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Buenos Aires week 1

Palermo

We flew from rio to B.A., we could have taken a bus to save some money but, travelling in a bus for 48 hours was something we both werent looking forward to. So we flew with Pluna. This plane has been the smallest plane I have ever been in, I reckon. These people didnt have any food included in the flight and I had not had lunch after a pretty hectic day so I was ready to buy a 20 Real Sandwich which Anthony wasnt happy about. It was a very uncomfortable flight and we had decided to live in dorms in B.A to save up on some cash as the flights were pretty expensive so not a great start. We got to B.A., just before 8pm. The view of the city from high up was absolutely amazing, lights as far as the eye can see. It reminded me how Dubai looked in the night but B.A. offcourse is a bigger city.Thanks to Anthony who left the camera in the bag we couldnt tape the landing, our only night landing (we have taped landing in every other country).

Anyway we had not booked accomodation so it was hostel hunting again from the airport. We knew where we wanted to go though. We just had to decide which part of the city we wanted to go to as Palermo and San Telmo were our two choices and in two different directions.We made our way to Tango backpackers in Palermo. The reception and the common area looked pretty cool. The private room had bunk beds and was double the price of the dorm so we obviously chose the 4 bed dorm. There was another couple there before us and had captured both top beds so Anthony and I happily settled in the bottom beds. Unlike Mendoza this time Anthony was going to give a show to the people on the top. Lol !!

From the second day in Palermo we again got into a routine of late mornings, visiting a couple of sites, a bite and then a massive dinner. And oh did I mention lots of nice wine.. and offcourse clubbing.
If I write about every place we have been to and eaten at, I will never finish. Each place has been great but I am writing down the ones worth a mention.

SIGHT SEEING

B. A. is such a big city and just like other countries in S.A full of plazas and avenues in the centre. Gosh and the subways are so far spread. Thinking of 4 stop city loop in melbourne as subway is a joke.

To get anywhere around the city we had to come to Plaza Italia which is a very between Ave Santa Fe and Jorge L Borges. This is a very busy commercial area which has a lot of public transport available in the form of bus, rail and subways and joins Sociedad Rural, the Zoo and the Botanical Garden through its square. Loads of shops too...

The things strongly suggessted by the locals was to visit the zoo, the Botanical Gardens and walk around the parks apart from trying the argentinian steaks. Anyway so we made our way to the zoo, the entrance fees was about 15 Pesos per person so we decided to go to the Botanical gardens first as it was free. This garden, located in Palermo, near Santa fe and was designed by French landscaper Carlos Thays and was inaugurated in 1908. It has numerous statues, fountains, and thousands of species of plants and trees from all over the world (a lot of which we took notice had boards saying they were from OZ ). Inside the garden there is a museum, a library, a greenhouse and a gardening school. But after visiting the Melbourne´s botanical garden and Peradinia Gardens in Kandy this garden in B.A. was like cchiicckkeen burger!! So we got out of there and made our to the parks. They do have a lot of Parks here. I think the parks looked better than the Botanical garden. There was a massive Rose garden in one of the parks which was a highlight for me. It was pretty relaxing in the parks, on our way out we saw some Kushmakundi going on behind a tree.

We visited Plaza de Mayo is the country´s political centre and one of the important plazas.

Florida Street -This street is one of the most famous pedestrian streets of the city
It is also a part of the longest street of shops which scatter around the city centre. Imagine the bourke street mall but much much bigger and spread out in 10 directions. (literally) !!

Av Correintes- It is an important commercial area which is full of Cambio´s (money exchange offices) and all most every bank´s branch of Argentina.

Lavalle Street - This street has a large number of movie theaters as well as restaurants and cafes. Its a shame that the subway service shuts down at 10.30pm or this would be great place to eat and walk around.

Palermo Sunday market

This market was one of the 3 popular markets in B.A. The things offered in this market were mainly clothing, leather, lots of accessories and more accessories. This market is a great place for any age group. I really had to remind myself that I had to keep a budget so all I did here mainly was window shopping. I think I bought two things from here, Anthony was very proud of me for not blowing cash as he was very anxious about me walking around in the market by myself. I think what helped was this Argentinian guy who was chasing me for about 20minutes and I had to run back to the hostel.. Lol !!

