We are not close Vatican watchers, but what we have seen in the news and read about the new Pope, so far, truly charmed us. When we learned that he was from Buenos Aires, we were instantly reminded of our memorable visit to his home city in 2008. Memories came flooding back – lovely people, impressive architectures, sophisticated café and dining culture, colorful neighborhoods, people dancing tango everywhere, ghost of Evita, the fancy cemetery, and for Keith, the best steak he ever had. In honor of the new Pope, we would like to share our fond memories of his beautiful city.
Architectures and Landmarks
The architectures and landmarks of Buenos Aires left great impressions in our minds. They were magnificent, dramatic and nostalgic.
Plaza de Mayo is the heart of the modern and historic city. It has been the site of important celebrations and historic protests. We were in awe of the grand landmarks and architectures that surrounded it.
Facing the plaza is Metropolitan Cathedral, the city’s main Catholic church and where Pope Francis presided as a cardinal of Buenos Aires. We found it very unique as it has no towers and high domes that are typical features of a cathedral.
The entrance to a Subte, the subway system of Buenos Aires and the oldest in Latin America. We enjoyed hopping around the city in both its modern trains as well as its charming vintage wooden trains. (We just learned that the vintage trains were retired as of March 2013).
La Recoleto CemeteryWe were amazed by La Recoleta Cemetery, a resting place for the city’s elite and one of the most visited sites in Buenos Aires. Its elaborate and lavish mausoleums make it more like a fancy village than a graveyard.
Colorful Barrios (“Neigborhoods”)
A free tango performance was a delighful treat at Plaza Dorrego.
This kaleidoscope garage door in one of the streets of La Boca exemplifies the vibrancy of the barrio. La Boca is a port town where immigrants from Europe settled in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. Today, it still retains some of its European flavors.
It’s hard to imagine that Palermo Viejo was once a decaying neighborhood of rundown houses and warehouses. It has transformed into the trendiest destination in Buenos Aires. Its streets are lined with designer boutiques, chic bars and restaurants, boutiques hotels, and art galleries.
Great Eats and Drinks
The grand dame of all cafes in Buenos Aires is Café Tortoni. Founded in 1858, it is the oldest & most historic café in Buenos. Local & world renowned figures (from Einstein to Hillary Clinton) were said to have visited this café.
Our most memorable dining experience was at Cabanas Las Lilas – considered the best parilla (steakhouse) in Buenos Aires. The restaurant raise its own cows and they’re organic. Keith said he could tell the difference at first bite and proclaimed it the best steak he ever had. For a non-steak eater like me, there’s a vast option on the menu.
We cannot forget our taxi driver who refused to take us to the tango venue where we had a reservation. He said it wasn’t that good, too big and it was where the bus loads of tourists go.
He insisted in dropping us off at his recommended venue, La Ventana. We were thankful that he had our best interest at heart. We absolutely enjoyed the intimate setting at La Ventana and its outstanding tango dancing and music.
We hope you enjoyed our memories of Buenos Aires. What made it more memorable for us is the fact that it was our last trip together as unmarried couple – before we got hitched in the paradise of Santorini.
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