The Heat of BsAs (Buenos Aires)
Trip Start Jan 14, 2009
57Trip End May 2010
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Lindsey at Cafe Tortoni. This will be her last time being ¨clean¨for about a week!
Here´s a link to all of the photos from Buenos Aires:
After 19 hours of travel, we arrived safe and sound in Buenos Aires (written BsAs for short) in balmy 90 degrees. Our first stop was to El Mehdi´s apartment in Bario Norte (next to the high end Recoleta neighborhood) to drop off our bags and get acquainted with the city. There are many ways to get into town from the airport (buses, taxis and remises, which are like taxis but private companies). We took the remises, though the most expensive option, because we read it is the safest. The cab driver spoke very quickly, and it was hard to keep up with his dialect, but we learned a lot from him. According to him, porteños, or people from BsAs, have an Italian accent, as many came from Italy originally, and people from Bariloche have a Chilean accent. Most people outside BsAs dislike porteños because they think they are stuck up or at least seen as very proud. Also, like most European style cities, people smoke everywhere, including in many restaurants.
We are couchsurfing with a Moroccan, El Mehdi. He's a super nice guy and his apartment is beautiful and very clean, and we have our own bedroom! The accommodations, and the company, are far better than any hostel.
El Mehdi gave us lists of things to do in BsAs and surrounding, so our first day in BsAs, we walked to Recoleta to see the National Library (Biblioteca Nacional) and the famous cemetario where Eva Perón´s grave lays. This was the most interesting and beautiful cemetery I´ve ever been to! Each family´s grave site was built into an ornate stone or marble room you could walk into if you had the key.
Eva Peron's grave
On El Mehdi's expert recommendation, we ate dinner in Palmero, the fashion district. We went to an amazing restaurant called La Cabrera. Argentinians don't eat there because generally it's too expensive, so we ended up sitting next to people who speak English and German! We ended up sitting next to a couple from the US and it turned out that the gentleman was Mark Moffett, a biologist who also takes his own photography for National Geographic. Oddly enough, he´s performing at Benaroya Hall in our own Seattle this February 2nd and 3rd! Tickets are sold out for the 2nd, but you may be able to get some for the 3rd if you´re interested. Let us know if you end up checking it out.
About the food at La Cabrera: In one word, exquisite! We split the Bife de Lomito (the best cut of beef, basically tenderloin). The portions are so huge there and El Mehdi tipped us to do so. Thank goodness we did! We ended up taking a full meal home! While it was more expensive than we´ll probably spend anywhere else on our trip in South America, 170 pesos (or about $52 USD) bought us amazing mixes of breads, an enormous caprese salad that we also split, the steak dinner, which comes with about 10 small side dishes, and a bottle of La Linda, a Malbec from Mendoza. We learned that because the portions at this place are so large, the most economical way to do it would be to bring more people and split everything. Arguably the best stake of my life!
Check these steaks out!
On 1/16, we took the subway and a couple scenic trains over to el Tigre, a town on the Rio Plata just north of BsAs and just across the water from Montevideo, capatal of Uruguay. El Tigre is a tourist town full of beautiful, inexpensive crafts that you can barter for, and almost everyone takes the boat tours along the Rio Plata. Pappa and Mamma Saunders, you´d love this place! With the heat at 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit) and 90 percent humidity, Ben and I found a shady tree to nestle under along the river for a nice nap.
Ben doing pushups at the riverside in El Tigre
Over the next two days, El Mehdi joined us for a touring the city! We explored the barrios (neighbourhoods) of La Boca, San Telmo and Microcentro. Good fun, good times and lots of tango! Our favourite tango experience was the attending a professional tango show at the historic Cafe Tortoni in downtown Bs As! What talent.
Famous Avenida de Mayo - central Bs As
Tango on the streets
Lindsey keeping fit in front of the Casa Rosada (residence of the President and where Eva Person gave her famous speeches
The Canita of la Boca neighbourhood
Diego Maradona just happened to be in La Boca when we were there!!
Charicatures of Carlos Gardel (the most famous Tango composer of all time), Eva Peron and Deigo Maradona
We have to run off for our bus to to San Carlos de Bariloche nestled in the mountains of northern Patagonia. (A mere 20 or so hour bus ride!!) Ben will be adding a funny entry from a crazy night out in the Palmero neighborhood with our host El Mehdi!!
For those interested, we'll make another post soon with prices of most items in Buenos Aires, so you can plan your own trip to this beautiful, hot, and exciting city.
Where I stayed
El Mehdi´s apartment