Buenos Aires: Part 1

Florianopolis Travel Blog

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This is going to be a very random blog. I will try to focus on each point and make clear transitions, but I can’t promise anything! My brain is just going through everything possible about Argentina. I’ve split it up into 6 different sections: Places to go and things to see, Money, Residencia and random facts, Food, People, and Class. Since these are really long, I’ve split it up into 3 different blog sections. This first section includes Places to go and things to see and People. The second blog will include Money and Food. The third blog will have Residencia and random facts and Class.

One of the most beautiful places in Buenos Aires (I’m going to abbreviate it as BA) is the Rose Garden off of Libertad and Sarmiento. Unfortunately, I just discovered it during the last week that I was there. It’s absolutely beautiful, clean, groomed, and very pleasant to take your mind off the city. There is a lane to run, bike, or walk in around the park and around the lake. This is a must-see in BA.

I really loved the Flamenco show that we got to see as a group. The intimate atmosphere created an excellent mood for the type of dance that was performed. The tapas-style dinner was excellent, but the show took it all. The musicians and dancers were so passionate about their art! I was taken away by their talent.

I never took the chance to visit a Jazz Club, but the people who did go really loved it. This is one thing that I wish I had taken the time to do. I don’t follow jazz very much, but I think the atmosphere and the company of great new friends can make the evening wonderful even if you don’t know much about jazz.

Everyone has to visit the touristy Caminito in La Boca. You should also have a bite to eat at one of the tango cafes. The dancers and waiters are very sweet and welcoming. They will probably make you dance with them, so do it and have fun!

I enjoyed visiting the Recoletta Cemetery. It’s so very different from cemeteries in the United States. Gabriel did a great job showing us the most interesting tombs and influential figures in Argentina’s history. It’s really just a nice place to stroll around in, once you get over the cemetery feeling.

Another great place in Recoletta is the market from Friday to Sunday. I didn’t visit any other markets, but I really enjoyed this one. There are so many vendors! The things they sell are, for the most part, great quality and very interesting. Take your time looking through everything; don’t go if you only have a little bit of time. Buy stuff, too! You won’t see places like this in Brazil so pick up the cheap goodies while you’re there. And don’t worry about how you’ll get it home. I’m sure you’ll find a way.

Mendoza was a wonderful trip. I stayed at the Lugares Hostel. They were extremely helpful; I couldn’t have done any of the things I did without them. They arrange trips for you that leave straight from the hostel. Mendoza has everything from wine tours to trekking to paragliding. It’s a hodgepodge of outdoor activities, mixed with a relaxing atmosphere. There are a ton of cafes with plenty of outdoor seating since the weather is almost always very nice. There is a huge park north of the city that is said to be amazing. I didn’t have time to visit it, but I heard plenty of great things about it. I would recommend staying about 3-4 days to do everything that you would like.

Plaza Serrano is the place for bars and nightlife. You have to hit up Tazz, a space-like atmosphere bar. We only were carded once and half of us didn’t have ID, so bring ID just in case. Near the Plaza Serrano is a restaurant and wine bar called Club del Vino. This place is wonderful for wine. They even have a little museum for wine! I can’t really remember how to get there and I don’t want to give incorrect directions, so google it or go to the Plaza Serrano and ask around for directions.

I would recommend visiting the zoo for an afternoon. Buy the cheapest ticket, the “pasaporte” isn’t worth the extra money. They have some unique animals and the setup of the park is great.

The asado at the owner of the residencia’s house was incredible. That is one night that I will never forget. The house was beautiful, the wine and beer were flowing, there were endless amounts of toppings for the delicious steak burgers, and to top the night off- we had a disco going. The DJ was fun and the lights just topped it all off. I hope he does that for the group next year because that was a really fun time!

The Opera was beautiful! The tour was great and very interesting. The show was a good chance to do something different and get dressed up. I think everyone really enjoyed it.

Soccer games were some of the most memorable moments in BA. You have no clue what to expect, and whatever you do expect is nothing compared to what it’s really like. I thoroughly enjoyed being with the fans and hearing their songs. The love and passion those people have for their team and the players is incredible. Those were events that I will never forget! And don’t forget to bring warm clothes because it gets really cold as soon as the sun drops below the stadium walls!

The Subte is amazing! Use it as much as you can instead of taking taxis. It’s extremely cheap ($0.70 pesos or $0.35 cents) and gets you everywhere you need to go.

Stop by the Botanical Gardens (right off of Santa Fe) and play with the cats. They are really tame, cute, and decently healthy for living in a park.

Puerto Madera looked really cool. I wish we had known about it sooner so we could have had more time to visit the parks and surrounding area. Hopefully transportation to that area will get better before the next group goes.

I never went to the Japanese Gardens, but I heard that they are really great. Take time to see the parks!

Colonia, Uruguay was a great break and a great chance to see Uruguay. Pray for good weather!

Go to cafes to talk and relax and drink café con leche and submarinos (hot milk that you dip chocolate in). Learn to relax and enjoy the little moments with friends!

Unfortunately, not very many people speak English. And I mean they don’t speak any English at all. If you don’t know any Spanish, I would recommend having a Spanish-English dictionary to get around.

Talk to the Argentines in the residencias. Almost all of them speak English, or at least a little bit. They are very nice and helpful too! They always know where the best parties are…

Watch out for the mullets and rat-tails! They’ll catch you off guard.

Argentines speak Castilian Spanish and their double “ll’s” are prounounced like a “j” instead of with a “y”. Practice speaking like that before you leave to pick it up quicker. It sounds very pretty!

The Argentines are very nice and welcoming. They may not understand your Spanish because their ears aren’t used to our accents. Don’t think they’re trying to ignore or be rude to you. They just really don’t understand.

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photo by: Vagabondatheart