Visiting the best capital in South America

Trip Start Nov 27, 2009
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Trip End Oct 26, 2010


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Flag of Argentina  , Capital Federal District,
Thursday, September 23, 2010

We caught an overnight bus from Cordoba to Buenos Aires and arrived really early in the morning but fortunately we could go straight to our dorm. BA was really cool, very cosmopolitan and even more European looking and feeling than the other Argentinean cities. We did a lot of walking around the city and always ended the day very tired. We visited most of the different areas of the city and were amazed by the scale and grandeur of many of the buildings that could easily have fitted into either Paris or London. At the same time it is a bit rough around the edges, just enough to remind you that you are in South America and not Europe. There are posters, signs and photos for tango shows almost everywhere and often dancers in the street or in restaurants just to remind you that you are in the capital of the tango.

On the first day we walked around Congreso where the Congress Building, Plaza de Mayo and the Casa Rosada – the pink presidential palace where Evita 'sang' from the balcony. Most of the area has grand old buildings in various stages of disrepair or restoration. We also visited the newer Puerto Madero area along the old harbour area where we found another delicious steak for lunch, but unfortunately couldn’t get into the nature reserve because it was closed for some reason. We crossed Avenida 9 de Julio, the widest street in the world, countless times and each time it took at least two red robots to cross. We walked up Florida Street a popular pedestrian road and Kate had to spend sometime in the shops because she had "been deprived" for such a long time.

Ricoleta is another barrio (neighbourhood) that we visited which had a huge graveyard full of gravesites that resembled churches more than mausoleums. It is the burial place of BA’s rich and famous residents including Eva Peron and the whole place was rather weird. It is one of the more posh areas of BA and had some really fancy apartment blocks and a park with a huge mechanical flower that closed at night.

San Telmo is one of the older sections of the city with many old buildings and cobbled streets. On a Sunday the whole area comes alive with a market, mostly antiques but I think you can find almost anything there. The streets were packed with people selling, buying, playing music or dancing the tango and there was a really good atmosphere. We walked from there down to La Boca a working class neighbourhood and was pretty run-down as a whole. We walked past the famous La Boca Juniors soccer stadium and on to the colourful buildings of El Caminito, which kind of felt like Kalk Bay or Muizenburg. There were crowds of people and all the corrugated iron houses were painted in a different bright colour. It really had a great vibe with the restaurants pouring out into the streets with their own tango dancers giving a show and music blaring into the crowds.

Buenos Aires is a great city with a fantastic atmosphere and definitely the best capital that we have visited so far.
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