Buenos Aires-part 3 Jordon's visit
Buenos Aires Travel Blog› entry 37 of 49 › view all entries
December 16th, 2007 – by: bvanb
Colonia is a very small, quaint, quiet, and old little city, despite that it is the main receiving port of people going between the two countries. Most people come there on the Buque bus and take the bus onto the capital city of Montevideo or to the beautiful beaches of Punte del Este, which is where I hope to go next time I am make the trip.
There is also a land based entrance into Uruguay, but I think that it is currently closed due to some recent political issues surrounding Uruguay’s approval allowing a Swiss paper company to open a mill along the river after agreeing with Argentina that they would not. As a result there have been many protests and swaths of Argentines going over there and causing a ruckus with the help of GreenPeace.
Anyways, we walked along the waters edge, which is pretty brown and dirty as far as one could see on both sides. The peninsula that is the historic city is very small and can be crossed within 15 minutes of walking.
I took Jordon out for a typical street meal of enpanadas (stuffed pockets of bread and in this case with beef and boiled egg) and choripan (a chorizo sausage on bread). After that we ventured over to Plaza Serrano, which is not the actual name, but rather the popular name because it is off Calle Serrano. The Plaza features a lively nightlife of bars and a couple clubs that you would not even know existed if you were more then a block in any direction away. The Plaza is part of barrio Palermo called Palermo SoHo (there is also Palermo Viejo, Barrio Norte, and probably one or two that I am missing). We shared a Quilmes (the national beer) ate some peanuts and called it a night. The area is full of trendy clothing and housing stores as well, and in the day time many of the buildings are converted into ferias or markets.
On Saturday Jordon and I went and ate parilla or Argentina BBQ, which it is famous for. Per capital Argentines eat way more meat then we do, but they eat quality meat, feed lot free, although they are starting to emerge for some strange reason…I ordered for us because I did not want him to think about what we eating before he tried it. Unlike in the States they eat everything and so did we. We ate morcilla (blood sausage), chinchurin (small intestine), ringones (kidney), short ribs, and bife de lomo (steak).
The venture to the Parilla took us through my working class neighborhood and over to Palermo at Avenida Cordoba. Then we took the bus past Palermo Soho and up to Belgrano, a wealthy neighborhood close to the edge of the capital city. We walked around, went to the market in the plaza, drank some espresso, then jumped on the subte down and over to Avenida Santa Fe another popular shopping area in Barrio Norte.
After the class we had ice cream at the best place EVER, called Freddo. It is Artisan hand-made ice cream that is so rich and fresh. At first I was reluctant to get the ice cream there because it is about twice the price as other places and it is a ubiquitous chain. But another night when I hang out with some other Argentines who took me out the lovely food court at the Cineplex for dinner I no choice but to eat that ice cream since I wanted icecream.
After the tango and the ice cream we took a cab to barrio Recoleta, which is without a doubt the most wealthy part of the city featuring international embassies, mansions, high-end apartments, and all of the luxury shopping you could dream of.
We walked from where he was staying to the market in historic San Telmo.
We walked down all of Calle Florida and continued down to Plaza de Mayo. Plaza de Mayo is one of the main demonstration plazas as it is directly in front of the Casa Rosa, the Argentina federal government building.
From the Plaza we walked further south through a run down part of town into the run down San Telmo. It amazes me how an area can be so rich and vibrant and within a matter of two blocks it looks and feels as though you are in a dying neighborhood. This is so likely because the building are so old and thus expensive to maintain. A lot of buildings are for sale and soon with a good amount of investment and work the area will have a rebirth.
Currently, it is a major destination for tourist and also hosts a pretty happening night life. Travels are cautioned however, because there are a lot of robberies there, which occur because there are a lot of wealthy tourists there. We ate lunch at another parilla restaurant and finally got to have some mojellas, which are the best fattiest most unhealthy portions of the cow you can eat. Just add a little salt and good amount of lemon and eat. We spent some time walking around the market buying gifts and listening to the music.
But we did not have much time and had to get to La Boca before darkness fell upon the city because it is probably the least safe place to be as a tourist once darkness falls. La Boca is very famous for two reasons.
The other main attraction is Caminito, a small and colorful series of streets know for tango. The area was once an industrial center, but was donated to the city. Soon squatters and immigrants of sorts came to area and built haphazard homes out of what ever they could find and painted them with really bright colors. Today these streets have improved and so have the buildings, but the spirit remains.
While it is evident in many parts of the city, the many children selling small goods on the subte, selling themselves in the streets, the families sleeping in the corridors, and begging in the streets, the losers of the capitalist system glare at you here. So many people unable to make a living in this bustling city for all sorts of reasons, because they are handicapped, mentally ill, a veteran of a war who lost everything, or were simply born into poverty. Fortunately, here they can get healthcare for free.
After Jordon left I took the next two days to catch up on my sleep, finish out my tango lessons, and spend time with my latest friends. I held a dinner on Tuesday night for my landlords and our apartment based family. And on Wednesday packed up all my gear to my ventures to 9 de Julio and Chilecito.
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