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Published: December 13th 2012
The overnight bus from Puerto Iguazu to Buenos Aires was our first experience on an Argentinian overnight bus. They know how to do it right. We went for the top of the line ¨super cama¨, which actually lays all the way flat. Each seat has its own TV with a selection of movies (most in Spanish but a few in English). They serve dinner, a nightcap, and breakfast.
We got into BA on a Saturday morning. We had a hostel in the San Telmo area, which is an older neighborhood with cobblestone streets and old buildings. It was a pretty good location, close enough to walk to the central plaza where subways can take you around the city.
After showers we walked to the plaza and checked out the Red House, pretty much the Argentinian version of the White House in the states. We took a subway from there to the Palermo neighborhood, and walked to an area called Palermo Viejo. It also has cobblestone streets, lots of sidewalk cafes, vendors on the streets. I´ve never been to Europe but its what I picture it is like. I´m probably way off base here though.
Palermo Viejo has a bunch of night clubs, but night clubs in Argentina dont even open until 12AM, and dont even get going until 2AM. People stay out pretty late. By day the night clubs in Palermo turn into clothing stores, which is kinda weird. I guess thats a way to make some money when its not clubbing time.
We wanted to get a taste of the Buenos Aires night scene, and since it was Saturday we figured it was a good night to check it out. Like I said though, the clubs dont even open until midnight so we headed back to our hostel to try and get a nap in ahead of time. Steph got more sleep than me but we felt pretty good to go that evening.
B.A. has a reputation for being a bit dangerous at night so we decided to join a pub crawl (pubcrawlba.com) instead of trying to go out solo. The pub crawl was pretty fun, talked to some Aussies, Germans, found a group of girls from the states. The only thing was the crowd was pretty young, most 20 to 22 years old. They made us feel like dinosaurs. Luckily there was a German guy maybe in his 40s so we hung out with him some to make us feel younger.
After 3 bars a bus took us out to a night club. By the time we got there it was maybe 1:30AM, and the line stretched way out the door. Our pub crawl deal let us cut to the front of the line, which was pretty cool. The night club was huge, but also packed. For some reason most of the crowd is young guys, wearing sunglasses and just kind of bobbing their heads. The music wasn´t really our scene either, all electronic and a little too slow. After maybe an hour we decided to cut out. I got a street hot dog (more like a sausage sandwich) and we took a cab back home. I think we were in bed by 4:30 AM, early for B.A. standards.
The next day we hung around San Telmo. It has a huge market on Sundays and it took us quite a while to work our way to one end and back. We resisted the urge to buy anything though, since we´d have to carry it for the next month. We´ll shop in Peru.
That evening there was a free tango show in one of the plazas. San Telmo is pretty famous for tango apparently, a lot of restaurants have tango shows included, and theres an abundance of other shows to go see. It was different than I thought. It looks super hard and technical. Girls keep their eyes closed most of the time and the guy leads them around. Lots of kicks and stuff, I was impressed nobody got hurt.
Our last day in B.A. was the hottest, 95 deg F and 80% humidity. We had an ambitious plan to see the cemetary, a museum and the Japanese tea garden, but we only got 33% of the way through before the heat got to us.
The cemetary was actually pretty awesome. It is reserved for politicians, movie stars and other rich and famous of Argentina. Each tomb was the size of a small house. It seems like everyone uses it to try to show off how rich and powerful they are. Many of them are actually for a whole family, with compartments for each casket.
After the cemetary we got lunch and walked to a building we thought was a museum. It turned out to be a local college. It had air conditioning though so we stayed inside as long as possible until heading to the street again.
We gave up on the museum and got a bus to the Japanese tea garden. On the way to the bus stop we passed this giant metal flower sculpture, that apparently closes at night and opens during the day.
The bus was cramped and sweaty, and by the time we got off and walked to the garden we´d had enough of the heat. The garden looked ok through the fence but not enough shade for us. We caught another bus back to our hostel and enjoyed the air conditioning until we had to go to the bus station.
Overall B.A. is a really nice city, good vibe and lots to do. But I would avoid it in the summer, the heat and humidity were pretty brutal. I hear its nice in Spring and Autumn though.
Here´s a few highlights from our short time in B.A.
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