Graffiti Makes Its Mark

By 8:30 a.m. we had packed up our bags, showered, and left our Buenos Aires Airbnb apartment remembering to leave our two sets of keys and borrowed Subte card before closing the door for good. We quickly snagged a cab and were on our way to the Jorge Newbury Airport. We quickly realized that we had not yet learned our lesson on this city – it is huge!! A trip that we estimated would take 15 minutes took double, leaving us at a bit of a crunch to get our bags checked for our flight to Mendoza. Luckily, we are muy rapidos!

With everything all set to go, we made our way through security and made some quick observations: no ID check, full water bottles, but we needed to remove our shoes. It seems they have inherited some things from the U.S. and others from Australia/New Zealand. After walking the terminal in exploration of our food options, we were very much uninspired by the 3 places all serving the exact same fare: pre-wrapped sandwiches, yogurt, muffins, but settled for the latter.

Despite having a slightly late boarding, the flight with Aerolinas Argentinas was delightfully smooth. Leaving Buenos Aires, we could appreciate just how massive the city actually is (Well, Doug did. Lynn was fast asleep.). While Lynn continued to sleep her way through the flight, Doug listened to music. Oh and by the way, we were given a box of snacks for our 2-hour flight which Lynn’s seatmate was nice enough to hold for her while she slept. Upon approaching Mendoza, we could really begin to appreciate how much the landscape had changed. There were no more apartment buildings and high rises, but instead sand and vineyards with the Andes appearing in the distance.

Adios Buenos Aires!
Adios Buenos Aires!
Hola Mendoza!
Hola Mendoza!

We landed, collected our luggage, attempted to get more cash to no avail, and caught a remis to take to our hostel. The ride was a bit exhilarating since our driver was attempting to replicate the Fast and Furious. We braced ourselves while quietly being thankful that he had seemingly working seat belts. 20 minutes later we were at our hostel door.

The hostel itself could use some updating (to put it lightly), but an afternoon of excursion searching, laundry (which now hangs above our heads in the hostel room), Duolingo-ing, catching up with friends (We’ll see you soon Jennie and Liz!), and some napping we have made it our home. It wasn’t meant to take that long but the hostel has a single washing machine that is quite small (Note: 4 loads instead of our usual 2). It is free though, so that is a bonus!

The excitement of the afternoon/evening was broken up some. First, we took a walk towards Plaza Independencia where we plopped down in a cafe for some lunch (specials of the day for both of us). Later on in the evening we did a good 5+ mile loop to the various plazas, wealthy districts, and tourist areas. It was while on this tour that we happened upon 3 guys applying fresh spray paint to the side of a building. Doug encouraged Lynn to capture the moment, and after some initial fear of being chased down, beat up, and no longer in possession of a camera, she did so with no repercussions. As we made our way back into the heart of the city, we noticed that it was indeed coming alive with people taking up seats at craft beer bars and settling in on restaurant patios.

It's Doug's favorite!
It’s Doug’s favorite!
Floor tiles in Plaza Espana.
Floor tiles in Plaza Espana.
Monument in Plaza Espana
Monument in Plaza Espana
Doug modeling the tiles
Doug modeling the tiles
Some more street art.
Some more street art.
The river (creek) that runs through town.
The river (creek) that runs through town.
Canal street art.
Canal street art.
So many puppies!
So many puppies!
There they are, "the artists."
There they are, “the artists.”
Monument in Plaza Chile
Monument in Plaza Chile
Another monument in Plaza Chile
Another monument in Plaza Chile

We made our way back to the hostel, retrieving our last load of laundry before two exciting phone calls: A call from Doug’s boss to discuss future opportunities and a call with Lauren, Lynn’s best friend from high school who is due to have her first baby in March!

Douglas chatting it up with our laundry for decoration.
Douglas chatting it up with our laundry for decoration.

We wrapped up the night by eating dinner at Marie Antonieta where Doug relearned that he likes burrata and T-bone steaks are very, very large. After dinner we walked home while being escorted by two separate, but no less adorable street dogs before calling it a night to a very loud hostel party. Youths!!! Gah!!!

Dinner served ketchup (beet puree) and mustard (carrot puree) with the cubierto.
Dinner served ketchup (beet puree) and mustard (carrot puree) with the cubierto.
Burrata with pesto, prosciutto, and arugula.
Burrata with pesto, prosciutto, and arugula.
The T-bone.
The T-bone.
Delicious cured salmon.
Delicious cured salmon.

Daily Walking Mileage: 10.2

Fun Facts:

  • We continue to have an issue withdrawing money from Argentinian ATMs. Sometimes our card cannot be accepted. Other times the ATM is out of money. The latter is likely due to the currency shortage that Argentina is currently facing.
  • Remis, common in Argentina, are similar to taxis but the drivers use their own vehicles. They are sometimes safer than a taxi because you have to order them from a service to be picked up and they have stands at airports.
  • Street art is legal in Argentina, so maybe they group could have care less that we took their picture.

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