Buenos Aires - Tango & Tornados

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March 20th 2008
Published: April 11th 2008
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Well, as you know by now we are not really the city slicker types so we were not as excited about our stay in the capital as other destinations on our hit list. Unfortunately our visit to the capital of Argentina coincided with Semana Santa (Easter), during Easter weekend many Porteños (folk from BA) leave the city for the coast or other fave holiday destinations. This therefore meant that the city was pretty closed down, the shops, cafes, restaurants were either all empty or had their doors closed.

Despite this, we still enjoyed wandering the streets and admiring the beautiful architecure, you can definately see the French and Italian influences here. We did the obligatory walk to the Plaza de Mayo and saw La Casa Rosada (the Pink House) where Eva Perón made her famous speech. It was lovely, as were the churches and museums round about. We even managed to bump (quite literally) into the changing of the guard at the tomb of José de San Martin. San Martin is the national hero of Argentina, as he was one of the liberators of South America, helping many countries gain independence from Spain. We found his story very interesting and we also agree that he is a bit of a dude too.

We had decided to stay in the San Telmo district of the city. It is one of the oldest barrios of BA, filled with lovely bars and cafes along cobbled streets, it is also famed for its tango culture and weekly antiques market. Thankfully we were in town on a Sunday when the market took place as it was a fantastic day out. The market which covers many streets and plazas is much more than just antiques. You could not walk more than 10 metres without stopping to watch all manner of street artists, performers, FANTASTIC tango bands, guitarists and of course tango dancers. The antiques stalls held everything from ancient cameras, silver cutlery, vintage clothing to old maps and taps! We were lucky enough to grab a seat in one of the bars in the main plaza and could have sat all day watching the world go by, enjoying our cool beers! It was a fascinating day out, brushing shoulders in the throng of tourists and locals (many dressed up to the nines).

One of the unexpected highlights was our discovery of Argentine television. Our room in the hostel had a TV and much to our delight TV here consists of around 60 channels, with many in English showing endless football matches from all over the world, film channels and we even found David Attenborough on one of the many Discovery channels! It was a treat to just relax in front of the box for a change, just like home!

Perhaps one of the main benefits of having the TV in our room was the hilarious coverage of a spot of bad weather which passed across BA. Various news networks saw fit to provide wall to wall live footage of this "tornado" causing "havoc" in the city. Of course with flashing warnings and so much serious prime time news regarding this impending doom we decided to have a look for ourselves. Out on the balcony we did indeed see that the sky had darkened slightly and yes it was a tad breezy. Still unconvinced we went for a walk and this only served to confirm that this "freak weather" was simply a normal day in Scotland for us! Oh well, it certainly was funny.

One evening we decided to treat ourselves to a
San Telmo MarketSan Telmo MarketSan Telmo Market

One of the many guitar players
nice meal at one of the nearby restaurants to sample the famous Argentine steak and wine. We found a lovely place with a nice vibe and settled down to share a huge steak and mash dinner washed down with a full bodied red. Two things stood out for both of us here. Firstly Tony started to drink and enjoy vino tinto, which he has in the past avoided like the plague! And secondly the steak while good, did not compare to the one we had enjoyed way back in Rio! Oh well, the hunt for the perfect steak goes on, we will keep you posted.

All in all an enjoyable stay in the capital, but we feel we may have missed out on the true Buenos Aires due to it being Easter weekend and closed for business, ah well, we may just have to return!

Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


Tango BandTango Band
Tango Band

They rocked...or should that be waltzed
Double TroubleDouble Trouble
Double Trouble

Karen gets friendly with the locals
San Telmo MarketSan Telmo Market
San Telmo Market

Karen's new wardrobe
San Telmo MarketSan Telmo Market
San Telmo Market

The husstle and bustle of the street market

14th April 2008

You've been tango'd
Karen - some of those characters you met in Buenos Aires look suspiciously like people I have met on our murder mystery nights at New Year. Come to think of it I have n't seen Ed for a while!
14th April 2008

City Lyfe
You guys even managed to make the city seem good, I liked the sound of the bands and dancing. Good shtuff, keep em coming.
17th April 2008

Last tango in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires sounds great. Enjoyed the photos of the market very arty. Looked like a good place to buy flip flops. Looking forward to the next blog

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