Argentina is of course much more than just its capital, but this time we visited just Buenos Aires during humid and hot January. The buildings of the city center resemble of Paris, and also the atmosphere is bohemian and even pompous. This is visible also in the Recoleta graveyard with all its grand monuments. Even pet dogs live well when paid dog sitters go out with them for a walk, sometimes with up to 12 hounds in a leash!
Although the surface looks grand, you very quickly get the feeling that the ordinary city life is not a walk on roses. On the shopping street there are many private money changers trying to get your attention and there is an obvious reason for that: the Argentinian peso is not well and the inflation in 2016 was a stunning 40%. Many functions in society are thereby in turmoil. Our pocket guide from 2013 was hopelessly dated already three years later, because the metro and the bus system had changed so that you could not buy single tickets anymore with having a formal, chargeable user card. The Post had been reformed so that if you bought your postcard in souvenir shop 1, they sold stamps only for courier company X. The neighboring souvenir shop 2 might have a deal with courier company Y, which means that you need to be careful which letter box you drop your cards with your chosen stamps in. Furthermore the stamps were ridiculously expensive (4,50 euro each!) so this you might wish to keep in mind if the decision makers in your own home country bring up the splendid idea of privatizing the national post office!
In Argentina you need to try the steaks at their parillada restaurants. In tourist places the “bife” might be inexpensive but also chewy. The menus most often tell you from which part of the beef the steak comes from, so it might be good information from them who wish to choose just the best steaks. If the huge steaks are not filling your tummy, you might wish to order provoleta as a starter, which is a big chunk of fried cheese! Empanada pies are available almost everywhere. For dessert or with your coffee, I recommend a dulce de leche product, which is a kind of fudge, or alfajores biscuits.
From Buenos Aires it is convenient to go for a day trip over the Rio de la Plata bay to the neighboring country Uruguay. With a slower boat or a fast hydrofoil you reach the port city of Colonia del Sacramento with its several hundred year old city walls and tasty seafood.