A Travellerspoint blog

Buenos Aires

The most Spanish feeling place we have visited.

sunny 25 °C

Saturday 19th October

After our exciting trip almost into the bad lands of Boca, we finally arrived at our appartment, in one piece late on Friday evening at our apartment block to find that we had been moved to a different building some 8 blocks away. The lady also decided to put us in a standard studio as opposed to the 'deluxe' apartment we had booked, claiming they were comparable as this one actually cost more. We finally managed to track her down the night before we left, and the company we booked with agreed to refund us $75, by card and so we needed to pay in full, and we'd submit receipts. Anyone reading our blog regularly will see we have no luck with valuables or money... She rang the company back after we had left, claiming she'd refunded us the $75 (which she hadn´t) and to cancel the refund with them. And so the fun commences!

Our first day was spent wandering around the city, visiting the main square and the government building La Casa Rosada, the main square and the bi-century museum from 2010, which marks Argentina's 200 years of independence. This museum showed the Argentinian history of the past 200 years up to 2010. I found it really informative, particularly for understanding a lot of the influential events which took place during the 20th century and shaped Argentina into the country it is today. Chris enjoyed a cup of coffee and some 'me' time as the whole exhibition was in 'foreign' (Spanish).

After lunch, we visited the neighbourhood of San Telmo, with its streets lined with retro antique shops and a massive indoor antiques market. There was one really cool stall, which sold original 1960s plastic food containers which were all brand new. There was also a large Colonial house which had been converted into a little shopping arcade and another very white narrow arcade with the buildings jutting out at awkward angles.

Sunday 20th October

Today wasn't a particularly successful day. We'd planned to go to a cowboy fair, which took place every Sunday; however despite saying online it was open, it clearly wasn't. As you have to buy a top-up card to use the bus to get to the feria, and these aren't sold on a Sunday, we wasted a little more money on a taxi there. Nevermind! This is how it seems to be in Argentina! We spent the afternoon walking along the docks lined with architecturally interesting converted warehouses and some of the famous high rises which make up Buenos Aires´skyline, before stopping for some dinner at a very tasty mexican.

In the evening, we visited a huge bookshop in a beautiful converted cinema, with a café on the stage area and books lining the balconies. About half of the people in there were just fellow tourists visiting the building for its originality.

Monday 21st October

In Buenos Aires, there exists the prestigious profession of pasaperros, which to you and me is a professional dog walker. These dog walkers will take up to 30 dogs out daily, and will groom them and check them over for any problems. Most have some sort of veterinary training. There is a famous park called el 3 de noviembre, where all the dogs are taken for their walks. There were so many dogs all over the place with non-stop barking (and humping). Within this park is a fairly authentic Japanese garden, which brought back memories of our honeymoon.

Across the road from the Japanese garden is an art gallery called MALBA. Chris and I are not really into art galleries; however with the exception of the first room which we did not get at all, we rather enjoyed this collection of contemporary and abstract art. The best display was a pile of broken stuff on white blocks with tiny figurines hidden within the objects, with many performing clean up tasks.

Tuesday 22nd October

Within the district of Boca, there is a small area considered safe for tourists, or rather set up for tourists! There are about 5 roads, the most famous of which, Caminito, which used to sit alongside the former railway. When the railway closed, the area was earmarked for demolition, however an artist saved it by painting all the buildings in various different bright colours.

In the afternoon we went for a pleasant stroll around the nature reserve, which is located just the other side of the docks. It was most strange being in a nature reserve in the middle of a large capital city.

In the evening, we went out for a steak at a parrilla recommended in the guidebook, to give Argentina the chance to catch up with Uruguay on the steak front. Unfortunately, although a sterling effort, Uruguay took the point to make it 4-0.

The following day, we are doing a short overnight excursion to San Antonio de Areco, a town within las Pampas, which is Gaucho cowboy country.

Posted by Roaming Rolts 15:21 Archived in Argentina Tagged art river nature_reserve

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