Buenos Aires-part 3 Jordon's visit

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

 › entry 37 of 49 › view all entries
Plaza San Martin
Jordon arrived Friday morning, six hours late, and that afternoon we took off to Colonia Uruguay. Mostly to see somewhere else and to get my three month tourist allowance to start over after about a month of being there so that when I come back from the North in March I will still be legal. The tourist visa here last three month, which is quite common, and March would put me at four months. When I return in March I will need to go again so start my three months anew.

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.
Sun Market in San Telmo
Jordon and I walked around the town, finding the main drag in the historic center and followed down to the Rio de Plata, which divides the two countries.

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.
Sun Market in San Telmo
We sat by the water and watch some fishermen, relaxed a little and then moved on to find some where to eat. We came across of lovely little plaza that was once the armory, includes a church, and a series of small businesses and restaurants. We stopped in to a restaurant called the Drugstore (we didn’t know the name until after). They had lovely outdoor seating, but we opted for inside because is was very colorful and festive. We relaxed there for a little bit and made the trek back to the port to learn that the boat wasn’t leaving for another two hours, which we thought but wanted to make sure. So we went down to another part of the river put our hands in and watched the sunset. And at 10pm Uruguay time we left Colonia and headed back to BsAs for dinner.
Sun Market in San Telmo


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.
La Boca
The amazing things is this is only one of many markets in the city, there is also a market in Chacaritas, in Belgrano, Recoleta on Saturdays, La Boca on the weekend, and San Telmo on Sundays. Generally, if there is a plaza there are people selling goods there on the weekend.

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).
La Boca
They did not have my favorite mojellas (sweet bread aka thyroid gland) so we had to get some the next day. But he ate and liked everything and was not disgusted by any of it. I realized though that I do not really miss steak (as a vegetarian back in the states), but rather those things that Americans think are grose. Those are the part that have their own flavor, the rest you have to add some veggie or spice�"might as well just eat the veggies.

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.
La Boca
We went over to Plaza Freud, named such because a lot of psychiatrists lived there at one time. Then we took the subte to the center, I left him there and took it back out on my radial B and rested before we met up for his first tango class. Being my friend, Juan P and Rocío gave him special attention and he did quite well and is inspired to take classes in the States.

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.
La Boca
And so I learned that there are so many stores and it costs so much more because it is sooooo much better than the others. I mean I haven’t cared for mint and chip ice cream for ages, but this mint and chip is a whole other story, so fresh and light on the dairy, and paired with dark chocolate ice cream. I hate to say it, but I became an addict. There is also one other really expensive ice cream place, but I haven’t tried it yet because there is a strict dress code…not really, but it looks like there could be. There just is not one close to my house.

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.
The barrio is most well-known for the historic cemetery and these trees with expansive trunk/roots, the name of which I can never remember. We walked around the pedestrian area where there are a handful of restaurants, bars, and clubs that are large tourist and young people attractions. We picked a place that was more low key and seemingly the kick it place for the under 20 crowd. I ordered us each a Fernet and Cola, the other most typical drink of Argentina. Fernet is a herbal liquor from Italy and without Argentina I think the company would go out of business. It is not bad, not great either, but they love it. Around 3am we called it a night because Sunday was Jordon’s last full day in BsAs and there was still so much to see.

We walked from where he was staying to the market in historic San Telmo.
Their new presidenta
We started at Calle Florida, which is the largest pedestrian only street I have ever experienced. It is the main shopping drag and a huge tourist draw. It extends over 10 blocks and is intersected by another pedestrian street called La Valle. La Valle is pedestrian based until it reaches Blvd. 9 de Julio, which one of the largest blvds in the world I think with some thing like 4 or 6 lanes in each direction. The two most outer lanes are for local traffic and the inner lanes are for through traffic. The blvd. also features the obelisk of the city which is quite famous.

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.
Colonia Uruguay
White bonnets are painted on the ground symbolizing the mothers of “los deseparecidos” who mysteriously vanished during the last major political era. The mothers and the families march on the plaza every Thursday in memory of those found and still missing and hope for justice. And slowly they are getting it as recently a priest was convicted in aiding the government in these mass murders.

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.
Colonia Uruguay


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.
Colonia Uruguay
The first is that it is the home to La Boca football stadium, with Boca Jrs as it home team, which is one of the most popular in the country. The down side of this is that the fans are extremely violent and destructive, so while my fellow city planners are thinking that it is a great economic opportunity, to open a business there also carries a lot of economic risk.

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.
Colonia Uruguay
Again though within a few blocks you are in the poorest neighborhood in BsAs that is really really run down. And within a few blocks of this you are under the freeway amongst the housed of rubbish and cardboard that the poorest of the poor have collect throughout the city.

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.
The drug store, Colonia Uruguay
But somewhere there is a missing social program that is not picking up the slack and failures of our economic markets, no shelters, no keep the kids in school anything, nothing. We have the same problem in that states, in some ways different, but in most ways it is the same and a product of the same way of living as a society.

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.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Plaza San Martin
Plaza San Martin
Sun Market in San Telmo
Sun Market in San Telmo
Sun Market in San Telmo
Sun Market in San Telmo
Sun Market in San Telmo
Sun Market in San Telmo
La Boca
La Boca
La Boca
La Boca
La Boca
La Boca
La Boca
La Boca
Their new presidenta
Their new presidenta
Colonia Uruguay
Colonia Uruguay
Colonia Uruguay
Colonia Uruguay
Colonia Uruguay
Colonia Uruguay
Colonia Uruguay
Colonia Uruguay
The drug store, Colonia Uruguay
The drug store, Colonia Uruguay
Colonia Uruguay
Colonia Uruguay
Market in Belgrano
Market in Belgrano
View from Jordons hotel window
View from Jordon's hotel window