A slighty chilly but pleasant Buenos Aires

Published: December 23rd 2016
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Day 1

At the last minute I decide to decline staying with a Couchsurfing host as they're too far from the city centre of Buenos Aires. Luckily, I find a really good last minute deal for a 4 star hotel right in the heart of Buenos Aires at GBP 120 for three nights. The hotel is Park Silver Obelisco and very close to the Obelisco monument on the main road called Avenida 9 de Julio which translates to 9 of July Avenue in English.

When I first arrive in Buenos Aires; it's dark, raining lightly and rather chilly. It's the start of winter in Argentina and it's strange to comprehend why I have come here when June is summer back in the UK. I may be mad, but I wanted to visit Machu Picchu in the dry season and Argentina is an add-on bonus before returning home.

My hotel room is nice with a super comfy bed and a balcony view of Avenida 9 de Julio. I go for a walk down the streets looking for a shop that sells an adaptor since I brought the wrong one with me. The plug type they use in Argentina is called C, which I've never seen before. I have no luck finding a shop selling adaptors and since it's dark and cold I decide I'll try again the next day. Not sure how I'll last without phone battery.

Day 2

After having one of the best nights sleep in a long time I'm full of energy and ready to explore the city. I find an electrical store to get the adaptor but will have to do without the selfie stick today since my phone battery will need a charge up.

The streets are very busy with people as I walk along Avenida 9 de Julio. The sky is blue and the air is chilly, everyone wearing coats and scarfs, except me with just a fleece. I should have at least brought a scarf with me. I decide to first visit Teatro Colon. The inside of this theatre is truly breathtaking and can understand why it's one of the finest in the world. The architecture of this theatre is unique since it took three different architects to finishing building it over a 20 year span. Each architect had different backgrounds and so there is Italian, Spanish and French influence on this building.

Next, I continue walking along Avenida 9 de Julio. This road might be only 1 kilometre in length but its the widest in the world with 12 lanes. When I get to the end of the road, I decide to walk back from where I came and head towards the Plaza de Mayo. This plaza is the central square of Buenos Aires and called Mayo after the May Revolution. In the Plaza is this wonderful pink palace known as Casa Rosa. This building is the office of the President of Argentina. In the plaza there are several very small protests, one to do with the Falklands Islands (Las Malvinas) so I stay well clear since being British. Next, I visit the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral. This cathedral is overlooking the plaza and is the main Catholic church in the city. Built in the 16th century this cathedral has stunning interior décor and the mausoleum of General San Martin who I understand to be a leader for Argentina's independence from Spain with the tomb guarded by two guards.

Nearby are the docks and the elegant Puente de la Mujer which means the Bridge of the Woman in English. As dusk draws in, I wait patiently for the lights on the bridge to become more prominent. I love seeing cities lit up and so I venture back to Plaza de Mayo to see if Casa Rosa is still pink and sure enough it is.

Day 3

Another day with pure blue sky and the air is still chilly. I am glad to have brought myself a scarf on the way back to the hotel the night before. It's a Saturday. The pavements are empty, what a contrast from yesterday. I venture up along Avenida 9 de Julio enjoying the freedom of empty streets. After walking for a mile I arrive at Cementerio de la Recoleta. One of the world's great necropolises, the Recoleta Cemetery has been a burial place for Argentina's elite since the mid-19th century. I have never seen a cemetery like this before, although I hear this type of cemetery with tombs above ground is quite common in parts of Europe.

I next visit the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA). This three floor museum is definitely worth a visit as it houses many interesting paintings, sculptures and photographs.

After a spot of lunch at Hard Rock Café, I decide to catch the metro to the nearest stop to La Boca called Consitucion. Understanding how to use the metro impossible. In bad Spanish, I ask if I can buy a ticket and the guy tells me "it's free today" I watch some guy jump the barrier so decide to do the same thinking "this does not seem right". After a few stops, I am at Consitucion. I use the Satnav on my phone to direct me to La Boca. Almost a 2 mile walk, I stroll through a neighbourhood near La Bombonera football stadium and for the first time feel a little unsafe. Eventually, I arrive at La Boca. The atmosphere incredible! lots of people everywhere, Tango music being played in all directions. The buildings in this vibrant area painted in different colours, such a fun place to be... plenty of shops and cafes too. In one of the shops I try Dulce de Leche, a popular chocolate sauce that is very sweet and creamy. This sauce was accidentally created by a chef in Argentina.

My time in La Boca is short as it starts to get dark and I am concerned about the walk through the neighbourhood. I check options on my Satnav and find a route back to the metro via a main road. Once I get to the metro I find the barrier is still up. I try to buy a ticket and this time discover that you have to buy a card and it gets topped up, but my Spanish is not good to understand where to get the card from, so I decide to walk back to the hotel which is 3.5 miles away. I arrive back at the hotel, feeling rather tired from my long walk, so grab a sandwich from the supermarket and chill. I just about manage a few selfie poses in front of the BA Obelisco whilst it's lit up in the dark.

Next stop; Cordoba, Argentina

Additional photos below
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24th December 2016

Beautiful Buenos Aires
Visiting these places in off season can often be a joy. You end up seeing a different side than the average tourist. A little rain won't hurt. Embrace the tango music...you should go dancing.
25th December 2016

Tango Music
If I ever go back, I'll definitely try a Tango class or go see a real show :)
28th December 2016
La Boca selfie

Buenos Aires
A city of past glories we found it..but what magnificent glories. There should always be moments that take you back to Buenos Aires, Alan. I hope you have heaps of those tucked in ready to emerge...ready to jump out and remind you of one of the great cities of the World.
30th December 2016
La Boca selfie

Buenos Aires
Yes, so many moments that will take me back... maybe one day I'll be standing again in the middle of Plaza de Mayo looking at Casa Rosa. I hear it's beautiful there in spring time with the purple tree blossom.

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