In love with Buenos Aires

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South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires
January 21st 2013
Published: January 27th 2013
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BA is an amazing place; I’ve totally fallen in love with this hectic, colourful, noisy, sparkling city. Arriving late afternoon on Saturday gave us the perfect opportunity to check into the hotel and chill out before hitting the town to experience a Buenos Aires night out on the town.

We headed to the Palermo Viejo district of the city, full of lively bars, packed restaurants and squares dotted with fairy lights it’s a great place to spend an evening, in BA the night gets going late, restaurants don’t get busy till gone 10, happy hour in bars lasts till midnight and don’t even think of hitting a club until 2am…. this really is the city that never sleeps.

To recover from our slightly late night we spent Sunday wandering, every Sunday the Plaza Dorrego is packed with crowds of people visiting its famous antiques fair, we spent a very chilled Sunday morning wandering in the sunshine, browsing the stalls of vintage dresses, colourful soda bottles, ancient crystal ware and other old (and probably not so old) bits and pieces. All around the antique stalls are street sellers hawking fresh orange juice or empanadas with tangoing couples and bands playing for tips adding to the magical feel of the place.

Buenos Aires is the birth place of Tango and its celebrated all over the city, I’ve been lucky enough to arrive here during a cultural festival, so every Sunday the city puts on a free tango show. Near our hotel is a huge 6 lane highway – Ave 9 de Juilo – closing the middle 4 lanes a huge stage is erected, seats laid out and giant screens dot the surrounds, what seems like masses of effort for an hour and a half show it soon becomes apparent how popular Tango is, locals and tourists alike crowd the area, 30 minutes before the show starts all the seats are full, by kick off there’s not even standing room left on the pavement surrounds. By tomorrow morning the stage will be gone and the road will reopen but for now, despite the continually changing traffic lights above our head, you forget that you’re sitting in the middle of a highway, the outdoor venue has a festival feel and before it has even started the atmosphere is electric. The show itself was fantastic, a mix of traditional and modern tango, one dance seamlessly moving to the next, and the main couple generating such a rapturous applause when they appeared that I presume they have a celebrity status here, it was an amazing way to finish off a lovely Sunday in Buenos Aires.

Monday dawned another hot day so we took ourselves off for a slow walk to the other side of the city to the Cementerio de la Recoleta. High walls surround this cemetery, hiding what is effectively a city of the dead. Ordered streets of mausoleums, elaborate buildings, statues, detailed marble facades and other ornate splendour mark the resting place of Argentina’s elite. Here along with all the other tourists we visited Evita’s grave, and peered into many other sarcophagi’s.

Every Monday evening the Ciudad Cultral Konex plays host to La Bobma De Tiempo. The centre houses an outdoor space, stage and bar. We’re treated to a warm up band before La Bomba come to the stage, the drumming is amazingly upbeat and as soon as it starts people are up dancing, sitting with a beer, the setting sun glinting off of the multi coloured glass of the overlooking factory and you cannot help but start your feet tapping and shoulder shaking as you unconsciously join in. Beer comes in two sizes, pint or a litre, for a 5 pesos difference it seems silly not to have a litre! Even if the plastic cup it comes in is a little unwieldy. As the first band finished and La Bomba come to the stage people start to get to their feet and surge forward, the next couple of hours are a hot, squashed melee of bodies dancing to the rhythm of the drums, it’s an amazing experience and a great warm up for carnival in a few weeks’ time.

For my last day in BA I decided to try something different to the usual cultural and historical walking or bus tours that a big city normally offer, BA doesn’t disappoint in offering some amazing alternative tours, in the morning we joined a bike tour of the south of the city, two of us and a guide cycled for 3.5 hours around the main points of the south, taking in a visit out to the wildlife reserve – a beautiful calm on the edge of the bustling city – then on to La Boca, visiting colourful Caminito and the Boca football stadium, apparently someone called Maradona played there once….. In the afternoon I took to the streets for a walking tour with a difference, which I enjoyed so much I’ve dedicated its own blog piece!

I enjoyed Ba so so much, its an amazing city and one I could happily stay in for a long time. For now though its onwards we’re heading to Brazil now for waterfalls, beaches, partying

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