We knew going in that Portland ME was a quaint up and coming town. We didn’t know how much we would love it! So much charm, and an unbelieveable food scene from world class sushi to the freshest seafood and craft beer anywhere. It was a great couple days.
Wanting to see a local landmark, we realized our visit coincided with an annual charity benefit from local brewery Alagash. Oysters on the grill, al pastor tacos and a other delicious snacks. What a great way to see the Mansion!
Cheers to Alagash for the party, great brewery as well!
Beautiful summer days. Strawberries are in full bloom and we stumble upon a Strawberry festival. Buying several pounds from the overloaded farms. We were on our way to see one of the many spectacular coastline views of Maine!
Lighthouses were a must in this unforgiving landscape.
Miyake sushi was an out of this world experience. Omakase with Kristin opting for the non-sushi route and Dan headed for sushi. Grilled fish head?
24kt Gold Leaf
Locally caught Giant Blue Fin Tuna and local Eel. Life changing.
Heading to Arcadia National Park and Bar Harbor, we stopped for lunch in Camden. Classic America.
Views of the hike in Arcadia.
Our way down found us in some really cool slot canyons!
We found our way to a lobsta pot for dinner.
Basically a local fisherman runs a small shack serving the days catch of lobsters, mussels, clams and corn.
Dan had to order a 2nd “dessert” lobster cause he was in love.
What a way to end the solo portion of our trip. Great food and a very relaxing but engaging couple of days on America’s north coast. We loved it, enjoyin spectacular views like this sunset over a wild mussel patch.
We finished the trip with a couple days with our family in Waterford. Enjoying a classic Americana 4th of July. Sharing the parade and treats with our loved ones!Catching some sunset views of the loons on the lake.
The day before we landed in Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe, dictator for 37 years, had resigned. Transfer of power in Africa is dicey at best. We didn’t know what to expect but the borders were open so we went. Turns out not much. It had been so long coming that it was mostly a 1 day party and everyone went back to work. Capital controls had the money supply so tight that people literally slept at the bank trying to get some money out.
The guys at The River craft brewing (only the second brewery in the country) told us the night Mugabe went was their best revenue night ever.
Flying into Zambia, the Zambia-Zimbabwe border crossing was sketchy and we’re pretty sure (definitely sure) our hotel “airport transfer” included a bribe. Well, it did get us through faster. That’s Africa. On to Victoria Falls.
Visiting the falls during the dry season they are still the same amazing site they were when the famous explorer Livingstone set eyes on them in 1855.
During the wet season, I could only imagine how they would look. Water would be pouring over this whole portion.
Dan got to play monkey man on this awesome fallen tree.
Out hotel was a from a bygone colonial era. Immaculately maintained, beautifully detailed, it felt like a step back in time.
The same applies for the nightly sunset cruise on a reconstructed 1940’s skiff.
That lump in the water to the right of the brandy is a hippo!
Our last night in town, we gorged on a platter of crocodile, kudo and impala meat.
The Sabi Sands are a unfenced portion of the National Park that is privately protected and has some of the most intact animal populations. Including this 7 week old critically endangered White Rhino.
Our lodge Arenthusa was as close to a literal oasis as you can get. It’s fantastic 4-star service in the middle of nowhere. 3 meals, 2 game drives, high tea, a full bar, a perfect 3-4 day adventure.
Safari is a whole different travel experience. We had a private room, with a bush patio and private pool.
You get insanely close to huge wild animals and they don’t even flinch. Leopards stalking prey, wild dogs hunting as a pack, elephants bathing.
Gotta stop. Herd of elephants are crossing the road.
My favorite quote from the explorer Livingstone. “Cape buffalo always look at you, like you owe them money.”
Oh and in between your stopping for a bush cup of coffee or starlight dinner on the open plains or a bush breakfast complete with mimosa’s!
Basically it’s bad*ss. Lots of our pictures were taken by cell phone, because you’re that close. See the leopards?
