Metropolis

Trip Start Feb 23, 2008
1
6
21
Trip End Apr 28, 2008


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Flag of Argentina  ,
Friday, March 14, 2008

After the disappointing moment at the airport and totally exhausted I need to find myself accommodation in Buenos Aires. I didn't want to stay at a hostel in case of the issue with noise. Thank goodness for www.lastminute.com I was able to find this rather centrally located affordable hotel. It is a block from the obelisk yet not too noisy.

In some way I am glad that I have the extra time in Buenos Aires. The city is big. It is the 3rd largest by population in South America behind Mexico City and Sao Paulo. The only other city I have been that resemble the sheer size of Buenos Aires was Shanghai. The population of Buenos Aires even exceeds Beijing!

I spent most of my first day in Buenos Aires recovering from the lack of sleep and an illness I picked up from an epidemic that spread on broad the Antarctica cruise. So my first day in BA was essentially a write off. I managed to walk around a little in the afternoon and my first impression of the city is very European, lots of French influence in the architectures. I managed to find the tourist information center and booked myself for a city tour for the next day.

The city tour showed us around most of the landmarks of the city. It started at San Martin Plaza and more or less does a north to south route. We toured Recoleta and Palermo then we went down Av 9 de Julio before making a brief stop at Plaza de Mayo. Then we went to San Telmo before stopping at La Boca for the soccer mad people. The club is of course the home of Maradona. Even though it must be 2 decades ago when he played. He still has a legendary status here. The tour then stopped at Caminito; a colourful market with live music and tango. There were lots and lots of souvenir shop and tourists of course. In a way I was happy I went to Caminito with a tour because La Boca is one of the lower socioeconomic area and it was not safe to wander as I had been warned by a local. The tour final destination was Puerto Madero.

After the tour I walked around the suburb of San Telmo and Puerto Madero. San Telmo is the heart of Tango. Not only it started here, there are numerous restaurant and Tango Show venues. The streets in San Telmo has cobble stone paving adding to its character. I enjoyed the most entertaining Tango Show at La Ventana on one of my evening.
Puerto Madero is the newest suburb to Buenos Aires, think of it the Dockland of Melbourne. An unused port that has been revamped and modernised. It now host the most expensive apartments. The west bank of the dock is where all the commercial aspect and the east is the residential part.
I spend a full day exploring Recoleta. It is one of the most afflurence area of BA, you would find many beautiful mansons now transformed into embassies, museums and galleries. There were lots of parks and monuments of important peoples. Of course there was the cemetery, it was definately a place thatīs worth visiting. I did find Eva Peronīs site in the cemetery.

Off to Lima today.
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