I have so many great memories of our time in Buenos Aires, yet I’m struggling to figure out how to do our time there justice. As I try to put together my thoughts about our day to day in Argentina’s capital, I’m having trouble figuring out where to start, or how to start. There were no epic hikes or picture perfect views, or even much in the way of beautiful architecture. Our time there was pretty lacking in picture worthy moments – outside of some phone photos and a lot of graveyard shots we have less snaps from our twelve days there than we’ve taken in one day in other places. And yet, despite the lack of big moments and once-in-a-lifetime happenings, Buenos Aires holds the spot as my favourite city on the trip so far.
Maybe that seems counterintuitive, but I guess it’s a testament to the way I like to travel. Since we had such a long stay in the city, we were able to take off our tourist hats for a while and just live. We went to some cool shows, went for coffee every morning, and searched out fun restaurants to check out most every night. We went grocery shopping and cooked ourselves breakfast in our rented apartment and did laundry upstairs and pretended for a little while that we were Porteños going about our daily business. We began to understand the rhythm of the city and grew accustomed to late breakfasts and even later dinners. While previously steak after midnight had seemed pretty ridiculous, when the rest of the city’s doing it, you join in.
Of course there were plenty of touristy moments sprinkled throughout our visit to the city, but they were just that – a sprinkling, rather than our every day. In Buenos Aires it was easy to feel like we were just part of the crowd, and even the most tourist-oriented attractions that we visited didn’t feel overrun by outsiders. Whether on bikes, on one of our long neighbourhood-spanning walks, or on the subway, it felt like we were able to navigate the city from the inside, rather than just scratching the surface as we often had in other spots. Buenos Aires has a way of keeping you guessing, though, and just when we thought we had a handle on things we’d discover a new neighbourhood with a totally different flair. That’s part of the thrill and intrigue of the place. It’s a city that charms you with a new facade at every turn.
So many of the places we’ve been on this trip have been incredibly memorable, and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything. So far, though, Buenos Aires is the only place I could see myself happily staying for a long time. While many of the things we’ve done have been true once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, I can see myself going back to BA for more midnight steak, delicious choripans, amazing coffee, fascinating cultural events, and all of the nooks and crannies and quirks of this crazy city. Here’s hoping I get back there before too long.