Sadly, the National Park is in a significant draught. The watering hole on the resort had dried up and the 14 hippos living there moved. For us that meant our well pumped private plunge pool was one of the most accessible drinking spots and elephants were constantly drinking from it. Unfortunately, never while we were there. As I write this, Cape Town for the same reasons is facing a water crisis so bad Day 0 of no water is less than 2 months away. Do a rain dance for South Africa.
Next stop Maputo, Mozambique. South Africa’s neighbor, Mozambique bares the reality in Africa. 20%+ HIV rates, 50-60% desperate poverty rates, population between 25 – 29 million because they don’t actually know… That Africa.
We had unbelievable access to companies and leaders in Mozambique. CEO of largest telecom, CMO of largest marketing agency, CEO of largest bank, CEO of largest port. Kristin gave the Thank You present to the bank CEO for meeting our group.
All of the leaders were very optimistic on the countries future for several reasons. The country is very young, and well it’s hard to go backwards when you start from zero. The telecom CEO I found especially fascinating because they are merging cell phone carrier and bank into one product accessed on the phone. Through your phone you can store money, buy products and even take small loans. Helping offer banking to the 95% of Mozambique without a bank account. Millions in Mozambique don’t have power, water or sanitation, but have access to the internet and a cell phone.
A walking tour of the city took Dan to a old fort.
A dilapidated train station.
And a stop for pasteis de nata. The best part of Portuguese anything. If you don’t know see our Lisbon blog.
Leaving Maputo, it was back to South Africa, but this time we headed to the Sabi Sands Preserve in Kruger National Park. The Sabi Sands are a unfenced portion of the National Park that is privately protected and has some of the most intact animal populations.
It’s a long way to South Africa. Our best flight option was 31 hours with a 10 hour layover in Frankfurt. Luckily, we landed midday and we’re able to train into town for some wieners (like REAL frankfurters) and beers.
On we go and touchdown in Cape Town. The 30 minute drive from the airport takes you through the Cape Flats. A grimy extremely rough place. A place that’s like Juarez, Mexico dangerous. As we rounded around the imposing Table Mountain the city came into view. It’s beautiful. Brand new, sparkling, well cared for, first class modern city. Our Uber took us past a brand-new glass and steel hospital, with a Virgin Athletic Club on the 5th floor overlooking the highway and the bay. Wait, where did the desperate poverty go? It’s a weird place.
Landing in the morning we had no choice but to fight the jet lag and rally. Luckily Uber is basically free in Cape Town (a ride in town cost about $1.30 each way) so we headed to the V&A waterfront to get our bearings. Our love from Cape Town begins. The food everywhere is exceptional. The drinks are expertly crafted. The service is fantastic. The prices are cheap. It’s like San Diego but 80% off.
That afternoon the winds blew just right giving us a great view of the “the tablecloth” as clouds gentle roll off the mountain.
Just as we are settling into this paradise (and our duck confit eggrolls and local bottle of Pinotage) we are snapped into the reality of Africa. A disheveled mostly white but still “colored” woman ask for some food off our plate. Before we could react our black waiter came out to shoe her off. She then exploded into a rant about immigrants taking jobs from locals. He was being called out, accurately it seemed. Africa is a complicated place.
The next day we joined up with about 10 other DU students for a trip to Stellenbosch the capital of South Africa’s wine country. South Africa makes great wines. South Africa has been making great wines since before America was America.
At Lanzerac, we learned about the famous Pinotage grape. Developed in the 60’s it is a cross between Pinot Noir and Meritage grapes. A delightful wine that can range from smooth to complex. Lanzerac planted the first Pinotage vines in partnership with the University of Stellenbosch.
Our second stop at Graff had mediocre wine but an amazing facility with a million-dollar diamond necklace in the jewelry store.
The next day, Tuesday began the DU class trip.
We visited GOLD, a African Experience. Basically a Cape Town’s version of Casa Bonita for adults. Super cheesy, but really fun.
