San Telmo

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

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Noel at the Casa Minima, the house is only the white-painted section.
Had our first real day of sightseeing today, so wandered over to the San Telmo district to visit the famous markets and stalls.  Sunday is very lively in San Telmo, with the street of Defensa lined for blocks with stalls of handcrafts, antiques, second hand goods etc..  Lots of leather goods, of course, but also a lot of cheap tourist tat.  You really do wonder who buys some of the stuff that they sell!  We had a quick look at the Casa Minima in SAn Lorenzo - the house is only 2.2m wide, and is the type of "in-betwen" house that families built for their slaves to live in (built in between the gaps of bigger houses).  This little street also has lots of better quality artisan stalls, and we finally found Noel his perfect knife & fork set.
One of the street bands in San Telmo, many of them even have an old piano rolled out onto the cobble stones.
  It´s hand made, and the chap even etched his name onto the knife blade, so Noel is ready to meet any impromptu asado with gusto now!  WAlked through the Mercado San Telmo, near the Plaza Dorrego, to see all the antique shops and food stalls.  On the weekend, it is mostly antiques, although a few fruit and veg and meat sellers were also there.  The quality of the produce looked pretty good, so got some salad ingredients and a yummy-looking chorizo for dinner.  Around in the Plaza, the tango dancers compete with the mass of antique stalls set up on Sundays, so quite an experience to push your way through the crowds to check out all the odds and ends, while listening to tango music and spying the dancers through the crowds (if you´re lucky).
Interior of the Mercado de San Telmo.
  The Plaza is also edged by restaurants, so it is quite a feat to find your way through the tables as well.  We bought a pastie-type thing off a street vendor, because couldn´t face sitting down amongst all the chaos!  From here, we kept walking along Defensa to the Pasaje Defensa.  This is a traditional mansion built in the 1880´s and in which lived one of the famous Argentinian families, the Ezeiza´s.  It is now full of shops selling antiques (again), tourist items, clothing etc..  It would have been a beautiful place to live, with two levels and terraces on both floors.  The rooms all have enormously high ceilings, and lots of beautiful tile work.  A little further along Defensa we reached the Parque Lezama, right on the edge of La Boca.  There were a few stalls set up here, but not much of interest to us.  On the edge of the park is an ornate Russian Orthodox church with blue domes, and on the other side is the National Historical Museum, which we will visit another day.
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Noel at the Casa Minima, the house…
Noel at the Casa Minima, the hous…
One of the street bands in San Tel…
One of the street bands in San Te…
Interior of the Mercado de San Tel…
Interior of the Mercado de San Te…
Tango dancers in Plaza Dorrego.
Tango dancers in Plaza Dorrego.