Sunday, September 4, 2011

Buenos Aires First Impressions

Because much of my travel is business related, my first sight of a new country is usually the taxi ride from the airport to the office. When traveling in the winter, this may be my only view of the city due to short daylight hours. Buenos Aires is no exception.

What struck me most about Buenos Aires is how beautiful the area around the airport is, even in the dead of winter (which is August in the southern hemisphere.) Huge stands of magnificent trees line the freeway on either side, alternating with open meadows, soccer fields, and a few pretty buildings.

As you move closer into the city, the trees become fewer and the sky scrapers begin. There was very little character or style to most of the architecture. A friend likened it to Russia because all the buildings are simple and functional, with no ornamentation. Most were fairly modern and well maintained; very few were run down. There are very few historical buildings or artistically architected buildings, so when I saw one, it really stood out.

When we left the freeway, most of the streets were narrow two-lane streets, bordered on each side by multi-story buildings. Close up, the buildings looks more worn and a surprising amount of litter cluttered the sidewalks. Many of the sidewalks are chipped or broken, with loose stones.

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