Buenos Aires – Where the Heck to I Start?

​Howdy all. Still going strong with less than two weeks left on this adventure. I made a few changes to my itinerary from this point on. I won’t go all the way down to El Calafate. Instead tomorrow I overnight to Bariloche and then fly to Iguazu waterfalls next week. Can’t do everything and two months has proven to be an extremely short time to visit South America.

But. Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital. I was told that it was ‘boring’ and that there was ‘nothing to do’ there. Here. Well, don’t believe all advice you get on the road because Buenos Aires has proven to be the most amazing of places, and I have not had a free second until about now to even do my blog!

It’s hard, as the title suggests, to know where to start. This is a seriously big city, and bits and pieces are in good nick and others are in disrepair. Safety is an issue, touchwood no issues thus far. The buildings give a feel similar to the big cities of Eastern Europe. We visited the Palacio Barolo a couple of days back which is impressive at the top and the bottom and was inspired by the ideas of hell, purgatory and heaven and by principally Dante’s writing. Purgatory was pure white like a sanitarium. At the very top a great view of this endless city from a lighthouse no less. Not a lot of ships in central BA but there you go. There I vertigoed!! 

This was built in the boom time from the start of the twentieth century to the 1930s. I also visited the Casa Rosada, the Presidential Palace, which was also very impressive. I quickly got the impression that this place is very much divided into the haves and have nots. But you’d expect the Argentine version of the ‘White House’ to be pretty impressive (re: lavish and at times garish) and it did not disappoint. It looks over the Plaze de Mayo, the spiritual if not physical centre of town. There have been protests on and off there since I got to BA, especially on my first day, last Friday.

To have lunch in the Cafe Tortoni was a highlight, an amazing high-ceilinged place with great service and atmopshere, reminding one of years past. Well so far past I wasn’t around so that today I could remember them. A brilliant experience though, as was the chance to visit the Teatro Colon a couple of nights back to see a concert there. An absolutely stunning theatre with so many levels, the concert was brilliantly performed if the music choices weren’t what I would choose. 

Cafe Tortoni

The city knows about grandeur, and it is absolutely nothing like any place I’ve been in South America. The size, the scale, very European. The Museum of the Decorative Arts is actually housed in this amazing mansion, and continues this theme. It’s main purpose may be to display artefacts but the house is the real reason to visit it because it’s just mind-blowing. It’s also free to visit on a Tuesday which is great. Big, grand, ball rooms and huge chandeliers, oh and the bathroom!

Time for me to stop. For now. Because there’s the Perons and a day trip to  Tigre, art gallery, a giant bookshop and so much more. Buenos Aires. Phew!! A second post is in the offing when I get the chance. May the Journey Never End!

Plaza de Mayo

7 comments

  • Andy, BsAs is one of my FAVOURITE cities in the world. I’ve been there twice now and would love to one day move there. Did you make it to La Boca? Go for a bit of dancing at milonga? Go clubbing at Puerto Madero? There is SO much to do! Agree that 2 months in S Am is way too short – I had 3 months and didn’t go to Brazil, hardly saw Chile and didn’t make it out to Bariloche or Ushuaia! Travel safe and enjoy Buenos Aires!

  • I’ve been looking forward to you reaching Argentina! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed BA! I liked it a lot, too, and felt that most things I’d heard in advance were way too negative. We didn’t go to all those museums, though – else where in Argentina, yes, but BA for some reason, no. Mostly I remember empanadas 😉 yum. Enjoy the last weeks of your trip!!

  • I’ve heard really good things about Buenos Aires, despite people saying there’s “nothing to do” there. Like you say, the city knows how to do grandeur quite well – evident from your pics. Keep travelling safely 🙂

  • You will never get bored in Buenos Aires! I see you have experienced that what they told you – that BA is a boring city- is far from true. Fun is around the corner in Palermo, Recoleta, Belgrano, Puerto Madero, La Boca and even in each of the other neighbourhoods that are part of this huge metropolis. I hope you will come back! Cheers from the furious city, as a songs calls it.

  • I’ve heard a lot of good things about BA, it’s actually at the top of places I’d like to visit in South America. That and Patagonia.

    Frank (bbqboy)

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