Buenos Aires in Transit

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

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Where´s the bingo

Walking out of the airport was a pleasure. 18 degrees at 10am and 75 percent humidity. Off with the jerseys and jackets which we had been wearing to ward off London’s spring weather. Second surprise. Sunshine. Yay.


First impressions of Buenos Aires when coming from the airport is that it is an enormous city (13m according to one guidebook). A 5 lane highway brings you into the city where it reduced down, once you have taken an off-ramp, to 1 or 2 lanes of chaos. Trucks, taxis and pollution all mixed together. The pollution is bad enough to sting the eyes. There are also a huge number of very large buildings. Some quite strange looking blocks of flats – high but not wide.


Everyone said to us that it feels like a European city. Not when you drive in let me tell you. Kat and I were both thinking that we were bloody glad that we had not rented a car and driven in.


We had booked a room at the Rochester Concept Hotel in Maipu Street. This seemed to confuse the taxi driver (as there is a Rochester hotel in Esmeralda – a parallel road one away). Got a little stranger when we walked in and the hotel was called the Hyde Park hotel. But they had our booking. Ask no questions….


The room wasn’t ready so we left our stuff standing in the reception and went for a walk around. Another impression is that the streets are really narrow and don’t really have a pavement to speak of. We wandered around until we found a pedestrian arcade to walk down and then found a place for a quiet beer.


It is quite a nice feeling going to a city for a day and knowing you will be back in 2 months for a few days. You know you don’t have to try and fit everything in.


In Lavalle arcade we found a nice little spot looking out towards the bingo hall (with nice neon signs). You could almost hear the bingo wings flapping in anticipation.


Following a very well priced beer (note for the English service industry: which was provided with complimentary snacks of peanuts, olives and chips (crisps to those in the UK)) we were feeling quite shattered after the minimal sleep on the plane.


After chilling in the hotel for a bit, we went for another walk around the pedestrian arcades (Florida and the remainder of Lavalle). Lots of shops and lots of the same. Leather, electronics, clothes (all the Euro stuff you can think of: Zara, etc), another leather shop, sex shop, news stand. Two curiosities are:

·        the little guys to go around with a cart of hot coffee in flasks

·        the guys doing shoe shines. They look like they do a great job.


Those keen on shopping will be sad to note that “Harrods” has closed down it appears.


It is after walking around and sitting and “people watching” for a bit that you realise where the European comparison coming in. The majority of people could be from anywhere in Europe.


Had a quiet bite and an early night in anticipation of another early morning to fly to El Calafate.


The hotel Rochester/Hyde Park provided some entertainment in that our room had an interleading door between our room and the next which I think must have been made of tissue paper. You could hear the toilet flush in the next room. Enough said. Got the majority of a good night’s sleep with the exception of Kat’s alarm which, due to the joys of Nokia phone technology, continues to operate even when the phone is off. There is a 4 hour time difference between Argentina and the UK. You get the idea.


I have also managed to get a sim card for my phone, but for the life of me I can’t work out how the hell to buy airtime. Not something included in the Spanish phrasebooks and receiving contradictory and very confused looks from anyone we ask. Oh well.


Up early to get the flight. Quick, easy and painless, although the security measures at the airport for domestic flights are not quite at the same level that we are used to – walk through the metal detector which beeps, guard waves you on etc.

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Where´s the bingo
Where´s the bingo