Plaza de Mayo
Glynn wonders if there might be more pigeons here than people.
Hola Chicos y Chicas. Welcome to the splendour that is Argentina's capital city. Welcome to Buenos Aires.
After deciding to stay in Cordoba for an extra day (we got back from paragliding too late and too tired to pack), we made our way out of the city on the 9.30pm overnight bus and made it into Buenos Aires nice and early at 7am!.We had considered walking to the Subte (underground) with all our luggage and trying to get to our next (and last) hostel the cheap way but by the time we arrived at the bus terminal, we just didn't have the energy. We forked out for a taxi and 20 minutes later arrived at the very lovely Hostal La Menesunda. Glynn had done his research well this time as not only is the hostel one of the cheapest in BA but it's also full of friendly staff, it's ultra modern yet homey and well laid out. Plus, instead of the usual two beds we get when we book a twin room (double beds are often more expensive), we have bunk beds! Ok, not so cool for honeymooning but still lots of fun ;-)
We spent our first
Name That City
It could almost be London!
day exploring the Boedo district where we are staying and we like it here very much. There's a whole host of interesting shops and restaurants and buildings full of character. The highlight of the day had to be when we found a rock shop that sold the coolest Hello Kitty rucksack ever. I saw a bag like it in Chile but decided not to buy it as it was quite expensive for what it was but here it was half the price! There was also a piercing parlour and I've been thinking about getting some additional metal for my face for a while now so I may just be going back there tomorrow. Watch this space...
Yesterday, we had a long lie-in and didn't venture out into the city until mid-afternoon. We headed first to the Plaza de Mayo where we were surrounded by lots of very grand, elegant architecture of the kind that wouldn't have looked out of place in Paris. We then took a long, leisurely walk up the pedestrianised Avenida Florida where we found ourselves in the heart of shopping country. It was like Oxford Street without the traffic: designer boutiques, McDonalds and Burger Kings on
New & Old
There's a lovely mix of architectural styles in the city.
every corner, souvenir stands and more shoe shops than you can poke a boot stretcher at - the Argentinians seem to have a real love affair with their footwear! We even saw a blast from the past in the shape of a big C&A clothes shop. We've spotted other familiar names over here too including Etam, Cash Convertors and many branches of HSBC.
Today, we got up at a decent time and headed off to our free guided tour of the city in English which the tourist board kindly provides for visitors every Wednesday in low season (it's autumn here). We caught a local bus to the Caminito distric in the south east of the city and barely made it to the meeting point for the 10am start. Luckily for us and a group of American girls who turned up late, the guide was late arriving himself and we didn't get going until 10.45am.
The Caminito district has to be my favourite of all that we saw on the tour as it was full of funky, brightly coloured houses with a real Bohemian feel. Situated next to Buenos Aires' first port, the houses were painted with leftovers from
Tango is THE big thing here in Buenos Aires. You see it everywhere, even performed by 'buskers' on the streets!
painting the ship and boats. There's still a bit of a nautical feel to the place too and it's easy to imagine all sorts of early immigrants arriving from far flung European and Asian destinations and milling about here.
Buenos Aires if full of incredible buildings ranging from the stately colonial in Recoleta to the ultra modern skyscrapers that dominate the skyline around the new port. We passed one building which was designed by the same architect who built the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the similarities were uncanny. The city tour finished off in Belgrano, the complete other side of town, and although it was a pleasant hour and a half excursion, we would have liked to get off the coach to see the places of interest properly. Still, it was free so I shouldn't really complain.
After the tour, we ambled around the Belgrano district for a while, walking along another main shopping street for absolutely miles. We are such expert window shoppers now though that we came back sated but empty handed. Back in Boedo, we went exploring in another direction but our legs were getting tired and the cold winds drove us back
Thank You Very Much
This one's for you, Salma!
to the nice, warm hostel. I can't remember the last time we got to wear shorts! I hear it's nice weather in England, you jammy sods!
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