All tangoed out in Buenos Aires

Trip Start Feb 15, 2011
Trip End Apr 19, 2011

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Last place on the Intrepid trip – soon be on our own with Sue´s fluent Spanish to guide us!

Buenos Aires is a big city but unlike Rio we didn't connect immediately.  Arrived on Sunday and Monday was a bank holiday – carnival time – so the streets have been very quiet with only taxis and tourist buses.   It looks in on itself and we have had a few discussions about the difference between city’s that have seafronts and look outwards and city’s like this that don’t and look inwards. But it is an impressive place.  It also has a docklands like Liverpool/Bristol.  Full of new high rise luxury pads and a converted dock building that houses restaurants and fancy shops.  But the best place has to be around the BOCA Juniors stadium.  Its an area of poor housing that has been invigorated with several tins of paint.  Overrun with tourists but still has an edge and its very colourful. And in the background there’s the stadium – all precast concrete in bright yellow and blue.

The city has a very strong grid pattern to its streets with wide triumphant tree lined avenues.  Very scenic and its not difficult to see why people say it’s the Paris of the southern hemisphere.  Seen the famous balcony on la Casa de Rosa where Evita stood and been to the cemetery where she is now.  The Plaza de Mayo in front of the Casa de Rosa is a major place for demonstrations. It has a permanent demonstration by Malvinas (Falklands War) vets demanding proper recognition from the state.  Reading all the Argentinian press reports about the war that they have on show is a bit spooky. Also spotted Hard Rock Cafe, Hollywood and Soho from top deck of Tourist Bus - 70 pesos for the day - see the city in 4 hours!

Street markets are everywhere and always packed. Seem to be a lot of Brazilian tourists here.  Tango is massive with tango schools and evening tango shows being offered all over the place.  Most restaurants have tango dancers dancing for tips.  The restaurant we went to had a couple and they were very good and it cost much less than a show! Worth pointing out to my sister that they danced for several hours and despite wearing very high heels the lady did not break a leg.  Also good for coffee shops. Best is probably Tortoni where you get queues of tourists all day but its worth it when you get inside.  We had an Argento-russian waiter - very bizarre - but good fun.

Highlight of the day – returned to hotel in the evening and managed to get the family together on Skype! Laura in Colombia, Stephen and Danny skiing in France and us slumming it in Buenos Aires – well someone has to do it! Technology eh? Only the cats were missing.

Final night tonight then fly to El Calafate tomorrow afternoon.  Expecting weather to be a bit cooler as its 1200 miles south! Weather forecast says it may go below freezing at night.  Busy unpacking thermals and big boots in preparation. Missing our Intrepid friends who have disappeared off in all directions.  Happy birthday to Gigi - contento felicdad ;-). 
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