Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Men´s Store

The windows of this men´s store in the centre of Buenos Aires always catch my attention.  The shop has a 1970s feel to it but somehow retains an elegant edge.  The pictures of the gentlemen, the gold lettering on the windows and the extensiveness of the window displays remind me of a department store where quality, service and style are what it´s all about.  These three factors are not exactly how I would describe shopping in Argentina, so perhaps the idea of these things is what is so appealing.  Now if only I needed some men´s clothes I could shop here and test my theory...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Locro is a thick soupy-stew that is considered to be probably the national dish of Argentina (if we can discount the Argentine asado for a minute).  It typically consists of ingredients such as corn, meat, chorizo, beans and pumpkin, but can include anything and everything in between.  Locro has been eaten in some form or other since Incan times in many South American countries, with different varieties of the stew to be found across the continent. 

Today is the 25th of May, a public holiday for the May Revolution of 1810 that celebrates the country´s first national government, and locro is the traditional food that is eaten on this day.  The photo here is from a website called Planeta Joy, which features great food, drink and style roundups in Buenos Aires, and this particular article talks about the best places in the city to eat locro.  Prices and quality vary markedly so it´s often a good idea to go by someone´s recommendation to get the best locro experience.  When I was recently in the north of the country I had a ripper locro as it is a traditional dish in this area.  In fact all this talk of locro is making me hungry, I may just pop over to Planeta Joy to check out where I can get my hands on some...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Rocket Window

It is common to see abandonded houses in Buenos Aires with the windows and doors cemented up, to stop people occupying the buildings when they are vacant.  It has always slightly disturbed me and I always wonder when I see one for sale, how do you inspect it?  Do they wait until people are interested in the property and then smash in the doors and windows?  Anyway, this rocket-ship street art is a pretty cool way to make the non-window less creepy and much more colourful.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The coolest hotel in the mountain

When travelling I like to do a little bit of research before leaving, and perusing the Lonely Planet website I came across this hotel-in-the-mountain that they described as decidedly sci-fi and very nice indeed.  So when we visited Pumamarca I couldn´t help but take that advice and stay in the pod as I came to call it.  The great thing about the pod, is that it is made of adobe, which keeps it cool in the day under the strong sunshine, and at night, the massively thick walls release the heat to keep it warm and toasty.  A little bit of luxury in the heart of the mountain.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Architecture/Street Shots up North

Colonial streets with mountains in the background are probably my favourite things about Jujuy.  Every dusty or cobbled street you walk down is a trip into the past, and every door gives you a hint as to just how long the building has been there.  The building style is simple and resourceful, utilising local materials such as cardon, the inside of the cactus, and walls made of adobe that keep the buildings cool during the hot day, and warm at night, when the temperature really drops.  Functional, historic, basic and charming...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Way up North

I was lucky to recently travel around the north of Argentina and get to know some of the small towns in the provinces of Jujuy and Salta.  As you can see in this picture that is taken just outside the town of Tilcara, the landscape is all cactus and mountains, very dry and hot during the day and chilly at night.  I was constantly amazed by the colours of the mountains, as they are not only brown but also red, pink, blue, green and even violet in some places.  The small towns are all colonial with buildings that date back to the 1800´s and streets made of stones or dust.  I kept expecting to see a tumbleweed roll down the main street, as the imagery from American westerns was close to mind. 

The link to the past is much more apparent up here, with many people of Native decent living quite the same as their ancestors in simple houses and working with materials that surrond them.  For example, inside the cactus is a type of wood called Cardon and it is used widely as a building material for gates, roofs, tables etc.  The link to the Incan past is also prevalent and there are many ruins and museums with artefacts from that time, over 500 years ago.  

These are some of my favourite shots of the landscapes...