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Published: February 1st 2011
San TelmoI have split my Buenos Aires stay in two parts
The awaited day came when it was time to hit the road again. My parents dropped me off at Manchester Airport where my last visit was not pleasant thanks to the volcanic ash last April! Anyway, there were no problems with my flight to Paris and I feel now I can put behind that experience. After a 13.5 hour trip from Paris, I arrived in a sunny and hot (was not too hot, thankfully!) BA where I booked a remise to the hostel in San Telmo. Luckily, my room was ready so I more or less crashed out for the rest of the day catching up on sleep and overcoming my jet lag.
Despite the heat, I did a fair bit of exploring. I did a lot of walking and used the subte to get to places further afield. I am not a fan of their subway and feel that they need some investment. At least the subte was cheap (around 20p (January 2011) per journey and the ticket attendant once let me ride for free!
I spent four days in Buenos Aires and it was nice revisiting
Recoleta Cultural Cemetary, Buenos Aires
some of the sights and visited some places for the first time. I visited the following: Recoleta
I visited the Basilica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar and the Centro Cultural de Recoleta. The church and centre is behind the Recoleta Cemetary. The Jesuit church is beautiful with its white washed walls and its baroque and pre-hispanic interior furnishings. Adjacent to the church, there are the cloisters upstairs where you can get views of the cemetary down below and it houses a religious art museum going back to when the church was built. Sitting inside the church was nice to seek respite from the relenting heat and the city´s madness! Barrio Norte
The main purpose visiting the barrio was for the El Ateneo bookstore on Avenida Santa Fe. I have heard how wonderful this bookstore is and 'The Guardian
, a British Newspaper, rates the store as one of the world´s top 10 bookstores. The bookstore is housed in a former theatre but still retains the theatre interiors. The stage is now a cafe but still you can see the stage mechanics up above. It is an amazing place and it was wonderful listening to tango by Astor
San Telmo, Buenos Aires
Piazolla and other artists whilst browsing and enjoying a submarino. In fact, I bought a CD of his music and have been listening to it ever since! Since listening to some of his music at St Martin-in-the-fields in London last year, I have grown to love his tango music. The bookstore mainly stock Spanish books but I did notice a small selection of English books. San Telmo
I stayed in San Telmo at The Hostel Inn. It was nice to see more of the barrio and appreciate the atmospheric features from its cobbled streets to the fading historic buildings. It was also nice soaking in the atmosphere at the Plaza Dorrega and watching the tango dancers perform and also enjoying a drink and the atmosphere at the Plaza Dorrega Bar. On the sunday, I visted the antique market that runs through the square and down Defensa but I found it pretty disappointing and that many stalls sell impersonal souvenirs at inflated prices (obviously aimed at tourists). However, the barrio tends to be quiet during the week but obviously livelier on a weekend. I enjoyed wondering around and learning about the history of San Telmo and also the oldest
barrio, Montserrat. I would highly recommend staying in this atmospheric barrio or at least visit it during a stay in Buenos Aires. Belgrano
It was the tango that drew my friend, Ronnie, to Argentina. It was wonderful spending an evening with her and Mario at their apartment in Belgrano. Mario cooked us a wonderful meal and it was nice catching up with both of them again especially swapping travel tales. I would like to say a big thanks to them for their hospitality and also another thanks to Russ for connecting with one another in the first place.
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