Ice cream & Tango
20.02.2010 38 °C
100% Argentina, Buenos Aires represents its country better than any other city we've been to. Tango, "mate" on every corner, huge parks, amazing food, beautiful neighbourhoods, football craziness, bohemian fever and colonial buildings...Buenos Aires is one of the cities with most attitude that we know. When you're there, you know you're in Argentina, and we're glad globalization hasn't managed to make it another massive cosmopolitan city, but it remained genuine.
We were lucky with the accommodation, this time we were invited by Carmen and Sergio, an Argentinian-German couple Sonia's parents know and who live in Buenos Aires. Without knowing us, they invited us to stay with them and we still thank them for being so nice with us, we had an amazing time there! Our neighbourhood was beautiful Palermo, near bars, restaurants, shops and the Japanese Gardens. We arrived very late due to a delay from Aerolineas Argentinas on Saturday night, so that was gone. After a delicious German breakfast on Sunday morning, we left Carmen and Sergio´s apartment to cruise the city. Being Sunday, they recommended us to visit San Telmo and La Boca, since there are always markets and a lot of locals go there for lunch. We took the underground to Plaza de Mayo and visited the Cathedral where the General San Martín was buried. After that we walked along Defensa street, where the market begins and where you can find all sorts of things on sale, including the mate cups made out of pumpkin. We stopped for a quick snack at San Telmo's main square and enjoyed the atmosphere, watched couples dancing tango, people selling their art works...there was a lot of traffic and we were loving it there.
From there we took a taxi to the area of La Boca. It's not the safest place to walk on your own, so we stayed in the main touristy streets, and we guess it was enough. La Boca was first inhabited by relatively poor Spanish and Italian immigrants, but they still managed to give it a picturesque character, today more preserved to ensure income from tourism. The neighbourhood is full of multi-coloured houses as the owners used to paint their homes with what was left once the fishermen finished painting the boats, hence having a façade with 5 or 6 colours. We enjoyed a lot the walk around El Caminito, the most famous street, and all its surroundings. Before heading home, we also passed by the fancy Puerto Madero, where Spanish architect Calatrava had one of his bridges built. That night Carmen and Sergio took us to a great Asado restaurant where we had a taste of delicious veal and of course Argentinian wine...we guess that by now it's clear how much we love Argentinian food!!!
Having little time to see the city, we decided to take one of the city tours that are organised by bus, where you hop on and off as much as you like. We managed to visit the Japanese Gardens, and see some of the most outstanding areas in Buenos Aires; the city centre, La Recoleta, Avenida 9 de Julio, Avenida Alvear, Plaza de Mayo, Plaza Italia, Corrientes, San Telmo etc. We were very surprised by the amount of parks there are in Buenos Aires, and generally how clean it is...somehow we had expected it to be the complete opposite! The tour was great, and we got to use the ticket the day after, so no complaints about it!! On our last night together, Carmen and Sergio took us to a brewery from Palermo where you had all sorts of beers to try and we spent a nice evening together.
The next day, we were taking the bus to Puerto Iguazú at night, so we had the whole day to relax. After a quick stop at the Post Office, we visited the cemetery of La Recoleta where Evita Perón and other important Argentinian personalities are buried. And before we forget, the unmissable in Buenos Aires is the gelateria Persicco; one of the best gelati we ever tried...dulce de leche with brownie and vanilla ice cream...too good to be true.
Buenos Aires was our last stop in Argentina; we had spent four incredible weeks in a country full of nature, culture and good food...how could we complain about that? We were ready to cross over to Brazil and enjoy the samba, the heat and caipirinhas. And on the way there we would strategically stop at Foz do Iguaçu to watch the world's major natural show; the Iguaçu Falls!!