Impressions from our winter visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina

It’s always interesting to see what details stick with me after I have visited a new country. Here are the bits that lingered with me after a two-week trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was my first time in South America.

The architecture was phenomenal. From artistic Art Nouveau from last century to the edgy steel and glass of our modern era, it seemed all mixed together so that I never knew what would be around the corner. In a number of ways it reminded me of Barcelona, Spain.

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Every place was a place of business. A young man was selling the three mirrors he had leaned against a plywood construction wall. Street vendors walked into restaurants or subway train cars ands set small items for sale on your table or lap, picking them up or collecting money before moving on. Items included ink pens, highlighter pens, socks, sewing kits and twisted wire sculptures.

The historical cafes made me swoon. From Café Tortoni to Petit Colon, there were so many quaint places to start our days or to take an afternoon break. Oh, the pleasing memories of cups of robust coffee with a mediluna. These delicious pastries look like a traditional croissant but they are a little denser dough and have a sweet glaze on top.

Coffee and medialuna

Store owners wanted to keep their coins, so they often gave us extra money as change so they could give us bills.

We saw salt, but never pepper, shakers on every restaurant table.

Some intersections don’t have traffic signs, making them four-way games of chicken.

Families in park, Buenos AiresLocals love a sunny day, and they flock in mass to the park – having picnics, pedaling water boats, roller blading, riding bicycles, walking their dogs, and watching their children race play.

All the French fries we were served were warm and soft, even the one time we stopped at a crazy busy  Burger King in Tigre.

The sidewalks were often in disrepair and littered with dog turds and gobs of congealed spit.

Love the parrillas – typical Argentine steakhouse restaurants. I  ate the best pork chop of my life at La Carniceria.

La Carnaceria pork chop, Buenos Aires

We were right to be very mindful of crime, night and day. We saw a bicycle rider grab the strap of a woman’s purse off her shoulder and ride away with her purse.

I wasn’t expecting there to be so many pizza places. Turns out that one of the largest immigration groups was from Italy.

Pizza in Buenos Aires

We didn’t know what to make of all the police officers around town – whether it was normal or not. Turned out U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, were in town.

See all of my Buenos Aires photos.

About Kristine K. Stevens

Book Cover200Kristine is the author of "If Your Dream Doesn't Scare You, It Isn't Big Enough: A Solo Journey Around the World." This nonfiction book tells the story of how she sold her house, quit her job and traveled around the world.

Kirkus Book Review: "... Stevens makes a friendly, relatable narrator ... plenty of colorful stories to make this an enjoyable, inspiring read... An often sweet memoir about finding oneself in many different places."


Next travel book to spotlight Iceland

25817249396_f6c787ef9f_z Kristine broke free from a desk job once again, and this time ended up volunteering in the far corners of Iceland!

Details about the release of this book will be posted on Facebook.