The City

Trip Start Oct 15, 2012
Trip End May 17, 2013

Flag of Argentina  , Autonomous City of Buenos Aire,
Thursday, April 25, 2013

Well this place should truly need no introduction. Gabriella has been raving about how wonderful it is well since we started the trip and I guess I have been interested to see if it lives up to the hype. Will save you reading ahead by saying that it does.

Our first day as always if more about sorting ourselves out and getting ourselves settled. Even more so this time around as we don't arrive until the afternoon (1pm - from our mega 21 hour bus journey - I think our longest on this entire trip) and also safe in the knowledge we have 8 more days to do what we want to do.

We make our way to our hostel, On The Road, which is a lovely suburb of Buenos Aires known as Palermo. Kind of upmarket kind of middle class but teaming with life, bars and restaurants (we both end up enjoying it that much that it is hard to leave the place to go anywhere). Strangely Gabriella's only input into this entire trip (ok that may be pushing it but you get the picture) was that while in Buenos Aires we had to stay in this suburb as walking around with her father a number of years ago she more or less fell in love with it - who can blame her really. We finish our day taking a bit of a walk around Palermo and trying what I'm sure will be the first of many gelatos while we are here at Persicco.

Chilling Out while Gabriella see´s the family
Our second day is also kind of uneventful. Early in the morning I drop Gabriella at Reitro (the train station) as she is off to see her family in Don Torcuato (a suburb on the outskirts of Buenos Aires). I fill in my day by having ice cream, firstly at Fredo (which is a bit of chain but still ok) and then at Persicco where I also have an ice cream and try their version of a brownie which is awesome!

Getting Started:
The next day (our third) feels like we finally get going a bit. We head into town on the underground and head to the opera house, Teatro Colon, which is quite a magnificent building. We head inside to check out the tours but discover they are quite expensive (110 pesos each) but they are currently showing Carmen and currently have standing room tickets left for 50 pesos - so I get to see the theater and a show for half the price doesn't take much to guess which option we took (buying tickets for that night)

We slowly make our way to Florida, the main pedestrian thoroughfare through central Buenos Aires (although it takes Gabriella some time to actually believe we are there). We stop at an interesting place called Picnic for lunch where I have a panini with Falfel with a lemon drink and gab has a quinoa burger - YUM

After lunch we walk down to the main plaza (25th mayo) and take in the Casa Rosada (famous for the balcony where Peron and Evita would give speeches during their time) and the Cathedral Metropolitana. After we take in the museo bicentario which takes you through the interesting political history of Argentina (albiet in Spanish). The museum also has an umm well a basement that has been cut up, transported there and then put back together which has some famous art work (its actually from the area where Gabriella's family lives)

After we go to the nearby museo de la ciudad, which has some interesting old fashioned pieces, mostly toys before heading back to Florida. We are delighted to find our favorite chocolate / Ice cream shop, Abuela Goye, and well of course have an ice cream (would be rude not to wouldn't it? We continue up Florida to the Gallerias Pacifico the famous and old shopping mall (and has another Abuela Goye but with chocolate only) before we head home.

After a little rest at the hostel we find ourselves on the way back into town to see our show, Carmen. The theater is pretty amazing and we are about 6 or so stories up and actually manage to find a spot where we get pretty good views - apart from the back of the stage proper. The show is really well done although to be fair I have no idea whats really going on atleast Gabriella seems to be enjoying it immensely and seems quite well done.

Its been a long day so we finally head home to bed, I should note most aregentians would only now be on their way out lol.

The next day should be a little easier than yesterday but still lots to do. Today we are off to Reitro the world famous cemetery of Argentina's rich and famous. We decide to walk as we have not done that much exercise of late and is an extremely pleasant day to be doing so. En route we pass the Bella Artes Museum and decide to have a look - its probably one of the niciest art museums I have been in and really enjoy it and its quite massive which you may not appreciate immediately from the front.

We carry on towards the cemetery having a bit of a look through the market surrounding it and find ourselves running into Bec who we had met all the way back in Arequipa, Peru in what must have been October (almost the beginning of our trip) and is off home to Australia in a few days and is in the process of buying a few gifts.

Feeling hungry, as we always seem to, we decide to have choripan for lunch which are delicious and I also have some fires and an freshly squeezed orange juice (which are in season at the moment and fabulous)

We finally make it to the cemetery and have a bit of a look around. It is certainly extremely grand and in fact must be worth quite alot of money (makes you think about things all that money going to waste with so much poverty but umm oh well its still nice). We manage to find Evitas grave which is quite non descript but that's ok see plenty of amazing ones around.

Both feeling shattered, probably from our big day we make our way home. To top the day off nicely Gabriella makes yummy quinoa, rice flour, broccoli burgers and sweet potato ( batata) mash with mashed avocado (palta) on top.

