Wednesday, 11 April 2018

BUENOS AIRES AT A GLANCE

Hello everyone,

This is my last post in the series "Our 10th Wedding Anniversary trip"  that took me a few months to complete but I am almost there.  So please bear with  me one more time.
Buenos Aires city centre
We arrived in Buenos Aires in the late afternoon flying from Rio de Janeiro.  To our great relief, the weather was much cooler there than in all of our previous stops which made walking around the city so much easier and much more pleasurable.  We checked into a small boutique hotel within a five minute walk from the world famous La Recoleta Cemetery.

As I mentioned many times before, our most preferred way to get the first impression of the city is on board a Hop on-Hop off bus and luckily for us, there was one in Buenos Aires.
Buenos Aires city centre
Being on the top deck of the Hop-on Hop-off bus gives you a unique opportunity to look at the city and its people from a totally different point of view, you see everything from another perspective noticing the things that would be hard to see from the sidewalk.  Also the bus takes you around all the important and well known city landmarks and points of interest so you have the ability of either exploring them on the spot or mark them to do it later.

The itinerary offered two routes around the city and we opted to take both.
Buenos Aires city centre
Our first impression of Buenos Aires was how much it reminded us of big European cities which explains why this capital of Argentina is called "Paris of South America".
Buenos Aires city centre
The same tall elegant buildings with slim colonnaded facades and slanted roofs, wide boulevards lined with large trees and elegant looking lampposts and lots and lots of parks and big open spaces.
Buenos Aires city centre

Buenos Aires city centre

"IT REMINDED ME OF A BIG EUROPEAN CITY WHICH EXPLAINS
WHY BUENOS AIRES IS CALLED "PARIS OF SOUTH AMERICA"
Buenos Aires city centre
But as with every big city, including Paris, Buenos Aires has many different faces as we discovered during the tour, from the bohemian vibe of San Telmo and its multitude of flea markets, art galleries and stylish clothing boutique
to the working class area of La Boca with its brightly painted zinc shacks that evoked the district's early immigrant days.
La Boca, Buenos Aires

La Boca, Buenos Aires

La Boca, Buenos Aires

La Boca, Buenos Aires
It was very informative tour and we were glad that we did it.

We started the next day with a walk around La Recoleta Cemetery.  It contains graves of notable people including Eva Peron, Argentinian presidents and many other dignitaries and we spent quite a considerable time walking around the magnificent looking crypts and statutes. They were all a work of art but I felt sightly eerie surrounded by dead people and was not in the mood for taking pictures.  In the end I was glad when we walked through the exit gates and into the sunshine and the bustle of the city.
TEATRO COLON, BUENOS AIRES
Our next destination was a visit to Teatro Colon, one of the most important opera houses in the world.  "Its rich and prestigious history and its exceptional acoustics and architectural features rank it among theatres such as Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Paris Opera House, the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House in London, and the Metropolitan Opera House in New York".  Sadly the troupe was still on summer vacation but the theatre was offering regular tours for visitors and we gladly joined one.  
INSIDE TEATRO COLON, BUENOS AIRES

INSIDE TEATRO COLON, BUENOS AIRES
 It looked magnificent, richly furnished and decorated throughout and we couldn't help but look everywhere in pure admiration.
INSIDE TEATRO COLON, BUENOS AIRES

INSIDE TEATRO COLON, BUENOS AIRES
Once our souls were fed, it was time to feed our bodies.  For this particular evening we were about to go and have dinner at one of the most famous and frequented restaurants. The other thing that we always practise is to try a book a good restaurant well in advance.  In case of Buenos Aires, nobody can miss the place like Don Julio Parilla, a popular destination for classic steaks, local dishes and an extensive wine list.  Recommended by my daughter "as the place you must eat at while in BA", we prudently made a booking way in advance and rightfully so because as we arrived we were greeted by the long queue of hungry people.
We both ordered the same main course, a steak, one of the house specialities, which was huge but succulent and utterly delicious; as for dessert, I couldn't say no to cream caramel while my husband was enjoying a chocolate mousse with hazelnut praline.  If you happened to plan your trip to Buenos Aires, I strongly recommend that you make your way to this place.

Another food for soul that I can never have enough of is Dulce de Leche, a divine confection produced as a result of slowly boiling sweet condensed milk and is similar to caramel in taste and colour.  
On the streets San Telmo, Buenos Aires
When on a Sunday morning we travelled to the San Telmo neighbourhood to browse through the Antique Fair, we came across a shop which was stocked with Dulce de Leche in more ways that I could think possible:  light and dark, sickly or not too sweet, packed in various sizes of jars and tins, it was a total sugar overload.
Dolce de leche shop in San Telmo, Buenos Aires

Dolce de leche shop in San Telmo, Buenos Aires

Dolce de leche shop in San Telmo, Buenos Aires

Dolce de leche shop in San Telmo, Buenos Aires
We spent  the whole day in San Telmo. Not only this area is well known and liked by the locals for having a myriads of different flea markets operating every weekend, it is also has the coolest shops and places to eat. 
On the streets of San Telmo, Buenos Aires
We spent a really nice four days in Buenos Aires and if you planning a trio to South America, I would suggest that you allocate time to come and visit this "Paris of South America".

Anna
xoxo