We took a drumming class and Kristin danced with the crew.
The Test Kitchen
As we looked forward to our adventure months in advance, Kristin set her sights on a reservation at The Test Kitchen. A five star restaurant, ranked as high as 26th in the world. Reservations are almost impossible to come by. Luckily, we were able to book months in advance, and here we go… Punctuated by two distinct experiences, the Dark and the Light dinner is an event. On the dark side, literally a room with barely enough light to see, cocktails are paired with a tastings from around the world. Highlights were the dishes from Scotland, South Africa and India. It was all amazing.
Then through a trap door we are taken to the Light. A bustling bright restaurant, we are served the more traditional restaurant experience.
Wine parings, another 8 courses, the whole deal. A variety of fresh foraged mushrooms? Awesome. Our after-dinner treat was a glass of vin de Constance, a sweet white wine that was Napoleon Bonaparte’s favorite.
No visitor to Cape Town missed Table Mountain a “New 7 Natural Wonders” of the world.
Accessed by cable car 3,000 ft high provides quite a view of the city.
The was so nice, we got to enjoy it for hours longer than expected as the cable car closed due to high winds. Kristin didn’t know she was about to be stuck up here.
We also spent a day touring “The Cape” seeing Africa’s only penguins.
We toured the Cape Reserve seeing wild ostriches while visiting and hiking on Africa’s south-western tip.
A short hike provided breath taking views!
Check out the surfers in the bottom right. There’s no land between them and Antarctica!
From Cartagena we hop on an hour flight to Medellin, our last international stop before heading back to ‘merica. Medellin has almost perfect weather and is also known as the city of eternal spring. Sitting at 5,000 feet and near the equator, its 83 during the day and 70 at night. Medellin is also famous as being the home of Pablo Escobar, and was once the murder capital of the world.
Medellin is a city undergoing a massive transformation. The city can still be grimy, and there are still very dangerous areas, but quickly shedding it’s checkered history, the hillside restaurants bustle with expats from around the world. Nouveau art displays from adorn the city square.
Medellin’s second most famous son is Fernando Botero, famous for creating these overstuffed fat sculptures.
In the last few years a new transportation network has connected this very hilly city and is bringing opportunity to the millions who live here. The old method, just wasn’t getting the job done in the 21st century.
One of the most interesting elements of Medellin’s transportation network is the Metrocable.
The Metrocable network is made up of gondolas that were built to connect some of the cities most vulnerable residents and offer them transportation to jobs, stores and opportunities.
Unlike home, the cheaper homes are found higher up the slopes. With high crime, and almost no access to services, until the Metrocable arrived this was a horrible place to live.
One even connects past the city to a beautiful national park called Parque Arvi. The park was okay, a nice place to spend an afternoon strolling. The real experience was getting to take all the cable cars.
One highlight of Medellin came from the outside world. On Superbowl Sunday fell during our time in Medellin. Luckily in our swanky neighborhood, almost all the bars were bustling with people watching the game; we even watched with two Broncos fans from Colorado. Dan could not have been happier, Kristin acquired a new lucky vest.
Following a tip from a Medellin local we met in Cusco, Peru. Our last day we made our way to the bus station for the 2 hour ride to Guatape. In the 1970’s Guatape lake was created when the surrounding hills were flooded for a hydroelectric project.
In the middle of the lake sits the El Penol, a massive granite rock that looks very out of place. Local legend claims it’s a meteorite, we think it’s just cool.
Up we go. Hope the 750 steps up are worth it.
Truly, one of the best views in the entire world.
At the top is an epic 360 degree panoramic views of the lake.
What a way to spend our last day of this great adventure. We are so blessed to have been able to finish this walkabout. We are so excited to finish strong celebrating Adrienne and Kevin’s wedding!
Cartagena is a beautiful colorful city on the Caribbean. It was the richest city during Spanish rule because all of the gold and jewels from the Incas were sent here before being put on ships back to Spain. The old city is a UNESCO world heritage site and is surrounded by a huge wall. Because of all of the money in the city the Spanish wanted to defend the city to the max so the wall was built along with multiple fortresses.
