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Published: June 21st 2017
Geo: -34.6118, -58.4173
An easy short flight from Posadas dropped us in a busy Buenos Aires airport where we negotiated a bus to the end of a metro line, but then discovered the metro has no escalators and is crowded and sweaty, built in 1910 and the line we want closed for rennovation. So resorted to taxi to take us to our small boutique hotel on a quiet street, where we seem to be almost the only guests. It is built on the same corridor or sausage lay out they call it as other old houses in the city, some now hotels. resturants or boutiques or galleries, with attempts to restore them to former splendour. The series of 3 receptionists rotating all day and night all speak very good English and help us organise where to go and how to get there. High on the list was a Tango show. We were easily persauded to go to the best, developed by the Tango legend , Carlos Gardel, somewhat staggered by the London West End prices. It was a great performance with a fantastically energetic cast of 12 performers and very loud band, led by a flamboyant violinist. The tango was displayed at
A crane - obviously
In the docklands area of Buenos Aires, full of bars and restaurants, they have left the old cranes as decoration.
its best - all legs and dramatic lifts and flirtatious glances. We were sat alongside a young couple from the Isle of Man to chat to, and on the other side a couple from Rio, given a huge steak for supper and unlimited wine and picked up and transported to and from the venue - all very easy.
As with all cities we walked for miles exploring different neighbourhoods. The bus system proved very efficient when we discovered the right bus stop and finally understood the one way system in the city centre, but we walked lots in the process.We enjoyed the Eva Peron Museum, reminding ourselves of her story, and explored the old cemetery where she was finally buried, comprising huge family vaults crowded together, some adorned with flamboyant statues of angels, etc.
We woke on the Saturday morning to torrential rain which threatened to ruin the day, but fortunately it rained itself out at midday and we set off to the San Telmo area to meet up with the photo tour Barny had given us as a Xmas present. We met the 2 organisers and 5 other participants in a funky cafe, were given our briefing of tips for good
photos and a cryptic list of titles to work to to represent our view of San Telmo, then sent off for 2 hours to click away. We got to know this area quiet well walking round in circles - the street markets, old boutique shops, lots of graffiti and ruined mansions interspersed with new resturants and shops - a real mixture. We regrouped for a shared photo display with a glass of wine and talked over our mutual travels and photo expertise. Very convivial, thanks Barny. We bussed down to the port area of Boca to see the painted houses and a drumming rehearsal on the promenade, maybe in preparation for a street demo of where BA citizens express their right to free speech regularly, then found a tasty Italian meal that wasn't steak. After lots more walking we found the right bus to take us back home.
Unsure what to do on Sunday we were persuaded by another friendy hotel receptionist ( now met 5 plus the hotel owner) to take a look at the street market set up in the city centre. It was a great craft market with lots of jewelry stalls and beautiful hand made things, mainly
The oldest church in Buenos Aires
Basilica de Nostre Senora del Pilar,
for tourists. I was tempted by a few small pieces of jewelry, and Peter bought an another adaptor to charge equipment simultaneously, but we're trying hard not to burden oursleves with more stuff to carry till the end of the trip - quite difficult when things are cheap and shoppng is one of the tourits best loved activities. We were then seduced into the grand Opera Theatre for a short tour of the splendour of early 20th Century BA, where the great and powerful socialised and kept up European appearances and cultural understanding, many having emigrated in huge waves of immigration from Italy, Germany and Spain. We found oursleves again tired of walking, lingering over a late lunch in the gardens of the very modern Art Gallery on the edge of the park. Later that evening we followed up a recommendation to anothe Tango venue, where we saw the locals showing off their skills in a big dance hall, just like we had in the 50's. We managed a quick jve after a few drinks, but didn't know where to start with the tango!
On our last day we took a short, and expensive trip in special class, to Uruguay to
Colonia del Sacrimento, once a Portugese smuggling port for goods to BA. The Portugese and Spanish spent hundreds of years fighting over thi coast and made short shrift of the British when they tried to get a share of the ample resources available. We only had a few hours to wander the village and sit in a shady garden over lunch - a pleasant break from the city - then back to BA, through immigration again with more stamps in the passport- a film to rest our feet and a late meal in a fabulous friendly resturant with Italian food, still full at midnight. Its all luck as to what you find!
A late start on our 6th day here, and a trip out to the posh part of town for breakfast - we've learned to distinguish neighbourhoods now by the quality of their pavements or otherwise, which we walk interminably, The off to the aiport for Cordoba.
We keep looking up at the beauitful blue sky and thinking how lucky we are to have such perfect weather when England is covered in a banket of snow.
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