Friday, 9 May 2014

Buenos Aires, Argentina: Part 1: South America or Europe?

I had heard many things about Buenos Aires before I arrived. I have never met a traveller that didn't like Buenos Aires so I had big expectations. It is a mega city with a metropolitan population of 13 Million. The architecture is French and Italian, some parts felt like Paris but without the organisation of Paris.

Congreso Naci├▓nal - This should look familiar to Parisians

After a much needed sleep following my 23 hour bus ride I met the only other person in my dorm, Pilar, a Spanish girl. She gave me her version of an organised tour she took the previous day. Taking me to some of the main sights, including The Pink House (literally the Argentinean version of The White House), Plaza 25 de Mayo (the date is the beginning of the revolution for independence) and The Obelisco. In Plaza 25 de Mayo there are nappies painted on the ground. During a time in Argentina young people that stood up were going missing. The mothers wore nappies on their heads and gathered in the main squares of the cities in protest. You will find these painted in one plaza of every city in Argentina.

Obelisco Buenos Aires
Obelisco - Marks the place of the original Argentinean flag

Casa Rosa (Pink House) - The Argentinean equivalent of the white house.

The inside of an old university

Very noisy outside, complete silence inside

The nappies have a story behind them

25 May 1810 - The Beginning of The Revolution

The Cathedral on the right - Used to be the home of the current pope
Pilar dela Torre (Pillar of the Tower... She must have cool parents) was off back to Europe the next morning but not before giving me a bus/subway pass and mozzie repellent.

After a few more days in the hostel I was off to meet my first Couchsurfing host in Argentina, Paula, a dance teacher. Paula doesn't speak English so this was going to be a real test. On my first night I received good demonstration of Lindy Hop and went to an awesome tango club with Paula and one of her friends, Pablo.

The next day I was back off exploring this mega city.

A little Australia in Buenos Aires

Who would have thought the Australian desert lead to Buenos Aires

I don't know what this building is but it looked cool

A Church
That day I found out Paula understands English, but doesn't speak. So I switched between English and Spanish (I think I had ran out of things to say in Spanish).

Paula invited me to another night of dancing but there was one of the biggest boxing matches in the world involving an Argentinean vs Floyd Mayweather... I am a massive boxing fan so I had to watch this.

The next day I did more exploring before cooking and drinking wine with Paula and Pablo.

22 Lanes through the centre of Buenos Aires... Chaotic

The Architecture School
After saying goodbye to Paula I was supposed to head to Montevideo but while walking to the ferry terminal I hanged my mind. I went back to the hostel for another 3 nights.

I met I guy from Couchsurfing for a tour of the famous suburb of La Boca. We caught a daytime Tango Show while drinking beer, explored the colourful houses (an old Italian neighbourhood) and the walked to the famous football stadium.

A couple of mates

Some Tango

It was now time to leave Argentina and go to Uruguay. Next stop Montevideo via Colonia.

Lessons Learnt:
Some hostels actually do provide an amazing breakfast.
CS works in Argentina.
Argentinean Spanish has some very different pronunciations.
Tango is very intimate and sexy.
Buenos Aires is a crazy city.

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