Buenos Aires 17th to 21st January
17 Jan 2008
Up and ready to leave at 8am we proceed back to Brazilian and Argentinian customs which fortunately were quicker than yesterday.
We checked in for our Aerolineas Argentinas flight to Buenos Aires and find that we are right at the back of the plane with agreat view of the tail mounted engine.
Catch a flight to the "Paris of the Americas" and enjoy a city tour during your stay. The capital city of Argentina, Buenos Aires is the ultimate cosmopolitan city. Travellers find that it has more in common with the cities of Europe than the rest of South America. Nearly 40 per cent of Argentina's 33 million citizens live in Greater Buenos Aires, and the Porteños are justifiably proud of their home. The city is comprised of a number of distinct neighbourhoods, some of which have become top tourist draws. For many, the highlight of their time in the capital is a visit to San Telmo for the weekend antiques market and street artistís displays.
After arriving in Buenos Aires we went to our hotel and had time for a short walk and shower before going on a city tour which included seeing the pink palace where Eva Peron made her speeches to the crowds from the balcony and visited La Boca.
La Boca was originally settled by the successive waves of immigrants that contribute to the capital's unique character. Its brightly coloured walls and buildings draw Porteños and tourists alike, and it is here that the world-class football team, Boca Juniors, plies its trade. A Sunday afternoon match at the fabled Bombonera is not to be missed. Posh Recoleta, with its cafes, museums and cemetery, is a pleasant place to spend an afternoon.
We found a nice figurine of Tango dancers in La Boca and took more photos.
In the evening we went out to a steak house "Siga la vaca" where we all ate too much meat.
Feeling too full we decided to walk back along the waterfront getting back to the hotel about 12:30am
During colonial days Buenos Aires was the seat of the Viceroy of La Plata. Almost completely rebuilt since the turn of the century, the heart of the city is the Plaza de Mayo, with the historic Cabildo (Town Hall), where the Independence movement was first planned, the Casa Rosada (Government Palace) and the Cathedral where San Martín, the father of Argentine independence, is buried.
When you are done exploring, settle your weary feet and enjoy a drink in one of the many sidewalk cafes and restaurants and you will begin to understand the contemplative Argentine way of life.
The day begins with a trip to the bank and laundry before finding another internet cafe and updating the diary.
We saw the Obelisk and then returned to the hotel to meet up with Peter Spielmann who I used to work with for lunch
Lunch at the Spanish club is a tremendous old 1930's restaurant very typical of the old Argentina.
The afternoon we went shopping and booked a day trip to Uruguay on Sunday.
It's impossible to believe that only one week has passed since we left home! 9 to go.
Today we decided to see Buenos Aires on foot and after clearing a few things with our tour guide and backing up the photos on to disc we set off at 11am and walked to the main square where we took some more photos of the pink palace and spent longer in the cathedral. From there we walked to the Obelisk and the opera house which is currently under restoration so we could get some good photos of scaffolding. We then headed for the Congress building where there were some lovely fountains and impressive buildings.
A quick lunch stop and we were back on footgoing to Ricoletta and the Cemetry which is world famous and cosists of thousands of mausoleums including Eva Peron's. Alan, you would have needed a whole day just to walk round it and a large memory card for the camera? Many curiosities! At the weekend there is a large "flea market" and we went quite a time looking round it and bought some earrings for Christine with the National stone pink in colour. A long time ago England gave a present to Argentina of a large tower which is called Little Ben but for some reason there is spray painted on part "Las Malvinas"! By the time we got back to the hotel it was 5:30 and we were exhausted.