We spent 2 of the days in Cartagena on the Islas del Rosarios which is a cluster of islands about an hour boat ride from the city. We decided we needed to take a vacation from our vacation/traveling and just relax by the pool before heading back to the states. The Islas del Rosarios is surrounded by a protected reef so we got a few more dives under our belt. Our favorite dive was a night dive where we saw a ton of lobsters and crabs. Then at the end of the dive we turned our lights off and got to see the bioluminescence in the water.
Another one of the highlights was during dinners one of the guests would play the guitar and sing traditional Spanish songs. It was such a cool experience. Then on the last night the owner of the hotel shared a bottle of rum and Cuban cigars with all of the guests and the musician to thank him for playing. He also invited us all down to the lagoon near the hotel because it was one in five lagoons in the world where you could see great bioluminescence.
Heading back to the city we had a pretty epic boat ride where the driver seemed to only drive the boat at full throttle over enormous waves. All of the passengers in the back of the boat were soaking wet by the end of the ride. Dan and I lucked out and only got a little wet. During this ride Dan coined the term #backlivesmatter so more attention would be put towards passengers at the back of the boat.
Once back in the city we spent our time strolling the beautiful streets and city walls. At night the city really came alive with street musicians, dancers, and a male Shakira impersonator. These performers would rotate down the plazas to each of the restaurants. So each night you could sit on the patio of a restaurant on the plaza and have free entertainment.
Nighttime is when the city really comes alive. The streets fill with tourists and locals, street performers, and horse drawn carriages. We took one of these carriages around one night. It was actually real affordable for a 20 minute ride where the driver tried to explain in broken English what the sites were. It ended up being a really cool way to see the city at night.
Since Cartagena is on the coast we had a bunch of great seafood including some delicious ceviche. We ended up going back to the Cevicheria twice during our stay. The Cevicheria was also visited by Anthony Bourdain.
Top 5 Things to Do in Cartagena:
Take a boat trip to the Islas del Rosarios
Sit on a patio sipping a mojito watching the street performers
Leaving Buenos Aires we head to Cusco Peru the capital of the former Inca Empire. At 12,500 ft Cusco challenges even altitude seasoned Coloradans. This flight turns out to be one of our most challenging yet. Long story short, after a night in Santiago, Chile our early morning flight to Lima was cancelled. After 3 hours with customer service we finally land in Cusco. We have no luggage. The next morning we leave for Machu Picchu. Booked weeks in advance, with only beachwear on our backs, we needed our bags. After several more baggage f’ups, Dan was finally able to get our bags literally seconds before we had to leave to catch our Machu Picchu train.
Getting to Machu Picchu is still a breathe taking adventure. Even in 2016 it requires getting to Cusco. A 90 min cab ride, 2-hour trains ride and a harrowing 30 min bus ride. Or you can walk “the inca trail” and that is 4 days.
The small tourist town closest to Machu Picchu is called Aguas Calientes, Hot Water in English because it has hot springs. This town isn’t very exceptional, mostly standard tourist town junk. Overpriced low quality restaurants and knock off souvenirs.
Our time here was only worth mentioning because for the 36 hours we were there, the power was out almost the whole time. Even in a remote city that should be used to being cut off the impact of having no power or internet created a semi-controlled chaos.
Walking in to Machu Picchu early in the morning we are a little drowsy and still getting our bearings. We quickly walk through most of the site, hurrying to get the gate for Huayna Picchu by 7 AM.
Only 400 people a day are allowed to hike the very harrowing steps up to the peak. It’s quite a trek up but we’ve heard the view from the top is amazing. Huayna Picchu itself is really cool. Built as a sentry tower overlooking everything there are a good amount of ruins and stuff to see even on the top of this crazy steep mountain.
Finally getting there we look out over the valley and… all we see if fog.
