Chocolate, Churros, and a Three Hour Tour

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

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Enjoying churros and chocolate at Cafe Tortoni.
    Well, I did fall behind in this blog somewhat and it would be completely impossible to catch up on everything that's happened within the past few days, as well as the number of times I've found myself lost trying to walk to school, so I'll stick to the highlights. So far, classes have been going relatively well at UdeSA (The University of San Andres), an extremely modern and small school where I am taking high intermediate Spanish grammar and culture. Fortunately, my professors seem very nice and informed, my class has only ten students, guaranteeing lots of personal attention, and the school is located in a beautiful area of town, which has inspired me to walk the half hour to class each day. However, as you can probably guess, class itself has not been the highlight of the trip, but rather the city of Buenos Aires itself.
Street lamp in the Plaza de Mayo at dusk.

    On Monday, Cara, Erika, and I decided to head back into Buenos Aires to visit the famous Plaza del Mayo, where the national government buildings are housed.  After looking around the Casa Rosada, (a pink rip off of the White House) and the national cathedral, we decided to grab some coffee at the famous Cafe Tortoni, Buenos Aires' premier spot to enjoy a cup of coffee and the views of Argentine waiters in tuxedos. Built in 1850 something, the cafe epitomizes the old world elegance that defines Buenos Aires as well as the rich food that's making me gain a pound or two. At the cafe, we  enjoyed churros con chocolate, which I'm pretty sure is the national snack. Trust me when I say that the chocolate, which is served in pitchers, at Cafe Tortoni is without a doubt the best in the world.
Another Boca street.
Although we expected this experience to cost us an arm and a leg, we were happy to realize that it only cost us about 15 pesos (or 5 dollars) each.
    On Tuesday the school hired out a professional Argentine guide to take us on a a three hour tour (very Gilliganesque) of the city. After seeing the Plaza del Mayo for the second time, we headed to a neighborhood called La Boca. Although not the best section of town, we enjoyed La Boca's famed rainbow houses, so ecclectically colored because the first inhabitants of the neighborhood could not afford to buy paint and thus had to rely on using leftovers from the neighboring shipyard. After taking as many photos as we could, we headed on to the Cemetary at Recoleta, a city of tombs that the Argentines astutely refer to as a necropolis.
Glowing angels and darkened flames create the skyline of the necropolis at Recoleta.
In this gathering place of Argentine's (former) rich and famous, you can see all the glammer and guade of a Las Vegas hotel permanently etched in stone to commerorate a loved one's passing. The cemetary is a true example of one upmanship at its finest. We also were able to see Eva Peron's grave, as well as the hoardes of tourists snapping pictures of it.
    At night we stuck around the city in the area of San Telmo and were surprised to find that even at 7 30, none of the famous "Parilla" or Argentine barbecue places were open for dinner, a testament to how nocturnal this society really is. However, we did find a small place to share a few snacks and then headed home, exhausted, but having had a great day.
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Enjoying churros and chocolate at …
Enjoying churros and chocolate at…
Street lamp in the Plaza de Mayo a…
Street lamp in the Plaza de Mayo …
Another Boca street.
Another Boca street.
Glowing angels and darkened flames…
Glowing angels and darkened flame…
Eva Perons grave.
Eva Peron's grave.
MMMMMMMMmmmmmm.
MMMMMMMMmmmmmm.
Subway stop at Plaza Mayo.
Subway stop at Plaza Mayo.
Recoleta Cemetery, necropolis.
Recoleta Cemetery, necropolis.
A typical building in Boca.
A typical building in Boca.