A travelogue of our first trip to Buenos Aires


Saturday January 3 - Recoleta and the Feria

Craig's picture of the day...

What a blessed thing to sleep in! Gets rid of the jet lag, keeps the energy up, and is absolutely required on vacation. So that's what we did this morning, and I have to confess we didn't rise until 10:30am.

We made some coffee (always an adventure on the first morning in a new rental apartment with an unfamiliar coffee maker), heated up some pastry and set about getting the blog in order. I love to blog but it can be such a time-sink.

We finally set out in the early afternoon for the Feria Plaza Francia, also known as the Recoleta hippy fair. It's really a big market just outside the walls of Cementerio de la Recoleta (more about that later).

I'm not sure why it's called the hippy fair. There were lots of leather stalls (we are in Argentina after all), lots of crocheted goods and the occasional incense seller, but there was also jewelry, clothing and art. We bought some funky carved crayons for me. After all that browsing and shopping, we needed to eat so we bought some lunch from the local vendors and picnicked.

This was just yummy! Called a pan rellano casero (literally bread stuffed homemade), it's like a calzone in that various ingredients are baked inside the bread. This one had cheese, tomatoes and spices, and it was just great. We were hungry enough that we tore into it before we remembered to take the photo (and this was our second!).

Fortified by lunch, we braved the crowds and the heat to wander in the cemetery. I won't go through the description of the place (click here to read more from Wikipedia), but I will say it's definitely unique. We've been into some crowded and ornate cemeteries before (Montreal and Paris come to mind) but I've never seen anything like this for just the sheer number of mausolea side by side, marching down little avenues and alleyways. We took some photos but this is one of those places that even the best photography won't be able to do it justice.

All types of cemetery art - angels, logs, saints, busts...

... a tenement for the departed.

We noticed a few things - generally each mausoleum has some wrought iron doors with glass or plexiglass in them so you can look in and see how the family of the deceased has 'decorated' - usually a photo of the deceased, some flowers, a vase. But what really caught our attention was the fact that the caskets were visible in the lower portion of each mausoleum - just right there! Fascinating.

So after that, we needed to get our first fix of BsAs' famous dulce de leche, so we went to a Freddo's just near the cemetary (Freddo's is a chain in BsAs that serves ice cream, coffee and pastries). Craig had vanilla and strawberry, and the flavors were very sweet, too sweet for me, but the dulce de leche ice cream was perfect.

An observation about language - while we speak enough Spanish to be polite, we are certainly far from proficient speakers, and employees in most small shops and stores here don't speak English. But so far we haven't had any problems. We do a lot of pointing, say please and thank you in Spanish, and pay attention to context so we can make an educated guess at both what's being said to us and what's expected of us. Most people here have been patient and pleasant because I'm guessing they see we're making an effort.

Tonight, dinner in a private house with 10 people we don't know! More about that tomorrow.


  1. Hi there, I went to Buenos Aires last year and rented an apartment in Palermo which was near the downtown. Let me tell you that it is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever been to. And dulce de leche rocks! It is delicious.

  2. I was in Recoleta neighborhood last week, i visited feria and palais de glace. These days i will go to the cemetery!



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Eight Days in Buenos Aires by Valyn Perini is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.