We wait a few minutes for the sun to rise higher in the sky and magically the fog clears and it’s stunning.
All the work, all the money, all the hype, seven wonder of the world… It’s worth it all. Machu Picchu is amazing.
Back down Huayna Picchu we explore the grounds. There is so much to say, I’ll keep it short and let the pictures speak. One thing you should do is hire a guide, for a couple hours. Well worth the $10 each.
Reversing our course, we head back to Cusco and have 3 days to explore the city. Cusco is one of the best cities we’ve seen. We loved it. 7½ months in, we’ve seen a lot, Cusco is unlike anywhere we’ve been so far. It’s got a great vibe, really nice people and a very unique history. Plus some very special shopping, but we’ll get to that later. The central square, Plaza De Armas, is a UNESCO world heritage site, and it’s beautiful at night.
First day in Cusco, what’s on tap? Cuy of course! Following a few local tips, Dan drags Kristin 45 minutes outside the city to Tipon, the cuy jump off for locals. Getting a very local experience, this was a fun adventure for us. What is cuy?
Guinea Pig! Plucked of hair and stuffed with local mountain herbs, they then get roasted in an oven for an hour. Delicious, at least in Dan’s opinion, they taste like fatty rabbit.
In our experience, one of the best ways to see a city is by taking a walking tour. Most of the tours we go for are free, where they ask you to tip the guide at the end. In Cusco, we were the only ones who showed up for the afternoon tour. A private tour for us! There is a ton of history in Cusco. It was the capital city for the Inca’s and their 3,000 mile empire stretched from Bogota, Colombia to Santiago, Chile.
Many buildings in Cusco are built on top of, or using stones originally cut by the Inca. When the Spanish conquered, they tore down many Inca palaces, and rebuilt their own palaces in their place, also known as churches.
The size and scale of their construction is the most amazing part. Hundreds of thousands of precisely cut stones are still found throughout the city.
In our 7½ months we’ve seen a lot of junk. Many “local” souvenirs appear in lots of places and are made in China. We feel like we have very high standards for buying stuff. But in Cusco we went a little nuts, why? Alpaca. These high land animals are raised in the Andes of Peru and have been used for thousands of years to create soft and warm sweaters, jackets and hats. In Cusco however, the real attraction is Baby Alpaca. Baby Alpaca is actually juvenile alpaca, it’s the first shaving of their wool. Like a baby’s butt or petting a puppy it is unbelievably soft.
Taking off, we pause to realize our next country is our last of the trip, Colombia.
Top 5 things to do in Cusco
Go to Machu Picchu, obviously
Have a sunset cocktail at dusk over Plaza de Armas
Gross out your friends and eat a guinea pig
Take a walking tour of the city and live the Inca past
Fondle some baby alpaca and buy as much as you can carry
Montevideo is the capital city of Uruguay and only a 1 hour boat and 3 hour bus ride from Buenos Aires (BA). A lot of portenos (Buenos Aires residents) board the boat on the weekends to head to the beaches of Uruguay. We decided to head to Montevideo after discovering that it was a pretty simple trek from BA. You would think that with Uruguay being so close to BA they would be very similar but that was not the case. Uruguay has a very strong African influence and is bordered by Brazil on the west so there was a lot stronger Latin flavor to the city. The first night we arrived we heard drums down the street so we went outside to investigate and found a troupe of 30 drummers and 20 dancers heading towards us. Apparently they were practicing for Carnaval so we got to stand on the street with the local and get a sneak peak of the show.
