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Buenos Aires

Posted by on March 21, 2012

Meaning “Good Air”, Buenos Aires (BA) is an incredible city. We spent four days here and barely scratched the surface. There is so much to see and do that it would probably takes months to feel like you know BA. I am definitely coming back here. We didnt have a set itinery here, rather, we were told about some of the various attractions available and was given the freedom to come and go as we pleased visiting whatever we wanted. We were staying at the Florida Suites (so named for the street it was on) which was a rather nice hostel. Nice to finally sleep in a proper bed and not on a 1/2 cm thick foam mat. But more on Florida Suites later. On to BA!

I would like to talk about each day but truth is, you get so lost in the beauty and vibe of BA that the days just seem to merge into one. I’ll just mention some of the key things I did but disregard the order. Mike (our tour leader) had been telling us of a favourite restuarant of his that he visits when in BA. A steak house that does the best ‘file de chorizo’ which is essentially a large fillet steak marinaded in a special sauce and then grilled. The waiters at the restaurant (the name alludes me) as well as every other decent place to eat do not use pen and paper and can easily take a food and drink order from 17 people at once and get it spot on. The steak was superb but I’ve been told that they do better steak in Salta so looking forward to that.

After our meal, we headed out to an Irish pub Mike likes called Kil Kenny’s for a couple beers. I found it rather expensive so held back for a little. They had a live Irish band come in which a few of us enjoyed but I decided to head across the road to ‘The Pirate Bar”. All the staff were dressed as pirates although sadly, there was not much Arrrr’ing to be heard. Beers were the same price as Kenny’s (34 pesos) but had one nonetheless. 5 minutes later, a group of about 20 American agricultural students walked in, I joined the party and we had a jolly good time playing some coinage and chatting. Couldnt party with them all night unfortunately as they were off early in the morning but I’m sure to see some of them again when I get to the states later this year. All in all, a good night.

The next day, a group of us walked around a little with Mike as he gave us a basic introduction to BA. The history, what to do and where the essentials (laundromat, banks, forex bureaus) where located. Was intersting to learn that the design and construction of BA were based on Paris which the president at the time loved. The older buildings have elaborately designed exteriors and the roads all make use of a one-way system. On further walks around town with Joel, we came across the BA Cultural Center which had a mini Louvres outside the building. No Eiffle tower to be seen however :-P but you cant have everything now can you. There was a bit of a protest going on in the main square. Nothing exciting, just a sit-in but we were warned not to take pictures because it could upset some of the protesters.

Walking around BA (day or night) was not a problem. Felt completely safe at all times but that probably because we were in a tourist section of town which had a heavy police presence. People are up and about every hour of the day and there is always something to do or some place to go. Florida Suites (which is part of the Hostel Suites group) had a massive wall dedicated to daily activities available for the week. They provided VIP entrance to the biggest clubs (which sadly I didnt get to use) and staying with them meant a 20% discount on all drinks and good as Fusion, their basement bar (which was a popular hangout for residents and locals alike). Met some really cool people there which I hope to see again in the future.

At some point, Katherine, Nadine and I jumped on a train and took a 45 minute train ride out of the heart of the city to an area called the Tigres Delta. They had a canal type system going where you could buy a ticket for a boat and take a small trip around. We got there quite late though (5pm) so the boat cruises where closing up as well as the rest of the town. Walked around for a while taking in the sights before stopping off at a pub / restuarant and enjoying a couple beers and a pizza. Much cheaper when you get out of city central. Since the train ticket only cost us about 3 pesos (return ticket), it was probably the cheapest “excursion” ever :-P

We were told that some of the most interesting places to visit in BA were the areas La Boca and Recoletta but I unfortunately didnt manage to make it there. There was just so much to see and do that it would have been almost impossible to see all that was recommended. I do feel that 4 days was hardly enough time and I had added Buenos Aires to my list of places to definitely go back to. Have a few contacts there now which I would like to see again and woukd make returning much easier. What an awesome place. Buenos Aires, I will see you again!

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