Recolota Sunday market-
This was like the hippie market in Ipanema. There is a park surrounding the Recoleta cemetery which has hundreds of stalls lined up all around the park. The market offers a lots of paintings and real life portraits, sculptures, hand made jewellery, winter wear , and tonnes of different soveinger options. The quality of the things looked good, so things were expensive. I was in heaven as it was still cheaper than the market in Ipanema so that meant I could afford to buy a couple of things, Anthony had to stop me from going crazy and buy everything possible. It was funny that we were thinking about tango and we got to see some street Tango while walking around. They werent the best Tango dancers but it was the first time we had actually seen someone dance Tango so it was pretty exciting.
While we were in the market we also were able to visit a church and the cultural centre.

Recoleta cultural centre - We visited this centre when we went to the Sunday market in Recolota. The building was built in 1732 and exhibits sculptures, paintings, and photographs with 25 auditoriums.

The Evita Museum-
We went to visit The Evita Museum dedicated to a remarkable woman (popularly known as Eva Peron) in Argetinian history. The museum was inaugurated in 2002 which was the 50th anniversary of Eva´s death and is located in a petit hotel which was built in the first decade of 20th century. The museum exhibits the life of Evita from her childhood, her youth as an actress, her life as the First Lady next to Argentinian president Juan Peron, her struggle for outlaying laws for women´s civil rights, rights of the aged and workers rights in Argentina and finally a procession after her death. It was wierd that no where in the museum did they mention the reason of her death. It was cancer said one of the salesperson in the soveigner shop. After a great experience in the museum we went to the restaurant of the hotel. It was so cute and petit, just like the rest of the place. We had an amazing crepe and coffee. It was late afternoon so we only got a cafe menu but had seen that there was a seperate lunch menu and we could not stop thinking about it.
This cafe/ restaurant I think was one one of the cutest places we ate at in Buenos Aires. After the first visit we could not stop thinking of the lunch menu which had even a bigger variety of savoury and dessert crepes. So we went back and I had the best mushroom crepe ever and Anthony had a good old salmon crepe. It was ssoooooooo good and offcourse the best capuchino with the 3 layers. I reckon we have had the best coffees in Argentina as the presentation adds so much to the experience.

DINING

On our first night in B.A we had dinner at this Parrilla ( grilled / barabeques ) close to the hostel suggessted by the guy at the reception. After a decent meal we went to check this place out which was about 6 blocks down from our hostel which was supposed to have lots restaurants and stuff around. There was a good cluster different eateries, pubs and retaurants in this plaza. It looked pretty impressive almost every place was packed for dinner at 12.30 am. Like Mendoza even here people eat pretty late. We had a craving for a choclate mousse but didnt really find it, as we had already eaten we walked backed. On our way back we stumbled onto this really cute restaurant. OMG the place was so cute and inviting we almost got hungry again. Before we leave we will definitely eat here atleast once. I must say this area of Palermo definitely has some cute restaurants and amazing wine lists. Len and Them will definitely love this place. I will be definitely drinking a lot of Malbec while I am here (Ok mum not a lot may be a little) .

La Cabrera
We made our way back to the hostel just before dark and were pretty hungry so left for dinner. We wanted to go to this place called La Cabrera a Parrilla ( grilled / barabeques )which was highly recommended by everyone we had spoken to, about Bunes Aires and also the Lonely Planet had a great review of it. So we got there and there was a 45 mins wait. We were like great, it looked pretty happening as the restaurant was absolutely packed and there were about 25 people waiting. So we made reservations and then went for a walk looking around at different places to eat, not for the night but for later, we had to kill time anyway. When we got back we saw free wine and champagne was being served for the people waiting, we were like F&"·&%$. We were so bummed that we missed out on the free drinks. But it wasnt too bad, we got our table as we got there. So offcourse the first order was a bottle of Malbec. I didnt really have too much of a choice apart from 1/4 chicken and something else which was a chicken dish. Anthony on the other hand was in paradise. He had so much choice but he went with the waiter´s recommendation which I think was smart or else he would have taken atleast an hour with his spanish and decision making. He got a massive steak ( De Chorizo) with 13 sides which was amazing. He was very happy.Will upload a pic. After a great meal and bottle of wine, we so were full. Then the waiter brings the dessert menu with two glasses of dessert champagne. We werent really sure if was free so we were hesistant to drink at first, but once tasted it we skulled it. We didnt care. They didnt have a choclate mousse and nothing else really caught our eye so we asked for the bill but the waiter was there to save us from missing out one of the best cakes we were about to have. He suggessted to have this warm choclate cake with cream, strawberry and ice cream. Anthony could not resist the offer and ordered it. To our surprise their was a serve the best blue berries I have ever had accompanying the above mentioned goodies. We had already finished the amazing champagne, I just asked what was it called as I really liked it. The waiter not only told me the name but brought out the bottle to show me and poured another glass and was like dont worry "its on me." SO we were like ok go on and instead of half a glass champers like the first time he poured a full glass for me. VERY HAPPY !! Amazing experience. I must say the food could have been tastier by itself but what made it a great experience was a great spot,great ambience, good food, a great waiter and his service, great wine and great dessert. Offcourse a great massive bill in the end. We blew the daily budget with authority, I think we wont eat for the next 3 days. But it was so worth it. All in all a great night and I think Anthony was really happy that he hammered a steak in the place he looking forward to go to.


