Buenos Aires Travel Blog› entry 106 of 177 › view all entries
Had big plans for today, but turned out it was a public holiday so it all went by the wayside. Got on the train to go to the Brazilian Embassy for Melissa´s visa, and thought things were very quiet! Everything was closed today, so walked home along Calle Florida as some of the shops were still trading. Bought a nice pair of leather gloves for Melissa and booked a tour to the country for Wednesday, then went home. Even our internet place was shut, so had a day watching TV and snoozing.
Did today what we should have done yesterday! Dropped Melissa´s visa application in to the Brazilians, then went around to American Express to try and organise a new card (the old one expires before we get home). Also managed to update travbuddy for the first time in a week! In the afternoon we walked up to the Congreso, a very impressive building, although in a bit of a tatty area. We couldn´t go in because the Congress was actually in special session to deal with the strikes. There are quite a few parks and gardens in front of it which seem to attract almost every dog walker in Buenos Aires - although they didn´t seem to be doing much walking, just sitting around drinking mate and watching the dogs sleep! Also plenty of vagrants sleeping here, so must be a fairly comfortable place.
The big agricultural strikes and protests are still going here, and last night the whole country hit the streets. We could hear lots of pot-banging going on, and when we switched to the local news, it was chaos! The main squares and roads in Buenos Aires were filled with people protesting, and the same was happening all over the country. There is going to be a big protest in the city on Wednesday, so works out well that we are doing our gaucho trip then. We couldn´t believe how restrained the police were with the protestors, given their reputation over the years. They just did not react when people smashed their car windows and tried to drag away the people they were arresting. We expected water cannons and smoke bombs, but nothing of the sort happened! It was all quite restrained, although noisy.