Montevideo seems to beat to the rhythm of its own drum (see what I did there?) where the people set their own schedules lunch in the afternoon, dinners not until 10pm, and dancing at 4am. I now know how they can stay up until the sun comes up. They are continuously drinking a caffeinated tea called Yerba Mate. You see most locals carrying around thermoses and mate’s with bombillas sticking out of them. Mate’s are the vessels that the mate is served in and the bombilla is the straw. These three accessories are crucial to drinking Yerba Mate because the Yerba Mate is a loose leaf tea that you pour into your mate, add hot water from your thermos, and sip through your bombilla. The Bombilla is a metal straw with a filter at the bottom that filters your Yerba Mate. You also have to carry around a thermos because the Mate (cup you are drinking from) only holds a small amount of water and mate so you are continuously filling and emptying. The locals especially liked to sit by the river on La Rambla during the weekends and evening sipping mate.
Another Uruguayan specialty is the Chivito. The Chivito is the ultimate fat kid meal and a heart attack waiting to happen. We ordered the complete plate which consisted of a pile of French fries, potato salad, and a small green salad topped with a steak, ham, cheese, and an egg. It was delicious but I could definitely feel my arteries clog a little while eating it.
A similarity between BA and Montevideo was the love of grilled meat. The Mercado del Puerto is an awesome market that is filled with Parillija’s. You pull up a chair, sip some medio y medio (half white wine have sparkling) or litres of beer, and order delicious grilled meats and vegetables. The chorizo we had here was the best probably ever. The Mercado del Puerto is also great because it is surround by local artisans selling awesome crafts so you can eat your heart out and then wander around the city shopping and looking at the beautiful buildings and striking street art/graffiti.
Another market worth checking out is the newer Mercado Agricole there are some neat souvenir shops, a food court, brewery tasting, and Materia. Dan and I got the skinny on how to drink Yerba Mate so Dan could use his newly purchased mate and bombilla that he picked up at the Sunday outdoor market.
Dan and I didn’t end up staying up until the sun came up but we did check out a cool live music and tango venue Baar Fun Fun where we got to listen to some authentic music and tried uvita which is a sweet wine drink. They have different acts every night so it is worth checking out the schedule before heading over.
On our last day in Montevideo we stopped to check out the Museo de Andes 1972. This museum outlines and pays tribute to the survivors and casualties of the 1972 Uruguayan airplane crash in the Andes. The museum tells the story of how 15 people not only survived a plane crash they survived 72 days above tree line in the snow covered Andes. Their story is amazing. The plane that crashed was carrying a Rugby team and their friends and family. In order to survive that had to resort to eating the dead. It’s a great story and the museum was well done. Definitely recommended if in Montevideo.
Top 5 things to do in Montevideo:
Eat Chorizo and sip Medio y Medio at the Mercado del Puerto
Wander the colonial streets looking for street art and appreciating the architecture
We spent about 10 days total in Buenos Aires and still feel like we didn’t even come close to seeing the entire city. There are so many cool neighborhoods and places to see the city will definitely keep you busy. The first half of our visit was spent in the Recoleta neighborhood and the second half was in Palermo. We would definitely recommend the Palermo neighborhood over Recoleta because there are a lot more restaurants nearby and it seems like the happening place to be. Recoleta was nice because it was near some of the main sites and really close to a subway line.
At first we weren’t so sure about Buenos Aires because it seemed that too many things were going wrong. First Kristin’s checked bag was lost but was eventually delivered at 11:30pm that same night. Second we were majorly scammed for the first time on our trip. We needed to change money on a Sunday and had been reading that the street exchange rate is a lot better than the exchange rate that a bank will give you so we headed to Florida street where it was recommended by our host to exchange some USD to Argentinian pesos. As you are walking down Florida street you pass people offering you to change money. We ended up selecting a pair of seedy looking dudes to exchange money with. We then walked away from the main street and gave them $200 USD and we got our Argentinian pesos. After Dan and I walked away we had a bad feeling about the transaction and lo and behold when we tried to use the money the cashier took one look at it and new it was fake. We basically bought Xeroxed copies of pesos!! YEA! At first we thought about throwing the fake money away or maybe lighting it on fire but decided against it and will be bringing it home as a souvenir and maybe figuring out some way to use it.
