Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My two perfect days in Buenos Aires

The dark forces of work stranded me alone in Buenos Aires for many more days then originally expected, but it turned into the perfect way to spend an early fall week in South America. I've boiled my favorites into two ideal days of wandering in lovely Buenos Aires...

Perfect Day #1

Try to wake up early to avoid the other tourists at Recoleta cemetary. It's a little creepy to be all alone in a cemetary where tombs the size of small houses tower above you, but it's worth it to be alone with the feral cats. Evita's tomb, piled with flowers, is on the left if you face inward through the main gate.

After the cemetary, pass through knick-knacks in the Recoleta feria and then its a simple decision -- empanadas or ice cream? It's an easy walk to Una Altra Volta (Avenida Santa Fe 1826 on the corner of Avenida Callao in Recoleta) for delicious helado, which was more like gelato. I tried a few flavors and chocolate amargo (a bitter, dark chocolate flavor) won my taste test, but I bet that you won't go wrong with any selection. If you are craving a more substantial meal, try La Cumana (Rodriguez Pena 1149 between Arenales and Santa Fe in Recoleta), for delicious empanadas and clay pots of locro (a thick stew with corn, beef and pumpkin).

In the afternoon, check out Palermo SoHo. Begin at Plaza Palermo Viejo or Plaza Cortazar, and then wander to the other -- the blocks are lined with boutiques and cafes. It's the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon. If you are still hungry after an afternoon of empanadas and ice cream, try La Cabrera (5099 José Antonio Cabrera in Palermo Viejo), by far the best parilla that I visited in the city (and believe me, the parilla list was long). Ojo de bife and a delicious malbec...

Calle de los Suspiros

Indeed, I did sigh.
I spent a single day in solitude in Colonia, Uruguay. It is a quick boat trip from Buenos Aires, but it feels like you've entered another world. The leaves were changing, and I sat outside in the dwindling sun watching the clouds move over the Rio de la Plata.