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Published: March 15th 2006
This is in the center of the Buenos Aires, a good landmark.
So, I arrived in Buenos Aires after all that waiting, at midnight. I collected my luggage and went to the airline office to collect my free cab ride to my newly chosen home, and she said no. They would only provide a cab if I had missed a connection, not for delays. So then I had to get a cab I would be paying for on my own, which made me angry as I knew it would be expensive. Plus, I don't trust cab drivers not to rip me off in a strange place. And of course, after this ride I felt ripped off beginning with the fact that the meter was running yet we weren't driving because he was chatting. Finally I asked him why we weren't moving and he began to drive. I finally arrived at the hostel after 1am and decided immediately I didn't like it, possibly due to the mood I was in. Either way, it was hot and I had to pick out a top bunk - all that was left - and put sheets on it in the dark as there were plenty of people sleeping. I slept terribly as it was loud, hot, and
This is the much celebrated grave on Evita, a national hero.
sunlight started pouring into my eyeballs relatively early on. It was awful. So I went out after a terrible breakfast, provided by the hostel, and called another hostel to make a reservation. The second hostel had been recommended to me by the Israeli couple in Ushuaia, so I thought it would be great to see them again when they arrived that night. I got there and instantly liked it better and ran into Scott before I even checked in. Turns out he had gone there with another girl from the Ushuaia hostel. My bed was in a room of 8 people, five people downstairs in the room, and three upstairs, up a windy staircase inside the room. My bed was upstairs, which seemed a bit of a pain, but turned out to be wonderful. It wasn't exactly quiet - the windows faced a really busy truck-driven street - but it was far more private and I loved it. And there were no upper bunks, just beds. Fabulous.
The first place I went was directly to the Colon Theater, famous around the world for its perfect acoustics. I had the idea of magically walking into the theater and buying tickets
Skipping business men
Even the signs are happy in Buenos Aires.
for an opera that just happened to be playing in Buenos Aires while I was there and hadn´t sold out. Well, I found out that there would be an opera beginning on my very last night in Buenos Aires, and South America altogether, March 21, but the tickets wouldn´t open for sale until the 19th, when I planned to be out of town. So I had some planning to do in order to make this work. For the time being, I bought a ticket to see the ballet Romeo and Juilet on its opening night on Saturday, in two days time. I already felt more cultured - and for less than $9! The remainder of the day I just walked around the center of the city, trying to figure out where everything was and get familiar with it. I liked the city right from the beginnig. Lots of cool buildings, very European in design. Lots and lots of cheap food - all you can eat Chinese food, veggies and fruits, dessert, and bbq for $3, for example. A whole cheese pizza and soda for $2. I also ended up going to a mall that had been suggested to me -
This is one of the main pedestrian streets in town.
I was dying to find some skirts since I have just realized I am a girl - but it was too expensive there for me. Instead, I had dinner at McDonalds, embarrassingly enough. I had seen them all day throughout the city for the first time in a month or more, and I had seen one on all four floors of this mall, so I finally caved in and bought a combo meal. And it was good. I felt like I was coming down with a cold, so I went back to the hostel and read a bit and then went to sleep.
Buenos Aires is said to be a city that never sleeps, and it´s true. Dinner doesn´t begin until at least 9pm, and clubs and bars don´t get hopping until about 2am. The guy who slept next to me upstairs never came home before 6am, and this was the case for a great deal of people in the hostel every night. It´s amazing. I´m more into enjoying my days - I slept until 9am every day and felt I was losing out on doing things.
Friday I went out in search of opera tickets from discount
La Casa Rosada
This is the presedential pink house.
sellers, but in vain. I then went out to a cheaper shopping area and looked at skirts. I had to leave early though, to sign up for a tour of the presedential house (the Pink House) before it filled up in English. Well, fill up it did, so I went with the Spanish tour. I had an hour to kill before the tour so I looked for some lunch and ended up - at McDonalds! Funny but true. And it was good. The tour was ok, and the house was ok, but nothing amazing. Coming out of the house I ran into Scott - someone I knew in the middle of this enormous city - and we made plans to get dinner at 9pm. I then went shopping again and found several skirts that I loved at this Indian store. Didn´t have cash so I had to go back to the hostel and then back to the store, and I bought two of them. Perfect - I now had something to wear to the ballet the next night. Met Scott for dinner and we went to an all you can eat buffet for $3. Fabulous. After dinner I spent some
The obelisk at night.
time talking to Adit, the Israeli girl from the last hostel in Ushuaia. We made plans to meet the next morning after breakfast.
Breakfast was yummy - cereal and milk, good bread and several marmalades, dulce de leche (like caramel), and butter for it, and some fruit with tea and coffee. After I woke Adit up, we headed out for the Recoleta cemetery, where Evita is buried. We walked there, with a stop along the way for Adit to buy a ticket to the ballet (she got a deat five away from mine) and then on to the cemetery. Everyone there has money and is buried in style. We eventually found Evita due to a long line of Americans on tour. I don´t meet many Americans here, but they were all at the cemetery this day. After the cemetery we went to the adjoining crafts market and I found several things I liked but didn´t buy. We went to the fine arts museum - it was free and had great art. The we went for lunch, to the same all you can buffet Scott and I had been to, but with a hitch. We started eating before we realized
Bus station sunset
This was on my way to Iguazu. Made leaving Christoph a little prettier anyway.
the kitchen had closed and most of the food was gone. Not nearly as fun or cost effective this time. Went back to the hostel and showered and beautified for the ballet. The performance was really nice and fun to watch. I thought they did a really good job. Afterwards I got a pizza and we walked to the hostel of Adit´s friends. They were out and we waitied an hour, but then went back to our hostel. I soon went to sleep as it was after 1am.
Sunday morning started out pleasantly when I ran into my friend Christoph that I originally met when I got to Chile, six weeks earlier. He had emailed to say he was coming and I told him about my hostel. He had gotten a room there Saturday but I hadn´t run into him. We had breakfast together and decided to leave the next day for Uruguay. He even agreed to go to the opera with me and buy the tickets while I would be out of town at the Igazu Falls! He is wonderful. First thing we walked to the ferry station to buy tickets for the next day´s boat to Colonia,
These moms have been protesting for 30 years about the loss of their "disappeared" children.
Uruguay. It took 45 minutes to walk there and then they wouldn´t sell me a ticket since I didn´t have my passport! But they said we could buy a ticket the following morning without a problem. So we walked to the bus terminal and I bought my ticket to Igazu Falls. This is a 20 hour ride, then a night in a hostel bed, a day of seeing the falls, and then 20 hours back to Buenos Aires, arriving at 6am the same day as the opera. But it will be worth it. We then went to Palermo to meet Adit (90min late) at the market there. From there we went to Recoleta so I could buy a bag and a necklace I had seen the day before at the market. From there we caught a confusing bus to meet Scott in La Boca for the big soccer game that night. But when we found him he told us he couldn´t get the tickets - it had sold out. I was kind of bummed, but it was his birthday, so it sucked more for him maybe. He went back to the hostel and we walked around La Boca before catching a bus to San Telmo for a tango show. We couldn´t afford said show when we found it, so we just had some steaks and relaxed. Then had to get back to the hostel, borrow Scott´s photos, and put them on disk (*and with any luck I will start getting them on the web for you to see soon - thanks scott!*). Then I had to repack and get to bed, sometime after midnight to get up at 7am for the boat ride to Uruguay.
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