So, I ended my adventures in Argentina in Buenos Aires. I took an overnight bus from Salta to Buenos Aires, and stayed in a hostel in the Congreso area.
Sadly my travel companion departed for England, but I carried on discovering this amazing city solo.
I don't quite know how to express my love
for Buenos Aires. For me, it was an amazing experience for many reasons. I was very happy there, and got to know the city, because I was there for two weeks. It is somewhere I could definitely live, and always springs to mind when others ask me about my travels and places I love!
I spent two weeks in Buenos Aires attending a Spanish school Monday to Friday from 9am - 1pm (VOS school, http://www.vosbuenosaires.com/en/). My class was small, maximum four students each day and it was a great way to learn and talk in Spanish for four hours solid! There was a nice community feel at the school. It is like a little family! I made some nice friends there too. The schedule was great because I had the rest of the afternoon/evening to explore the large city. One day after school, a
group of us visited a local secondary school to help them with their English. It was really interesting and they asked us questions about our lives/countries, and we were able to ask them about what they did as well. It was an informal chat and there were lots of nice but shy students, some of whom were keen to ask about things in our respective countries. My Spanish school also provided a tango lesson which was fun. I figured it would be criminal to go to Argentina and not try the Tango! On other nights there were movies, and picadas which I didn't make it to, but there was always something going on.
Learning Spanish in a Spanish speaking country was the best way to learn fast. I was studying each morning and then I was surrounded by it all day! I was able to converse with everyone and gain more from my experiences in Argentina with more understanding of things around me and the ability to read lots of things around me. I certainly became more motivated to continue with Spanish and practice with my new slighlty altered Argentinian accent! There were also new words to learn, as
in any language, that were specific to the region.
In exploring Buenos Aires, I walked for miles and miles! The weather was perfect, not too chilly but blue skies and sunshine. There are lots of different parts to Buenos Aires that all have their own feel. The pedestrianised Palermo area was great for a coffee and people watching, Recoleta had nice plazas and pretty parks. There were always quirky old churches and cobbled streets dotted with cafes. (Palermo is also a popular place for bars/boliches at night).
Sante Fe was a big shopping street that I wandered a few times! On Sundays there is a very long market down Defensa street which I liked a lot - a lovely way to start a Sunday. The market ended in the main square, and sometimes there was a tango performance going on there, close to the antique market. I found myself some cool antique leather gaucho boots which I was quite proud of. I also wandered the Plaza de Mayo area, located in front of the Casa Rosada (Presidential palace). Buenos Aires also contains one of the widest roads in the world - Avenida 9 Julio - so wide you
can't cross it in one go.
There are so many places to explore and there are always things going on Buenos Aires. It is beautiful, with an old charm and unique character. I loved the architecture and feel of the city, which is hard to describe in detail.
It was interesting to be in Buenos Aires for an election. Pretty much everything was closed the day before, and all the bars were shut and no alcohol was sold. The streets were almost deserted - making sure no one was too hungover to vote!
Now, I couldn't talk about Buenos Aires and not mention food...just a few words...steak, steak and steak! The best steaks I have ever eaten...of note is the restaurant La Cabrera - so popular there are two of them on the same street and you must reserve. Also..try empañadas. It may not have been the healthiest time of my life but it was certainly a yummy one! Cafe culture is prevalent here...cafe con leche por favor!
For me, the thing that made my time in Buenos Aires so special was the friends I made there. The people at my Spanish school were lovely and
friendly and there was a nice community feel. I had also been given a contact in Buenos Aires at a gym, and I was able to go to group fitness classes in Spanish which suited me down to the ground! I quickly made friends at the gym and had fun taking classes with the awesome people there. Some of the friendliest people I have met. Amazing practice for my Spanish too of course! I was riding the Subte (subway) to the gym after a morning of Spanish and an afternoon of exploring...and imagining myself living in this buzzing city.
All in all, Buenos Aires was full of charm and beautiful, passionate people, who live life to the full. Of couse there are dangerous parts and you always need to be careful, but this is true for many big cities.
I had the time of my life!
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