The Final Countdown..
As the time continues to go by, even though I repeatedly ask it to slow down, I am glad with the ways that chose to spend my last few days here in Buenos Aires. There are too many places in this city that I have grown to love, whether it be neighborhoods, restaurants, parks, tourist sites, or clubs/bars. So with that, here's a recap of my last few days in the best city in the world.
On Saturday (11/9), I had another plan to enjoy the ongoing nice weather here in BsAs. My friend Sarah and I went down to Recoleta, my favorite neighborhood in the city, to hangout at the Plaza de las Naciones Unidas. What is great about Recoleta, besides the fact that it is basically the center of the city, is that there are so many different things to see in a close vicinity. The Recoleta Cemetery, which I went to many weeks ago, is one of the main highlights for tourists and offers an amazing perspective about the rich history of this country. Of course, the famous Eva Peron is buried there, amongst other generals and presidents. There is also the Recoleta Fair that goes on every Saturday and Sunday where vendors sell handmade crafts and unique souvenirs. Also there is the Cultural Center, where countless restaurants and cafes are located, and other buildings that prove how Buenos Aires is a lost European city with their architecture. The Universidad de Buenos Aires, also known as UBA, is located just across the street from all of this, and that building in itself looks like it should be on a post card.
La Plaza de las Naciones Unidas is located next to UBA and home to the Floralis Generica, also known as the iconic giant metal flower. With each day, the flower opens and closes its pedals and is a meant as a symbol for international peace, among other things, between the nations of the world. This area was created by the United Nations in 1956 following the UN's agreement to fund the development program in 1945. As for the Flower, it was donated by an Argentine artist in 2000 and first arrived to the city in 2002. I spent a good amount of the day here, and always tried to visit the park as much as I could. So having a last few hours here was definitely worthwhile.
Since it is now summertime in Buenos Aires, at least temperature-wise, the city has become much more beautiful over the past month. Now, nearly all of the trees that were barren during July and August are now filled with these unique purple flowers. I usually do not recognize these things back home, but seeing the change of color around here is something I can say I surprisingly will miss.
After seeing many of my friends leave to head back to their countries, I am glad that I had a few extra days here to explore some more. On Saturday night (11/8), my host family did a last parrilla at Paola's house. i thought that this would be the last time I would get to see many of them, but LUCKILY they are coming over here tonight too for my last host family dinner. So that was the best news I had heard that day. With countless steaks, hamburgers, and salads, it was a perfect Argentine meal on one of my last days. Later that night, Ben, Lorenzo, and I went out to a bar in Palermo that was recommended to us. The place had a rooftop terrace which was cool to hangout on, with a nice view over parts of Palermo.
Sunday (11/9) was another awesome day here. Lorenzo, Ben, John, Sarah, and I went down to Centro near Plaza de Mayo then further south to San Telmo for the best market in the city. On Sundays, vendors line the street on Avenida Defensa to sell their handicrafts and souvenirs. The last time I was here was on my birthday back on July 27th, which was another great day with fireworks over the neighborhood to top it off. So got some last minute gifts for family and friends, had a final Pan Relleno, which is basically an Argentine Stromboli, and hung out before going to the most famous show in Buenos Aires, Fuerza Bruta.
Fuerza Bruta is one of the most famous shows in the world and its been here in Buenos Aires for the whole time that I have lived here. A mix of cirque du soleil, crazy party, and an interactive series of events is the easiest way to describe the show (plus some other random things that went on that are impossible to even comprehend). The pictures below only do the show so much justice, and I sure you are fairly confused looking at them. The craziest part was when the actors fell from the ceiling and grabbed members of the audience to ascend back up to the ceiling.. crazy.
And today, Monday (11/10) needed to be more of a productive day with my time. I went down to Centro to try and find a thank you gift for my host family, which was difficult enough. Now, my empty suitcase across the room is staring at me and telling me to get to work.. so I should probably get to that. Once again, tonight is my last dinner with my host family, and I know I will have to actually say a few "see you soons" to the extended family. We'll see how that goes. As much as I do not want to mention it, I have just 20 hours left before I head to the airport. Lots to do in between now and then.. including figuring out how I'm possibly going to pack away all of the stuff that I brought down here.
"Do not cry because it's over, smile because it happened." — Dr. Seuss