After getting over the initial ass kicking that Buenos Aires provided we ended up having a pretty good time. Buenos Aires is famous for their Parrillas which are restaurants that serve all kinds of cuts of grilled beef, lamb, sausages, and chicken. They usually have an open kitchen where you can watch the meat being grilled. These places are everywhere so we ended up eating at a few different ones during our stay. You really can’t go wrong with some delicious grilled meat, salad, and a bottle of Malbec.
Our two favorites were the Parrilla Pena and Don Julio. Parrilla Pena was a really affordable option near our place in Recoleta. Don Julio was a little bit more expensive but so worth it. This was probably the best steak I have ever had and was perfectly cooked. I had the tenderloin and Dan got a ribeye. Dan also had a Morcilla which is a blood sausage that he said was out of this world.
Oh and I forgot to mention the grilled meat is always served with Chimichurri. I love Chimichurri. The Argentinian chimichurri is a lot different than what we are used to. Instead of fresh herbs it is usually made with dried herbs, is less garlicy, and sweeter from the addition of roasted peppers. Each parrilla had its own version so it was fun to try different types.
Buenos Aires is also famous for the Tango and a Tango show is a must see while in the city. We decided on Tango Porteno which was near Recoleto and was more modern than the traditional shows. We really enjoyed it.
A good way to see Recoleta is to participate in the free walking tour on the neighborhood. We did this one morning and got a good introduction to the city, some history, and overview of the great and differing architecture. Our guide was really fun and played the guitar/sang during different sections of the tour. During the tour we walked by a protest (we saw more than a few during our stay) and the guide proceeded to tell us that there is always a protest in BA and you never know what they are protesting about. The tour ended at the Cemetary Recoleta which is gorgeous to walk through and you can see Eva Perron’s grave (aka Evita).
Another neighborhood worth checking out is the San Telmo neighborhood. It is more hippie than Recoleta and Palermo. The streets are lined with cool antique shops and boutiques. We explored the neighborhood on Sunday when there was a huge outdoor market. People were selling antiques, handicrafts, art, and all kinds of random stuff. The market ended at the Plaza de Mayo where more protests are held and the famous Casa Rosada stands where Evita spoke from the balcony to the Argentinian citizens. Near the plaza is Café Tortoni probably the most famous café in BA. We stopped here to grab some churros and chocolate but they were out of churros!! We ended up settling for the more authentic coffee and medialunas (aka sweet croissants).
There was a cool Jazz bar, Notorious, that we stumbled upon while we were exploring the Recoleta neighborhood. We stopped by one night for dinner and a show. They musicians were paying a tribute to Miles Davis. Definitely worth a stop if you are in the neighborhood.
When we got back from Uruguay we stayed in the super hipster trendy neighborhood of Palermo. We fell in love with this neighborhood. There are tons of cafes, restaurants, bars, and shops that you can walk to and the sidewalks are full of locals milling about. We ended up finding a super cool coffee shop that was only a few blocks from our apartment and ended up heading here every day. It was so great to have a great light roast Aeropress or Chemex coffee (Yea I know. We are coffee snobs.) One day at the shop this guy on a bike showed up serving handmade New York bagels with cream cheese and lox. And he was a Jew from New York living in BA. It is amazing the people you meet while traveling.
On one of our last days in BA we headed to the La Boca neighborhood which is totally worth the trip. The neighborhood is home to the Bocas Juniors soccer team stadium and Caminito a row of buildings painted bright colors where tons of artists hang out. We took a tour of the stadium and were impressed that they don’t let anyone in wearing another teams jersey. The stadium is pretty run down but you can tell that the locals love the Bocas Juniors because people are sporting their colors all over the city. Caminito was fun to tour around and look at what the locals are creating. There were also stands slinging fresh squeezed OJ!
Top 5 things to do in Buenos Aires:
Eat a perfectly cooked steak at Don Julio
See a tango show
Visit La Boca and wander Caminito
Sip a hipster coffee in Palermo
Take a walking tour of Recoleta and end with a café and medialuna at Café Tortoni