nice streets in Retiro
Well, this is not my idea of knowing a city, but a city tour was included in the package. I also was thinking it was the best to get an overview of the city and go back to the places we found more interesting and well, my mom is not used to walk as much as I do, so it would work. The tour operator was supposed to pick us up from the hotel al 8:45am. Therefore we woke up early, ate breakfast and were in advance. But, they came late. They arrived to the hotel at 9:20 am! I was getting impatient thinking about the time we were wasting… Anyway. First thing I noticed was that we were the only Spanish speaking people at the bus, mmm. All the rest of the people were Brazilian! Brazil had a long holiday, so Buenos Aires was invaded by Brazilian, hahaha. I didn’t miss my Portuguese lessons at all.
I guess I listened to more Portuguese than Spanish during these days, :)
9 de Julio Square - full of people and publicity
We had a young guide. She was explaining things about the city while we were driving around. We started at the big and famous 9 de Julio Ave. We left downtown and moved to another area of the city: “Retiro”, which is a residential and fancy area. This was really peaceful and nice. All the architecture is European style. That’s why Buenos Aires is well known as the most “European” city in South America. Buenos Aires’ biggest green areas are the “Bosques de Palermo” which is next to Retiro in an area called “Palermo”.
During the drive we were able to see different buildings, streets, parks, and squares. We also drove through another area called “Recoleta”. There were so many nice things, I would have been more than happy just to walk around and get lost there, but we weren’t able to leave the bus :( There were just 2 scheduled stops, but we will be back just to walk around :)
with mom at Pza Mayo's fountain
Ok, time to leave the bus, yeah! We went back to downtown; the neighborhood called Monserrat and stopped at Pza de Mayo, the main square in Buenos Aires. This area has the oldest historical monuments churches and buildings in its square. We saw the Government House or Pink House, the Metropolitan Cathedral - I have been there before, but never inside so this was my 1st time there too -, and other main buildings. My mom and I were so happy taking pics that forgot about the time.
When I checked my watch, it was a bit late, just 5min. I was thinking if they made us over 30 min, they should wait for us 5 min, but… they didn’t!!!!!
at the Metro, ready for knowing the city by our own, yeah!
My mom was getting nervous. I said to her: “ok, take it easy. I have a map with me.” I took a look and told her. Well, right now they should be in their way to “La Boca”. Mmm, we would go there too and maybe would be able to catch them there. (I have to be honest, I was hopping we weren’t able to do it…) My mom asked me if we would get a cab. I just said her: “Mom, you are with me and we will do it my style. So, time to catch the “Subte” (that’s how they call the Metro).” It was her fist time using a metro, but after seeing how I was checking the maps and everything she got confident, hehehe. With the Subte we arrived to the Constitucion Station. A really beautiful and old one. We wouldn’t have been able to see it, if we were still with the bus.
Good we lost them or they lost us, hahaha.
At Constitucion Station looking for directions.
I asked to a policeman which bus will drive us to “Caminito” a very colorful and famous area in “La Boca”. He gave me the number of the bus, but we didn’t have coins, so we took a cab. Anyway, it was a short drive and the taxi driver showed us a bit of “La Boca” while we were driving. I asked him to leave us at Boca Junior’s stadium. The 2 main soccer clubs in Argentina are: Boca Juniors & River. And you must have heard how crazy they are for soccer ;) So, this area was an experience itself.
Well, now time to keep on walking and go to Caminito! Caminito is a colorful area with a nice vibe.
It is “picturesque”, a bohemian neighborhood ideal for a foot ride during the day. Caminito is an open-sky museum which recreates the oldest houses called “conventillos”. It was nice to walk around and there were a lot of small restaurants offering besides food tango shows. In fact, while you are walking by, they offered to take a pic with you and you have to tip them. Well, I was lucky, one of the dancers actually asked me to get a pic with me, hahaha. That was so fun. Well, it was almost 2pm, so we decided to stay there and have lunch.
with mom in Caminito :)
I forgot to say, I didn’t see the bus there. To be honest. I wasn’t looking for it, hahaha.
After having a nice lunch it was time to keep on moving. We had a great day knowing the city, but it was time for other important stuff in our agendas: Shopping! :)
Ok, I have been reading about that in advance and also got some tips from friends.
I wasn’t sure if we would be able to check everything, but there was a place I couldn’t miss: the Outlets at Cordoba Ave. I checked the map and it wasn’t so close, so the better way to go in order not to spend much money and get a view of the city was using the bus ;)
Mom agreed. I asked to the waiter at the restaurant which line we should take. He gave us some advices and we left.
We waited for a couple of minutes and the bus came. The Outlets were at Cordoba Ave, 42nd block and up. But the bus only drives until 37th, ok we would walk 5 blocks ;)
I asked the driver to let us know before turning.
I was checking everything at the map, when I noticed there were 2 girls lost. She were from Brazil and didn’t understand anything and the driver was a bit rude to them. Anyway, I helped them. They were going in the opposite direction.
with mom at Cafe Tortoni
We arrived to Cordoba Ave around 4pm. This was a commercial area, but not with fancy stores. We were walking and we were missing something since lunch: Dessert! We needed something sweet. I saw a bakery and we went inside. The Argentineans are not crazy only about meat and wine, they are also crazy about the “Dulce de leche” (blancmange) and it’s delicious! The name of the pastries here is “Facturas” and we got ours, hehe. We were just tasting them while we were walking and arrived to the Outlets’ area.
Well, I don’t need to say what we did there. It’s just enough saying that we were ready to leave around 7:30 pm. Would we go to the hotel? No way! Despite our feet were killing us, we decided to keep on going. My brother asked my mom for a tie from a special brand and we went to a mall just to look for it. That mall was just a few blocks away, but we couldn’t walk much more, haha. We had to take a cab… Well, we looked for that tie, but we couldn’t find the store. But, I found my boots, haha. So it worked after all.
when did he take it?
What to do know? I remembered there is a traditional café I wanted to visit. I talked to my mom about it while we were at the metro and she agreed to go. I told her we should go straight there �" it was just 1 stop away from ours �" otherwise we wouldn’t want to leave the hotel, haha. So, we did it. We arrived to the Station Piedras and found the famous “Café Tortoni”, but there was a long line waiting to go inside!!! We were so close, that we decided to wait.
We waited for almost 30min and finally went inside. This café is old and a tradition in Buenos Aires. We ordered wine. My mom got a pizza and I got a salad. As good friends we were talking about the shopping we did early and were laughing about our adventures, haha. I asked one of the waiters to take a pic of us with “our waiter”. By the way this second waiter was Brazilian. This fact was extremely handy that weekend when Buenos Aires was full of Brazilians. He took our pic and there were 4 guys in the table next to us who started to make compliments. 4 typical Argentinean old guys, hahaha. I couldn’t let this go. I had to get a pic with them. I asked them, if I could get a pic of them and they refused. They said: No way! Unless I’m in the pic, hahaha. So it got it! And when I’m leaving they asked why I was leaving early. If I had to go anywhere else, why didn’t I leave my mom there?
with the "guys"
Mmm, because she's with me!
Uff it was past midnight.
It was a long day and we were more than tired and ready to go to bed. ;)
ready to go to bed after a looong but fun day!