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Buenos Aires; The Heart of Argentina

Buenos Aires; The Heart of Argentina

February, 2008
Buenos Aires, Argentina

In the far reaches of the globe, on the hidden continent, lies the quintessential European city. Centuries ago, the Spaniards established it as an important commercial sea port in South America. Since that time, Buenos Aires has remained firmly connected to its European roots.

Buenos Aires, ArgentinaThe first and most noticeable influence is the ornate gothic architecture that rises conspicuously above the green trees and between more modern structures. History is preserved in the towering spires, domed churches and imposing palatial buildings of the city center.

You can smell the history here. Wood has a memory. The centuries-old, varnished woods have absorbed and preserved the history of daily life. It is a musky, lived-in scent that permeates most everything here. It blends and enhances the delicious smells coming from each and every café.

Buenos Aires, ArgentinaPart of Buenos Aires’ culture pivots on corner and sidewalk cafés. The cafés are styled with ancient dark mahoganies and oaks from the turn of 20th the century. Nothing is disturbed. Everything is preserved; from the yellowing walls cluttered with antique pictures to the vaulted ceiling fans caked with the dust of a century.

Buenos Aires shares another strong connection with Europe through its cuisine. Breakfast is light; coffee and croissants. Dinner is enjoyed late in the evening and wine is almost always taken with a meal. The air is thick with the aroma of rich, heart-stopping coffee, perfectly brewed and served with croissants on every corner.

Buenos Aires, ArgentinaThe people on first impression have a sophisticated air. It is a confidence that can be mistakenly perceived as arrogance. I have been here just over a week and in that time I have met some great people who have helped me easily find an apartment and a few of the things I need for the next few months.

For years I have wanted to travel through South America. I wasn’t quite sure what I would find here. From the brief conversations with the few people I have met, it seems that Argentina will be a very large and diverse adventure in itself. I hope to explore everything from the urban rhythm of tango to the rugged, snow-crested peaks of the Patagonian wilderness and it all begins right now.

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