Spring Break: Argentina

Things I miss about America when abroad:
A guarantee of decent toilets.
Big cups of coffee.
American style breakfast: hashbrowns, bacon, eggs, etc.
…that’s it.

I spent spring break in Argentina. I met Chris in the Buenos Aires Airport after some confusion with the terminals and we were off to Palermo, the neighborhood that our hostel was in. Right away I noticed what a green city Buenos Aires is, especially in the Palermo parks:

Park in Palermo

Park in Recoleta

We took a walk down to the Boca area to see if there were any football tickets. Although there weren’t, we still got to see quite a show. Not quite a riot, but bottles flying as the fans clashed with the police who just kind of stood there waving their big sticks. I do not quite understand how throwing glass bottles and defacing your city equates to love of a football team, but I guess I am just not as passionate as these fans.

I feel I should mention the food. We went to a coastal city, Mar del Plata, for a few days and ended up going to El Palacio del Bife (yes, the Beef Palace) two nights in a row. I haven’t been able to go near beef since being back, not because I am sick of it, but because nothing compares.

Epic meal at the Beef Palace in Mar del Plata

Mar del Plata was an odd beach experience. Definitely a beautiful coast with awesome waves, but everything about the beach culture was just strange. If at all possible, everyone there was more leathery than the old people on Fort Myers Beach, and there were rows of tents that looked like barracks as far as the eye could see in either direction on the beach. You could rent them to store your things in and stay out of the sun, which to me defeats the purpose of going to the beach in the first place: to lay out and take in sun, watch the waves and people, get sandy.

Crazy huge waves on the coast

Endless tents on the Mar del Plata beach

Back in Buenos Aires: Chris took me to the Recoleta Cemetery. I am so glad we went to this place, because anyone who knows me knows that I have a weird thing for cemeteries. I got to see the grave of Eva Peron as well as a few feral lurking cats. The cemetery was right next to a really great Sunday market with street performers, vendors, musicians… it was a lot to take in.

Beautiful tomb in the Buenos Aires cemetery where Eva Peron is buried

There weren't too many "touristy" things to do. The closest we came to touristy was visiting the widest street in the world (16 lanes across), just to take this picture.

Chris and I standing in the widest street in the world!

Palermo, the neighborhood we stayed in, is fashionable, trendy, busy; someplace I could see myself living someday. We found a gay bar called Kim y Novak in lonelyplanet and I am glad we ended up there one Friday night. There was a dj and bar in the basement which looked like someone’s living room. One of the guys there told us it would pick up in a half hour or so (this was at 3AM), and sure enough, by 4, everyone was dancing to the strangest collection of music: Florence and the Machines, the Trainspotting Soundtrack, the Twin Peaks theme song. I feel like every other culture but America understands how gratifying it is to stumble home as the sun is coming up. Bars in Tallahassee close at 2 and at that point you really have no choice but to go home and call it a night.

Overall, Argentina was nothing what I expected. Besides some cracked sidewalks here and there and me almost getting pick-pocketed, I could have been on the Mediterranean. Having been to Peru, I now understand just how diverse South America is. I’m already itching to explore some more of the continent this summer!


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