CLUBBING

Just like its fine dining and amazing wine B.A. is also famous for its night life. In melbourne we would go out and the clubs are packed by midnight. Here people are still thinking where to go at 1 am and apparently most clubs start getting crowd at 2am in the morning.

CLUB NICETO
We went to this place called Club Niceto, got in at about 3.00 am and it was absolutely jam packed. The dance floor could hold about 500 people and still there was no way we were able to even step our foot on the dance floor. Electronic music seems to be very popular here. Its not our kinda music so I think after the first few tracks we had had it but we still stayed as the place was a buzz. There was a balcony on the second level which gave a pretty awesome view of the floor. We couldnt really bear the music anymore and Anthony was falling asleep so I think we left just before 5 am and while we were leaving we could see there were atleast a 100 people trying to get in. And the floor looked even more packed than before. And all of this on a Wednesday night. I can only imagine the place during the weekend.

COMMUNITY TANGO

Our friend Faisal suggessted of a place he had been which was like a community hall where the Locals came to show off their Tango techniques, learn tango or just simply have fun. Ha had already told us not to expect any younger crowd as the place was more appealing to people over 40. Apparently its the younger crowd here think that only nerds like Tango. We thoght we had not really seen the Tango dancing as such, we were going to go to a Tango show but that would be professionals, but this place would be good as it had only locals. And so after dinner 3 of us headed to the hall. Faisal was right, no tourists in sight apart from us. There was a Tango lesson which was in Spanish. Anthony and I tried but with his balance and my inability to let him lead, all we ended up doing was step on eachother´s foot and get frustrated and move away. But then Faisal could see that we both wanted to give it a shot. He had done a couple of Tango classes so he tried to teach the steps but it didnt help much. In the end when the music started we just ended up doing our own thing. We could not believe how bad we were as normally its not the case at all. But it was great fun, watching the other couples dance, they made it look so easy. They had such an elegance and flawles control of step and they seem to know the steps on every track. I reckon Tango dancers are like a good wine the older they get the better. Like every other dance I hope Uncle knows how to Tango so I can practice with him when I get back.
Like I said before people go out and stay out really late. We got back to the hostel at 3.30am and people looked at us as we were some sort of losers. As they were still thinking where to go. Next morning, offcourse we got up late. I think I went to he bathroom at about 12 in the afternoon and I saw 3 girls strugling to make their way to the bathroom in their going gear from last night. They said they went to this place which was open till 10am in the morning and they had just got back. I think Anthony and even me are a bit too old for nightouts like these.

ZOUK CLUB
Sunday night we went to a Zouk club, never heard of it in OZ. The music was pretty cool. It also had 3 guys (one of them reminded me of CHADWICK) performed on some zouk music,i think. For the first time I have seen a all boy group perform in club so it was different. I think people who cant get their command on one style of dance have created this dancing. It looks like bits of so many different dance styles like slow samba, tango, a bit of J.LO´s version of Salsa, had a touch of the caribbean. It is pretty good, much better than electronic or trance music for us.

So this was our first week in Palermo. We are going to a different hostel tommorrow in the city called the Millhouse (famously known as the party hostel) and then off to San Telmo (one of the older suburbs) of B.A. Hopefully they treat us well like Palermo. I think we will definitely would love to finish our trip in Palermo. This is has definitely been one of the places where we got really comforatble like Cuzco and Ipanema..

Posted by Harshu 19:34 Archived in Argentina

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Comments

very nice harsh, informative, detailed, well written, touching stories, and especially good use of the word "Kushmakundi" (the umbrella dance)

  • Mrs D, expect 2 alcoholics home tomorrow :)

by LazLopez

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