Some how we find the energy to venture out a bit later on to find a milonga (a tango dance hall) to watch people tango and maybe even try ourselves (yes I am laughing about this too). We find one and quite nice but our problem is that they don't really get going until late (think 2-3am in the morning) and we just are not feeling up to - so after watching a few of the people practice we resolve ourselves to go home and instead catch one of the touristy tango shows in town.

Market Day! Today we are off to the famous San Telmo antiuqe market(only on sundays). Its an extremely interesting market and while Gabriella is in her element its not really my thing - or atleast not today. Gabriella manages to buy a pair of earrings and then finds the matching rings as well so buys one of those to go with it. We top it off by first having more choripan, fast turning into my favorite dish and then an ice cream while Gabriella fawns over her new buys.

After the market we head to the famous suburb of La Boca home of the equally famous La Boca football club (Im sure the most popular football club in South America). We are not going to see the football (although there is a game on - it is both hard and expensive to get tickets) instead we head to the Carmanita the famous walking street which given the football is on in a couple of hours is completely teaming with life in a place that is already awash with colour.

Family and Tango:
Well after a few busy days todays going to be a breeze in comparison. We are both off to Gabriella´s family for lunch. We have a fabulous lunch consisting of salad, snitchel and chicken which is delicious. It was nice getting the chance to meet some more of Gabriella's family although I had very briefly met her uncle in Ushuaia.

After a nice peaceful day we decide to head into town and see if we can catch a tango show - turns out we are in luck. We end up Tango Porteno, one the many offerings around Buenos Aires and is a good show which is also trying to be educational in showing the history of the dance - if you can follow it.

Slow Trains:
Today Gabriella is taking me to Tigre another suburb on the outskirts of Buenos Aires and probably on the most possibly painfully slow train line in history. It is only an hour but feels like if I got out and walked I would have made it there first.

Tigre is a nice place in the river delta. The main attraction is taking a boat ride through them which you can either do on the more expensive tourist boats (which take you around more) or catch a public boat up to tres creses and then walk around and return. We decide on the later. The walk was very nice although we were told you could walk right around the island found this was eventually not possible unless you completely walked through peoples gardens and the like.

Resting and Eating:
Strange to think every time I think of resting I think of food those two things just go together really really well. Today we are doing truly nothing, the only plans we have is to have lunch somewhere nice.

We eventually settle on a place called Miranda which is just down the block from our hostel. Gabriella heads there a bit earlier hoping to catch some people on skype (doesnt work out in the end) before I come down for lunch. I have a delicious steak (probably equal with my favorite steak so far in San Pedro) and Gabriella has perfectly cooked salmon. We end up ordering far too many side dishes and for the first time I can remember we cant finish all the food in front of us. We end up chilling in the sun for a few hours.

The rest of the day consists of packing and lazing about. We do as you expect head out in the early evening to have our final Buenos Aires gelato at Persicco.

It is hard to think that eight days has gone so quickly but we have both immensely enjoyed and will continue the rest of the trip feeling surprising refreshed!

The Nitty Gritty:
Accommodation: On the Road Hostel: A nice little hostel in Palermo Hollywood (it only has about 20 beds) and was reasonably quiet while we were there. It has everything you need, with spacious rooms, decent sized kitchen and a large rooftop terrace (with half closed in so there is still space when it gets cold). The owners seem very passionate about the place
Cost: 85 pesos per night for a 6 bed dorm (it has since gone up to 95 pesos)

Sights and Activities:
Ok im not going to write each one, far too many and think I have summarised them enough in the main body will just go over the ones that cost something.

Museuo Bella Artes: 10 pesos per person

surprisingly that was it. I am shocked.......everything else was free oh wait a minute

Tango Porteno: a bit touristy but a good evening out and the show is pretty good. We just turned up an hour before and had no problems getting tickets
Cost: 225 pesos per person (show only)

Carmen: obviously worth checking out if there is a show on at the theatre. We managed to get tickets on the day but only for standing room only
Cost: 50 pesos per person

Miranda: Really good and relatively well priced food. Great in summer when you can hang outside.
Cost: We had two meals which were around 80-100 pesos each, two sides at around 30 pesos each I had a beer which was around 25 pesos and Gabriella had a tea. Total bill was 350 pesos.

Ice Cream: There are numerous shops we tried Persicco, Freddo and Abuela Goye. The first two were good that latter exceptional.
cost: 30-40 pesos for quarter kilo depending on which

Picnic: An interesting and no doubt chain with pretty nice food at the plaza end of Florida.
Cost: p99 pesos for two meals and a drink.

Getting There and Around: From Salta its around a 23 hour trip. We went with Chevalier and was good.
Cost: 605 pesos each (on special)

Getting around Buenos Aires you have various options, Trains, Metro and buses. The metro lines more or less follow the main road from around Retiro but there is also one going the opposite direction towards plaza 25 de mayo. and are a good way to get around. Trains are good if your going to a further out suburb while the buses go everywhere just a matter of working out which one to catch.
Highly recommend you get a transport card which substantially reduces the costs of any option (and is required for the buses anyway). The card I think costs 15 pesos, not sure we ever worked it out properly.
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