27 September 2015

Argentina - Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires - Puerto Madera
Now for the big city! After visiting Cordoba, the 2nd largest city in Argentina and then into the countryside of Villa Angostura, we now look forward to the big BA.
Moremo Hotel will be our base for our stay. Art Deco architecture, large, modern rooms, wonderful old lifts with cage type doors  (these remind me of the old lifts in Garlicks, Cape Town!) and pleasant staff who speak English. The road outside of the hotel us pretty grotty though!

Puerto Madera, Buenos Aires
Our first outing was to Puerto Madera. Easily within walking distance from our hotel, there are numerous restaurants, very upmarket apartments and the Hilton hotel plus the famous dikes. Nothing is too cheap here but it it still thronged with locals over week-ends. Roller blading is very popular along the smoother side of the dikes as the opposite side is rather cobbled. Both sides have numerous eating spots with both inside and outside tables.

There are a number of crossings from one side to the other but the most outstanding is the Pentagon de La Mujer

Puerto Madera Buenos Aires

This white structure is supposed to represent a couple dancing the tango but to my eyes it is more like a harp! This bridge swings open for traffic and cost AR6million! 
It's a great spot for people watching!

San Telmo:
The famous feria  (street market) on Sundays turns Defensa street into a very long and busy flea market. All sorts of goods are on offer from the gorgeous to the silly. Buskers can be entertaining. This street gets very crowded and busy so take care with your possessions!
The market truly goes on forever and at the end it turns into an antique market with old cutlery, crockery and all sorts!

Buskers in San Telmo at the Sunday Market
It's very hard on the feet but worth it for the atmosphere of Buenos Aires on Sunday's!
Most of the shops lining the street are closed on Sundays, however some remain open with more upmarket goods and cool interiors.
Prices to match so take your credit card or lots of cash!

Plaza de Mayo

Our early morning walk was towards Plaza de Mayo where the Piramide de Mayo stands proud. This white obelisk was built to mark the 1st anniversary of BA's independence from Spain and the square is surrounded by beautiful buildings. The most well known is the Casa Rosada - the pink palace!

Unfortunately, we were caught by the "old mustard" trick. We were walking along when the "tourist" in front of us with his map and cell phone looked up and then started wiping his jacket. We walked past and then suddenly he called us to show us all the marks on our clothes! Offering a tissue to clean it off! Luckily it seemed there was only him. We took out our own tissues and thanked the bastard!  Further along a cop stopped us to ask if we were ok and if any of our belongings had been stolen. The cop spoke perfect English and warned us about this trick and advised us to get changed before heading any further. Thankfully,  all the mess washed out and we will be more aware in future.

This city is not the safest for tourists and it is the first time in all my travels that we have been molested like this. One cannot walk with a camera in full view which I have been doing all over for years - including in the slums of India with no problem. Anyway, thankfully nothing stolen!

© Judelle Drake

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