Buenos Aires In 48 Hours (or less)
Trip Start Mar 21, 2010
32Trip End Dec 23, 2010
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Where I stayed
We got on the bus in Rosario around 5:30 am, and after about 5 hours, we arrived in Buenos Aires, in La Boca. The neighborhood is bright, colorful, and completely built up for the tourists. I would have loved more time to see some of the other streets, but we were there for barely half an hour before being hurried to the hotel. I found out later that la Boca is one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, and straying from the main tourist streets, even during the day, can make you a target for muggings. With that in mind, I still wanted to see more, but maybe after leaving my camera and valuables somewhere else
We stayed in Gran Hotel Orly, which wasn't very "gran" but it was a nice hotel. The hotel bed, despite still being a single, was a big step up from my bed in Rosario. Also, it was nice to have a night in a room that felt, if not like "my" space, a little less like I was intruding in someone else's area. We walked to nearby Galeria Pacifico, which is a mall that takes up an entire city block in the Microcenter, or downtown, of Buenos Aires. It was gorgeous, and had murals by several different artists. I was super excited to see the food court had Chinese food, but alas, it failed to live up to my expectations. And my expectations were extremely low to begin with. We did find a Starbucks in the mall, so of course, I caved to temptation. That chai frappuchino was worth every peso.
Later, after too much time to wander around a rather uninteresting shopping area, we went to the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (M.A.L.B.A.). There were some awesome art exhibits there, but the tour was a little dry. We all seemed to be stuck in hackey sack mode, and kept trying to find spots to play, hence our being scolded by a security guard. I did see a Frida Kahlo painting, as well as some cool photography exhibits.
After that, we went to Cementerio de Recoleta, which was phenomenal. It was like a small city of tombs, some of which were old, some were new, some were whole, some were broken. Some had copper in their decoration, and it had turned to a gorgeous green-gold that seemed to flow into the rest of the ornate decoration of the shrine. The guide kept telling us to be careful, that we would get lost, etc etc etc, which was the only downside of the tour. It was just such a cool place, and it was fascinating to see the different tombs and monuments, and how much care and dedication was given to them. We also saw the tomb of Evita Peron. After the cemetery, we had time to hang out in the park outside, and go to the feria, which was huge. There were different musicians, and a drum circle, as well as delicious smells wafting from the food carts. It was definitely an area that was over-touristy, but there were so many cool different things to see in the stalls, it was worth putting up with the crowds.
Saturday night, we went and saw a tango show en Madero Tango en Puerto Madero. It was a dinner and show deal, and dinner alone would have been worth going, but the tango show itself was intense and beautiful as well. The food was phenomenal, and it was definitely more fancy than what we have been used to. According to the restaurant, the chef was one of the best in Argentina, and judging by the food, I won't doubt it. I also had an amazing mojito, which was the first good cocktail I've encountered in Argentina. As for the dancing, it was stunning. The venue was beautiful, but the dancing took my words away. There was so much intensity, such drive, on the dancers faces. The way heels clicked and legs flew, it was almost ethereal. There were also several singers who had great voices
Sunday was not as fulfilling as Saturday for me, but it was an interesting day nonetheless. We had a city tour that included the Catedral, Plaza de Mayo, the Piramide de Mayo, Casa Rosada, as well as other buildings and churches. We ended the tour in San Telmo, near Plaza Dorrego and the Sunday antiques market there. There were so many cool things to look at. I kept finding vintage mate cups and clothes I would have loved to buy, but everything was ridiculously overpriced.
Our day, and our stay in Buenos Aires, culminated in Palermo, at the Feria de Artesanos en Plaza Serrano. There were a few cool stands here, and some unique fashion once I wandered out of the market and up the street to some actual stores. I also encountered peach helado (ice cream) that tasted as if it was sent from some higher entity. It was absolutely divine, and worth the wandering to find. I also chanced upon a cool little side street with walls that were covered in murals and beautiful street art (see photos).
All in all, for a whirlwind weekend, it was pretty fun, and definitely allowed me to see a lot of Buenos Aires.