I’ve been away from the good ole US of A for only four days so far, but already I’ve racked up a lot of ridiculous and awesome experiences. Do you ever travel and have something really weird happen to you and then wish you’d taken a picture? Luckily for me, I am obsessed with my camera and take photos of everything, even when I shouldn’t. Read on for three of my favorite things in Argentina so far:
1. Dulce de Leche
If you have never had dulce de leche, you haven’t lived. I hadn’t lived until Thursday night when I tried dulce de leche for the first time. Popular in South America, all the Argentinians I know lay claim to Argentina having invented it. The exact origin is unclear, but regardless of its history dulce de leche is amazing. A spreadable caramelized combination of milk and sugar, the literal translation is “candy of milk.” Spread on bread it’s eaten at tea time in the early evening, or combined with a bite of banana for dessert. There is even a dulce de leche ice cream which is to die for. Alejandro took me to a cafe called Havanna where they specialize in sweets and he ordered me three things to try, and I had to try them before he would tell me what they were. The first two were alfajores, a traditional sweet found in Spain and Latin America. One was covered in chocolate and the other in white sugar. Almost like a cookie, the outside had a crunch and the sweetness crumbled in my mouth. The inside exploded with the flavor of dulce de leche, combine that with chocolate cookie and sugar it is heavenly. The third treat was a havannet conito, a small cookie topped with a cone of dulce de leche and covered in hardened chocolate. Alejandro suggested to eat it upside down to end with the taste of dulce de leche and chocolate. My mouth is watering, I think I need to go back there today!
At Havanna with the sweets.
2. Street Art
Every park I’ve been to so far has colorful graffiti. Vibrant and expressive art adorns otherwise blank walls, adding to the city’s eclectic mix of architectural styles from Spanish colonialism to homes with rustic countryside influences. The sun is almost always shining in Buenos Aires, when you walk around the city you can’t help but feel really alive. Artists are tagging the city with inspiring words and poignant imagery, the website graffitimundo celebrates the street art here. I’ve only been in the Olivos neighborhood so far, I can’t wait to see what is outside of this barrio.
In Plaza Los Immigrantes, a park in Olivos, Buenos Aires.
Yes, parrots. When Alejandro was showing me different parks in his neighborhood I noticed these gigantic nests up in the trees. I asked what kind of bird it was, and when he told me they were parrots I squealed like a little schoolgirl. I had never seen a wild parrot in my life and they are one of my favorite birds. The nests were so high up in the tree that it was hard to get a good picture, but I kept trying. I watched in awe as the colorful birds hopped around their nest houses. Some were flying along with large sticks to add to their homes. I can’t wait to go for a walk today and look for more wild parrots. I can’t explain why it makes me so excited, but it does. Where I’m from we have wild pigeons or seagulls in the city, not parrots in a city!
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