We discover the most interesting things when we aren’t looking for them

When I think about highlights from 2014, I remember my trip to Buenos Aires.  I’m reminded of how the beauty of traveling is in discovering the unknown and most importantly, the unplanned.  Sure, we did the usual touristy stuff expected of any visitor to BA.  We cruised through the famous colorful Boca neighborhood, took tango lessons, and ate way too much steak, but best of all, the memorable parts of our trip were discovering little surprises along our way that weren’t on our itinerary.

MALBA Museum

MALBA Museum

This picture of this cool bench with the ‘runaway’ wood is from the MALBA – Museo de Arte Latino-Americano right in the heart of Buenos Aires.  We actually stumbled upon this museum after a long jetlagged first day in the city and almost skipped it.  It turned out to be the best museum with the innovative architecture and modern art that piqued our curiosity.

Statues at a roundabout

Statues at a roundabout

The next day, we were on the hunt for a good cheap eatery and discovered two statues at a roundabout.  I thought they were interesting – an elegantly poised female statuette with a stern-looking rigid statue in the background.  We loved how we would turn the corner and find art in the form of statues, paintings, architecture wherever we went.

 

A bicycle in a courtyard

A bicycle in a courtyard

On one particular afternoon, we turned into a courtyard and found this non-working bicycle with a pebbled arrow next to it.  This piece of art blended nicely in the background and we almost missed it.

This turned out to be an amazing soup!

This turned out to be an amazing soup!

Finally, when it comes to eating when traveling, it’s best to be spontaneous.  We arrived late in Tilcara, a small dusty town in the north close to the Andes Mountains.  As soon as we sat down to eat in a cozy restaurant, we saw a guy next to us eating what we thought looked like potato soup.  “I’ll have what he’s having,” we told the waitress.  It turned out to be a hearty TRIPE dish – not what we expected!  It was delicious and my husband Eduardo ate every last bit of it.

Postcards of Argentina (Part 2)

We were so impressed by the multi-colored mountains near Humahuaca in Northern Argentina.  More than 4000 feet above sea level!

We were so impressed by the multi-colored mountains near Humahuaca in Northern Argentina. More than 4000 feet above sea level!

We were in Argentina to celebrate our 2nd year anniversary and I felt really blessed to be in such an amazing country with my hubby.  On our actual anniversary date (Aug 30), we took tango lessons!  How fun…and awkward as we tried to master a few steps in a 90-minute lesson.  It was great fun!

Another highlight of the trip was traveling north to Humahuaca (5 hours north of Salta) to see these beautiful multi-colored mountains, slowly erroded over thousands of years.   Pretty impressive.

We loved our time in Argentina with the architecture in Buenos Aires reflecting its European roots. The locals were always so generous and friendly, and the markets were alive with handicrafts and odd trinkets like knives with an eagle claw as a handle.  After visiting the northeast and northwest as well as Buenos Aires, we hope to be back one day perhaps to travel south to Patagonia to visit the penguins.

Tango lessons from the professionals!

Tango lessons from the professionals!

We got the hang of it after a while...

We got the hang of it after a while…

Overlooking the city of Salta (Northern Argentina)

Overlooking the city of Salta (Northern Argentina)

Street vendor at bus station (Humahuaca, Northern Argentina)

Street vendor at bus station (Humahuaca, Northern Argentina)

Llama-embroidered hot water bottle as a welcome sight for our beds at night.  Temperature dropped to almost freezing in the Andes Mountains where we were

Llama-embroidered hot water bottle as a welcome sight for our beds at night. Temperature dropped to almost freezing in the Andes Mountains where we were

Empanadas and lemonade seemed to be our daily lunch routine

Empanadas and lemonade seemed to be our daily lunch routine

Postcards of Argentina (Part 1)

image When we first arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina last week, we weren’t sure what to expect.  Then we discovered the explosion of color in the Boca area famous for its working class neighborhood; the friendliness of the locals including those who stopped us in the street to give us directions; delicious grilled meat everywhere; and the melange of European culture found in a fascinating city like BA.

Here are some snapshots of our first week:

 

"Parilla" or grilled meat is the Argentinian specialty and it's so tasty and super cheap

“Parilla” or grilled meat is the Argentinian specialty and it’s so tasty and super cheap

 

We saw some gorgeous series of water falls at Iguazu Park in northern Argentinia

We saw some gorgeous series of water falls at Iguazu Park in northern Argentinia

 

We discovered a string of open-grill Brazilian restaurants in Iguazu which borders Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina.  Great to try Brazilian style steaks and people-watch the locals

We discovered a string of open-grill Brazilian restaurants in Iguazu which borders Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. Great to try Brazilian style steaks and people-watch the locals

One of my highlights was watching these kids slide down the hill on flattened cardboard boxes.   Fun!

One of my highlights was watching these kids slide down the hill on flattened cardboard boxes. Fun!