WOW what a vacation! So many things happened this weekend but I’ll try and keep it brief. I traveled with two friends, Paula and Lila, to Buenos Aires for Easter weekend. We had last Thursday through today (Tuesday) off, so we spent a full 5 days in Bs As (that’s how the locals abbreviate Buenos Aires)! We left Wednesday night on an overnight bus and arrived bright and early Thursday morning. Even though we all could have used naps, after settling in at Lila’s friend Tano’s house, we left to explore the city’s parks. Bs As has BEAUTIFUL parks and gardens so we spent all day walking around and basking in the natural beauty. And naturally we took a break to nap in the grass in a less populated park.
Here is the Jardín Japones (Japanese garden) with the city in the background. It is a symbol of good relations between Japan and Argentina. Que hermoso!
Some friends from our program were also staying in Bs As for Easter weekend, so we were able to spend a couple of days exploring with them. There are street fairs in almost every touristy neighborhood of the city, so we spent time wandering the streets, listening to live bands, buying things for friends and family, touring museums, meeting interesting people, and eating delicious food. One night our friends cooked supper in their hostel and we ate family-style, sitting on the ground outside. I think there were 9 of us sharing the meal! I also had the pleasure of meeting up with my second cousin, Kjerstin, who is living in Bs As currently, and sharing some advice and laughs with her.
Lila, Paula, Ag, and me. Sadly, we never got a picture with everyone together!
I think Paula and Lila would agree that our culinary adventures were certainly a highlight of the trip. After almost 2 months in Argentina (and longer for Lila) we were all craving ethnic foods, so we ate at Mexican and Indian restaurants (SO GOOD). We also ate one lunch at a French (or maybe it was Swiss?) restaurant where I was able to order milk and a parfait. It felt like home ;) We consumed a lot of choripan (sausage on bread with all kinds of toppings that sort of tastes like a brat – these are super cheap and generally sold on the streets) and crackers with dulce de leche. I also had my very first asado! This is basically a meal made with all kinds of meat on a grill called a parrilla. I am proud to say I tried intestine, blood sausage, and kidney – although not more than one bite of each. There were also “normal” meats, like steak and chicken. For a former vegetarian, it wasn’t too bad of a meal. The best meal award, however, goes to Tano’s homemade pizzas. He started cooking at 9:00 Sunday night and the pizzas weren’t ready until 1 a.m.! There was so much love and care put into the dough and sauces made from scratch, and thought put into the perfect toppings. It was obvious Tano was having the time of his life cooking for us. We were all ravenous by the time we ate but no matter what it still would have easily topped the charts as best meal of the week.
The classiest choripan I have ever eaten – also the most expensive. Worth every peso!
- A top view of the asado – literally just a pile of meat with bread and sauces on the side.
Throughout the weekend I was constantly humbled by the very Argentine hospitality shown to us by Tano and his girlfriend, Flor. From the moment we met we were welcomed like family and Tano repeatedly said “The house is small but the heart is big.” We basically overtook the living room and bathroom and we had free reign to their food. Our sleeping habits were different than theirs and we didn’t have anything to give them in return, but they were happy to have us in their home. As we were saying our goodbyes Tano thanked US for staying with them, even though we had so much more to be thankful for. I am very lucky to have met these two people and I have learned so much about what it means to be accepting, welcoming, and loving.
This was my favorite of Tano’s homemade pizzas. It had to cool on the floor because there wasn’t enough counter space!
On Saturday the three of us traveled to Uruguay on a ferry boat. The boat was HUGE and it felt AMAZING to be traveling on the water. I closed my eyes and relished the gentle breeze, sun on my face. We traveled to a small town called Colonia. It was much quieter and simpler than Bs As and it was very nice to escape the commotion for a while. I worked my tan on the beach and we got some good ice cream, so I’d say it was a pretty successful excursion.
Chao Buenos Aires!
- Hola Colonia! This is my favorite ocean photo.
Other notable sights: La Plaza de Mayo, La Casa Rosada (the White House of Argentina), El Cabildo, La Boca neighborhood, Teatro Colón, Recoleta Cemetery, the giant metal flower statue, and el Puente de la Mujer (woman’s bridge). For all the amazing things we saw and did, there is still so much more to be explored in the city! Now I realize why everyone says I must go to Buenos Aires and I would gladly return one day to see more of what the city has to offer.