Page 3 of festermower Travel Blog Posts

South America » Argentina August 2nd 2010

Geo: -34.5886, -58.4299Hi...I will post my next proper blog entry very soon, but for the time being, I just need to post some info for friends back in the UK to explain how they can phone me. (Sorry for boring those of you who don't need or want to hear my dulcet tones!)After a few awkward conversations in Spanish and a dodgy deal with that man in an overcoat, I finally managed to get a mobile phone sorted in Argentina. So there are two ways to phone me now:Option 1: phoning my Skype number (this costs you the same as it would for you to call any London landline, but the downside is that I need to be logged onto the internet when you call, otherwise you'll go to the call quality is pretty up ... read more

South America » Argentina July 22nd 2010

Geo: -34.5886, -58.4299I just finished my initial four-day Spanish course with an organisation called Español Andando ( in Buenos Aires. I loved the course and would strongly recommend it. An excellent, and very patient, teacher met us each day in a coffee shop or bar in a different part of town, and we learnt some very basic aspects of Spanish each time. After the Spanish lesson, we would then wander around that part of town and find out a bit about it ("Here's a lovely shop", “That is a lovely bar”, “The apartment up there with the balcony is always reserved for the person who makes the walking stick for the President”...that kind of thing). Overall, the course was well worth the U$D120/£80 for the four days, and it was a great way to feel a ... read more

South America » Argentina July 21st 2010

Geo: -34.5886, -58.4299Nineteen of them in total:1. Some things are very expensive in Buenos Aires (e.g. the cheapest iPad - U$D1100/£725), some things are priced at a comparative level to the US and UK (e.g. Whopper meal in Burger King - U$D6.90/£4.55) and some things are very cheap (e.g. a ticket on the subway - 28 US cents/18 pence)2. People in Buenos Aires do not like it when you accidentally say "Spanish" when you actually mean "the form of Spanish spoken in Spain". They make a joke about it, but you can see the murderous seriousness in their eyes.3. You may, if you're anything like me, find it as difficult to buy a 'pay as a you go' SIM card for your phone in Buenos Aires as you would to pass a kidney stone through your ... read more

South America » Argentina July 18th 2010

Geo: -34.5775, -58.4035To kick off, let me apologise, on behalf of my people, for the Tate Modern in London, England. Today I saw what a modern art gallery should be like, and the Tate Modern it wasn't.I had to pay 20 pesos/U$D5/£3.50 to get into MALBA, the "Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires" - and, because it was peeing down outside today and therefore anything indoors was popular, I also had to queue for a while. Getting into the Tate Modern, on the other hand, is free, and you get to start with the art within a couple of minutes. However, that's where the scales stop tilting in favour of the Tate.The MALBA is light and airy. The art is accessible and varied, and, as you walk through the MALBA, the lighting changes to suit ... read more
Have heard good things about the café
From "Latin American Art 20th Century"
Pruebe de nuevo [Try Again] (detail)

South America » Argentina July 16th 2010

Geo: -34.5833, -58.4The end of my first full day, and I figured I should start meeting some people. So, taking up a recommendation from Luke (gracias, Luke!), I booked a seat at Casa Saltshaker ( It's a 'closed door restaurant' ('restaurante a puertas cerradas'), for which the chef opens up their home so that punters can come and share a table, a meal, some wine and chat.It was strange turning up at someone's house for dinner. Dinner parties are odd at the best of times, even when you know some of the people there. However, I recommend the Casa Saltshaker website, which contains all the info you need to make you feel more familiar with the concept before you get started.I'd also worried about being the only English- (or rather non-Spanish-) speaker there, but I needn't ... read more

South America » Argentina July 16th 2010

Geo: -34.6118, -58.4173On my first proper day in Argentina, I thought I would try to get a feel for Palermo, the bit of Buenos Aires I am staying in. The place was fairly quiet for a Friday afternoon; I guess Palermo is quite residential.It was bloody cold for a walk. It is slowly sinking in that it is winter here, although the thought that "Blimey, this is some pretty freakish summery weather" does keep crossing my mind. I went to the botanical gardens in Palermo. Their official name is Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays de la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires (this place has a thing for long names; after all, the city was originally called "Ciudad de la Santísima Trinidad y Puerto de Santa María del Buen Aire"). It wasn't the best time of year for ... read more
Two people up for a good time

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London July 15th 2010

Geo: 51.5002, -0.126236Right, well...through the mental fog of a mild but persistent "Erm, so why am I here exactly?" feeling, I'm writing my story. It started with a voluntary redundancy scheme. My employer, the University of Leeds in the UK, offered its staff voluntary redundancy, and, much as I loved it there, the timing was right to do something different. So, I've come to live in Buenos Aires, Argentina for a few months.I don't speak any Spanish (apart from an occasional and hesitant "Una Coca-Cola, por favor" followed an hour later, when I realise I really do need to go, by an even more hesitant "Dónde está el baño?"). Thankfully, I've got some Spanish classes here in BA starting next week. Will say more about those later.In the meantime, here's how I got here.I flew with ... read more

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