Buenos Aires, I don’t like you.

Argentina is a country that I always thought I’d fall in love with.

Having grown up learning Welsh at school, Patagonia and the Argentinian Welsh colonies were kind of forced onto me, and I’ve always been fascinated by all these mysterious villages and towns on the other side of the world, with the exact same names as the towns and villages in which I grew up. In fact, during Welsh exams and essays when we had to make up the imaginary holidays we were going to have (anybody who’s ever learnt a second language at school knows what I’m talking about...), when I wasn’t planning how I was going to move to Jamaica and fall in love with one of Bob Marley’s children, I would drone on about how I was going to ride a horse in the mountains of Patagonia. Rydw i’n mynd i Batagonia i reidio ceffylau yn y mynydd, for anyone who’s interested.

So when this current trip came into focus, and visiting Argentina became a reality, it was a given that Patagonia would be on the list of places to go.

Except of course for the fact that I am really bad at planning things in advance. Right now it’s coming up to Winter in the Southern Hemisphere. For anybody that knows anything about outdoors-type places, or Argentina, would know that this means the whole of the South part of the country is basically closed for business. So no Patagonia for me.

Instead, I spent four long, dreary days in Buenos Aires before escaping to Chile. I know I did Argentina a disservice by spending such little time there, and not escaping the confines of the Big City. I know I didn’t give it a chance. I know I should have branched out, gone to Mendoza, eaten some steak, drank some wine, taken Tango class, done all the things you’re supposed to do when in Argentina, but I didn’t. Instead I stayed in a city who’s main tourist attraction is a cemetery; a cold city where it rained every day, making it feel like I was still at home but with less English and more Spanish.

It seems to be a city designed with nightlife in mind. If you like drinking, you’re sorted. If you don’t… well, you better like bowling. I really really don’t like disliking places, especially when I know I didn’t give them enough time or attention, but no matter how much I tried I just couldn’t find any endearing qualities in Buenos Aires. I will go back to Argentina again – thirteen-year old me would never forgive myself for missing out on Patagonia – but for now the only good things I’ve taken away from BA is a new found love for Dread Mar I and a rediscovered addiction to Dulce de Leche.

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4 Comments

  1. 14th June 2016 / 12:06 pm

    Sorry about your experience. Although we did spend a good amount of time in Buenos Aires, and it was in their summer, and we DID enjoy many things about it, I have to say it was not my favorite place either. We definitely had a better time than you did; we liked Palermo Soho and La Boca and La Recoleta and the steak and El Tigre and some other pretty parks and streets. I just didn’t see why people rave about the city as a whole; it felt a bit impersonal and sprawling to me. I really hope you can go to Patagonia some day. We enjoyed El Calafate, El Chalten, and Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina so much that we went back to the Chilean part of Patagonia the next year!

    (And yes, I was interested in the Welsh translation! I do not speak a word of Welsh and remember it as a bunch of Ws and Ys and other bizarre combinations of consonants on signs in Wales, but I’m a language lover and had fun figuring out the parts of your sentence!)

    • 15th June 2016 / 8:58 pm

      I got exactly the same feeling! As a whole the city seemed to offer everything but nothing at the same time, it was weird. And even La Boca seemed a bit off to me. Next time I’ll definitely make sure it’s during British winter/Argentine Summer so as to make it to Patagonia, especially for El Calafate if nothing more! A bunch of Ws, Ys and LLs pretty much sums up the language, you’re right haha.

  2. 14th June 2016 / 1:41 pm

    Shame that you didn’t enjoy Buenos Aires, I didn’t know that it was Welsh colony that’s really interesting!

    • 15th June 2016 / 8:55 pm

      Yeah, in the 1800s a bunch of Welsh people went over there to settle. Now the colony is mainly in the Southernmost part of Patagonia, and the region is actually called Y Wladfa which means The Colony. I don’t think it’s very often talked about outside of Wales and Patagonia though..

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