We arrived in BsAs, as it is referred to by the locals, after spending an uneventful night at an airport hotel in Santiago. It was Sunday afternoon and we were hit by the chill of autumn in the air. Everyone was bundled up, but the sun was shining and the sky was very blue!
This is another city where I had always wanted to come. It probably has to do with my love of music and of course seeing the musical Evita when I was young added to the magic of the city. (Perhaps I should stop watching musicals... after writing that line I can see that the same thing happened to me with the Sound of Music and Austria!!) ANYWAY, after meeting fellow travellers along the way who sang BsAs praises, we were thrilled to be here.
The original reason we planned on coming to BsAs was for our friend's wedding. Cristina and Jeronimo, friend's of ours from London (and Georgetown) are getting married on Saturday at Jeronimo's family's house outside of BsAs and we didn't want to miss being there to celebrate. We figured we would get here a little early and take a week of Spanish classes since we will be in South America for almost 3 months and thought being able to communicate would be pretty handy!
We are staying with a family for the week in an area called Palermo, which is lovely...just on the corner of Las Heras and St Ortiz, next to a fantastic park. The apartment is enormous - 4/5 bedrooms and takes up the whole floor of the building (we can only imagine how much it would cost in London!!) The host family doesn't speak any English so our arrival on Sunday afternoon was interesting, but we did the best we could with hand signals and the like to make ourselves understood. Another student is also living with Gloria and her husband, Kristin, who is American and much further advanced in her Spanish studies than we are!
On our first night, we walked around just taking in the atmosphere of the city - what words come to mind? European, stylish, friendly, latin, animal lovers... and many more. We couldn't get over how comfortable we immediately felt here in spite of not speaking a word of Spanish. We love it immediately!
We met Cristina and Jeronimo for dinner - at 10pm! Argentines eat dinner very late here, so it is something we will have to get used to! We had a lovely 4 course dinner, fantastic wine - all for less than $20! Given our last experience confusing currency, we double-checked that the prices were in pesos and they were! Truly unbelievable how inexpensive it is here. It was GREAT to see Jere and Cris after so long - and it was the first time we have seen them since their engagement...we had a good chat then all went home - us to prepare for our first day of "school" and them to prepare to pick up relatives arriving the next day.
Ok, so we have only been here a day, but we just love it... all the people we have met were right. Jonathan even gave his Spanish a go today by asking for directions... AND we got to where we wanted! Time to rest up for school.... structure, after 7 months of doing what we want, when we want will be tough!!