After flying for what seems to be an eternity we have arrived in Argentina. We are only here for one night in Buenos Aires, leaving for Mendoza’s wine country on Wednesday. We will be back here at the end of our trip for four nights so we have a half-day to scout around. As we fly into the city, we get a feel for how large a city this is and how densely populated. As far as the eye can see there are office buildings and apartment complexes. There are some 13 million people in Buenos Aires and 3 million of those are in what is referred to as the capital area of Buenos Aires. The city is divided into barrios, and we are staying at the Loi Suites in the Recoleta barrio, a veryÂ cosmopolitan area. The weather is warm, partly cloudy, and just a bit humid, but great walking weather.
Walking around the Recoleta area, there are many outdoor cafes and wonderful looking restaurants. We have a quick lunch at one of the outdoor cafes and later dinner at another outdoor cafe. Empanadas are everywhere for quick take out eating or to enjoy at a cafe. Beef of course is what Argentina is famous for and we see several sides of beef in restaurant windows rotating vertically next to a wood-burning pit. There is also a large Italian influence here with many Italian restaurants and pizzerias. Dinner hour is late and lasts long into the next day. We eat around 9 pm and by the time we finish our dinner the Buenos Aires nightlife is just beginning. People are everywhere including young children. A couple of the kids remind me of my granddaughters who I know by now would be fast asleep on a school night. By the way, the kids here are just back to school this week after being off for summer vacation since mid December. Like European countries, eating is a slow and relaxed experience. You can linger over your meal for as long as you want.
On Wednesday morning, we awaken to a light rainfall. I decide to go for a run and within two blocks of my run there is a torrential downpour. The people headed off to work appear to be unconcerned. A man with a hand truck is completely soaked as he carries his load of cases of water into a restaurant. He looks at me with a smile and a morning greeting. Everyone we’ve seen so far in Buenos Aires appears to simply be enjoying life.
After our tasty gourmet breakfast at the hotel, we’re off to the municipal airport for a short flight to Mendoza and begin our wine tasting adventure.Â We are scheduled to visit 8 wineries in our 5-day stay there.