We’ve finally arrived in Buenos Aires and this is the weirdest part about it – our trip is coming to an end. After 185 days of traveling and driving nonstop on the road, we will be getting on a plane and wrap up this chapter in our lives.
As a form of celebration, our close friends have come to stay with us in Buenos Aires for our last week in South America. It’s been almost 6 months since we have seen anyone familiar and it feels like a mix between a rude awakening of reality and a sigh of relief that this is coming to an end. But first, time for us to explore Buenos Aires!
Buenos Aires has pockets of cultural neighborhoods all around the city and it’s more lively and green than we expected. It’s surrounded by large parks, restaurants, and gelato shops on every corner. The city has a very strong Europe feel and with a large Italian immigrant population, the Italian food is authentic and delicious.
The Recoleta Cemetary is one of the most famous cemeteries in the world, housing notable people like Eva Peron, Presidents of Argentina, and Nobel Prize Winners. Many of the mausoleums are decorated with statues and doors which you can see the coffins right outside. They are adorned with some beautiful stained glass work which can only be properly seen from the inside. Considering how much of it looks like it should belong in museums, we are surprised to find that the entrance is free and we can stay as long as we’d like.
Ecoparque Buenos Aires
The Buenos Aires Ecoparque is also a free attraction in the Palermo district. Due to the crippling conditions of the zoo, they announced its official closure and converted it to an eco-park slowly phasing out the animals that live in the park. The only animals that stay within the park are those that need rehabilitation or treatment of disease and they will eventually be transferred to other facilities.
Exploring Buenos Aires
We take the time to explore the rest of Buenos Aires walking around, looking at graffitis and of course – eating, a lot of eating.
We ate… a lot. So this is dedicated just to the food we’ve consumed, it deserves its own album. Due to the heavy presence of Italian immigrants in Buenos Aires, there are delicious pasta and Italian pastries on every corner. Cafes are used as spaces to hang out and have an espresso mid-day. The idea of quick fast food really doesn’t exist here – unless you go to McDonalds.
After eating a lot and exploring Buenos Aires, the two weeks in the city went by way too quickly. If I can characterize Buenos Aires, it feels like a big city in Europe. The culture in the city celebrates the importance of spending time with family and friends and really taking the time to do that maybe over a three-hour meal accompanied by wine. Most restaurants and businesses close for Siesta (nap) for 2-3 hours anywhere between 12-5pm and people don’t even start dinner until 8pm. But the prices for food, museums, and transportation is much cheaper than any European country.
We are now off to Mexico City to spend 5 days just the three of us before we go home for our final journey. Leaving South America is bittersweet, but we are also glad to be going home and staying put in one place for a little bit.