The tour had begun!!!
I had an amazing flight over, it is always a relief when you can get a good sleep on the plane.
I was slightly nervous as this was the first time I had visited a country I knew little about. However, my apprehension soon settled because as we walked out of the airport we were met by our tour guides.
I was experiencing so many first times, including booking a tour with Viva Expeditions
Viva specialise in small group tours of South America and are experts in the field of unique, South American experiences.
The tour guides lead us into the city of Buenos Aires. We were a little disappointed with the rain that greeted us but our guides informed the group that the forecast was for clearer weather over the next few days. WOOHOO!
One of my favourite movies growing up was Evita (1996), a film based on the stage show by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Set in Buenos Aires, the film was my introduction to movie musicals and visiting the city gave me the opportunity to see the balcony that Madonna famously sang from. It was a thrilling experience as I relived my childhood memories of a place had wanted to visit.
The city center is completely flat so walking is the best and most simple way to get around. However, make sure you watch your step because the sidewalks (pavements) can be a tad hazardous. There are many potholes but side stepping them all makes your walks more interesting!
If you are lucky to be there on a weekend head out to the markets. These were the biggest markets I had ever experienced. Not only did they take over some of the main roads but many of the side streets as well. During this time I spent hours roaming the city checking out all the architecture – I love photographing buildings and Buenos Aires did not disappoint my aesthetic!
Coffee was my main objective most days and I’m not afraid to admit I’m a bit of a coffee snob. I wasn’t disappointed as we found some great little cafes tucked away. My favourite coffee place was in the inside market called Coffee Town. The staff were amazing and the coffee was very good. So much so I went back for more. The coffee town building was spectacular as well. Just sitting, sipping my coffee and watching the locals go about their business was a joy.
A highlight of Buenos Aires for me though was the Recoleta Cemetery. I know it sounds a bit morbid but I love taking photos in cemeteries. This cemetery wasn’t anything like I had ever experienced before. The history that lined the small paved paths, the artistry of the crypts, the marble statues, and the tombs that families had looked after was beautiful. Even those that had been abandoned and deteriorated over time had their own beauty. Some tombs were open and you could see inside. It was a fascinating place to explore. I was so glad we had our guide Pepe on this tour with us to share the stories behind the tombs. Some were incredibly sad tragedies.
But our day’s tour didn’t end here on this sombre note. Tango is the country’s national dance so you cannot end the day without heading to a Tango show! The show showcased the history of dance in Argentina. It was a delightful ending to an day rich in wonderful and diverse experiences.