!
Jim and I are currently in the process of planning a big trip to Patagonia and Buenos Aires. I think the plan is to fly down to El Calafate and make our way to Los Glaciares National Park to see the Perito Moreno Glacier. Then it’s off the El Chaltén, which will be our base for hiking and hopefully getting a glimpse Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitz Roy. During this part of the trip, we’ll basically be at the end of the Earth tramping through wild and beautiful landscapes. I’m both nervous and excited thinking about it.
After Patagonia, we’ll be flying back to Buenos Aires for a few nights, where we plan on touring the city and going dancing at a Tango club. We’re going to take eight weeks of lessons before we leave. With the experience we have with swing dancing, I’m hoping we’ll at least be good enough to dance a few songs.
I can’t wait for our trip!
Tonight, I did a bit of a timed trial to create this picture of the famous La Boca neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I gave myself 10 minutes to draw the picture and 15 minutes to paint it. It came out okay and it was definitely good practice!
Related to Argentina, I am currently in the process of planning a trip to Buenos Aires and Patagonia for next February. I can’t wait to go!