Buenos Aires Travel Blog› entry 12 of 15 › view all entries
After having been in relatively small towns for the majority of my trip, arriving in Buenos Aires was kind of a shock. The city is enormous. I think something 13 million people live there with the city just continuing on forever. I took the subway to my hostel in the neighborhood of San Telmo.
San Telmo is a working class area now, but used to be the center for wealthier Argentinians in the past. The buildings are all quite old and run down but the architecture is still quite nice giving the area a cool atmosphere. The first day was horrible weather but there is a well known Antiques Market in San Telmo so I headed down there. The market is basically an overblown garage sale with weirdos selling everything from old bottles to Nazi pins to old locks. I dont know who is buying all this crap but it was still an interesting place.
The next day I got up early and went to the Recoleta neighborhood. Recoleta is now the most popular place to live for the rich in Buenos Aires. Strangely the biggest attraction to this part of town is the massive cemetary where past presidents, generals and otherwise wealthy are laid to rest in extrordinarily obnoxious tombs. Much like you see in the cemetaries in New Orleans, Recoleta has everyone buried above ground in huge marble tombs each larger and more excessive than the next. It did create a very creepy vibe to the whole place but it was still fun to look at all the names and dates of the peopel there. Also there was Evita Peron, but her tomb was strangely normal for such a reverred person. That night I went to a crazy drumming show in an older part of town. Las Bombas Del Tiempo or the Drummer of Time, are a group of 15 guys who just make up songs on the spot in a big theatre in the middle of town. It was very cool with lots of locals and tourists there dancing and hanging out.
The next couple days I spent lazily wandering the city. It has a very European feeling, not at all like the rest of South America I had seen so far. Wide boulevards to an extreme, one street was 10 lanes of traffic all going the same direction, many parks and a great subway system reminded me of a more run down and cheaper Paris. I tried to find the Canucks opening game of the season, finding an American bar but they naturally didnt have the CBC so I was out of luck, not that it mattered i found out they got killed so I probably just saved myself a headache.
After a couple of late nights hanging out with friends I had met elsewhere on my travels I needed to get out of Buenos Aires, the city really parties a lot and very very late. Most people dont eat dinner until at least 10 and would never go to the bar before about 12. And nightclubs are a different matter all together, most not opening until 1 and then still no one shows up until 3ish. I have no idea why they do it this way, its impossible to sleep normally or to enjoy a sort of slow night. After a couple of very late nights, or early mornings depending on your point of view I decided it was time of a proper rest and headed to the Brazilian border to check out Iguazu Falls catching another 20 hour bus.