Buenos Aires, by Noelia Diaco. Photo is not visible, used only for sharing on social networks.

One more stop: Skiing at Las Leñas

July 27, 2012
We only have two and a half weeks left in Argentina, but before we go, we have one last adventure in store — a ski trip to the Andes. We talked about going when we first arrived last September, but the mountains are deceptively far away. When winter came around again, we decided we couldn't miss the chance.

We're skiing at Las Leñas, one of the biggest resorts located 2,240 meters up in the mountains. We're staying 70 kilometers away in the town of Malargue because on-mountain lodging is outrageously expensive. We'll have a bit of a commute each day, but our accommodations look nice. The biggest downside is the 16-hour bus ride each way ...

las lenas trail map

Photos by vitch via flickr

- Steph

My city is my gym: Public recreation in Buenos Aires

July 14, 2012
One of the things I like the most about Buenos Aires is the way the city uses its public space for recreation. There are bike lanes (bicisendas) along several major roads, and they're building more. (Borges St. near us in Palermo just got one.) There are dozens of beautiful parks with grass, little lakes, and trails.

At our favorite of these parks, there's a ring of fitness stations. They appear to be co-sponsored by Gatorade and the city. Here's one with all kinds of bars for sit-ups, push-ups, chin-ups, etc:

This one has strength-building machines that use your own body as a counter-weight. It's sponsored, interestingly, by the Israeli JNF (which is better known for planting trees in Israel):

Several parks in the city also have public wi-fi. This is an ad in a subway station for the wifi at Parque Los Andes:

This is a skate park near Plaza Italia, where kids do jumps and stunts on BMX bikes and skateboards. (I imagine in the U.S. - where even wood playgrounds are disappearing because of liability concerns - a  cement half-pipe next to a major thoroughfare wouldn't even be considered.)

It's really nice not to have to pay for a gym. When the weather's nice, the city is my gym. It raises the quality of living in a way that's hard to quantify but is very real.

- Ben