Archive for March, 2013
Having spent the month in Argentina, I’ve compiled a bunch of fun facts and tidbits on the country to help anyone planning an upcoming trip to Argentina, but mostly just to entertain anyone who loves travel. Here goes:
Origins of a Name
Buenos Aires is filled with colorful street art. Everywhere you turn buildings have been tagged, and much of it has been elevated to an art form. You’ll find street art across the city, signed by the artists themselves. These images encompass bold graphics and painted characters, as well as classic typography and iconography. Some of the best street art can be found in two of B.A.’s trendiest neighborhoods: the up and coming San Telmo historic district and the stylish Palermo Viejo neighborhood.
Buenos Aires is an exciting city. For starters, it’s home to the sultry tango. Its buildings seem to have been splashed with all colors of the rainbow and turned into open canvases for some of the world’s best graffiti art. There’s a whisper of European flavor to the city, with strong Italian and Spanish roots that have produced great things, among them top notch helado. Plus the city is packed with steakhouses and everywhere you turn are steaming empanadas. Here you can watch a tango show in the park over cold cervezas, shop in street markets for hidden gems, stay out till dawn in the city’s many hopping nightclubs, and just wander about enjoying the relaxed vibe.
St. Gallen, tucked away in Switzerland’s northwestern corner, turned out to be a culinary slice of heaven. This city has it all—classic and modern architecture, a vast historical legacy, a focus on fashion, UNESCO world heritage sights and an emphasis on good food.
Monastery Haute Cuisine
Hands down, the most unique meal in town is the St. Gallus haute cuisine dining experience at Gaststuben zum Schlössli, a restored castle in the heart of St. Gallen’s old town with themed dining rooms.
Most people have heard of Zurich, the Matterhorn or Geneva. But St. Gallen? The name generally draws blank stares. Yet Switzerland’s northeastern capital is charming, foodie focused, relaxed, and blissfully tourist free.
I rode the train from Lucerne to St. Gallen, which turned out to be an incredibly scenic journey. It cut through green expanses of fertile valleys filled with grazing cows below big fluffy clouds in a brilliant blue sky, all surrounded by mountain peaks crowned with snow. Crossing rivers and curving past multiple lakes, this has got to be one of the best ways to see Switzerland, especially since traveling from one end of the country to the other doesn’t usually take more than a few hours.