Discounting the day we arrived, the first day was spent in the city centre. We wandered down Avenida de Mayo to Plaza de Mayo, where we saw the Casa Rosada (government buildings), and tried to guess which balcony Evita Peron sang out from (ok, maybe she didn´t really sing but she did in the film!) We then wandered around the streets that surround the plaza, and gorged ourselves on quesadillas for lunch.
It was a Thursday, and at 3.30 on that day every week since the 1970s, the mothers whose children ´disappeared`during the military dictatorship march around the Plaza de Mayo, demanding to know of their whereabouts. We went to watch this, and I was pretty moved by the sight. Old women fronted the group, and sang at their top of their voices as they walked around. Knowing that they have done this for at least 35 years, and they still don´t have any answers, was a sad thing to witness, yet so commendable that they haven´t given up.
That evening we went into a little Parrilla (steak restaurant) in San Telmo. It was one of those gems that are tucked away in a completely unassuming area, but the steaks were fantastic, and you could tell it was the genuine article with an abundance of red wine, whilst getting a bottle of white that was actually in stock was a struggle.
On Friday we walked to Palermo, thinking the walk wouldn´t be too long judging by the map, but in hindsight the subway would have been a much better option! We went to the zoo (think this was the highlight for Adam) and then wandered around the streets of Palermo Viejo. I think this was my favourite barrio of Buenos Aires - it was a lot more chilled out than the city centre, the streets were tree-lined, and the buildings colourful. It was smarter too, but with a slightly bohemian feel.There we stopped for lunch in one of the cafes in Plaza Serrano, overlooking the busy market taking place in the square.
That night we enjoyed our first tango show in Cafe Tortoni (quite the establishment in BA - it´s been going for over 150 years), which was fantastic - the dancing, the music, the setting - it was worth the little splurge.
|Tango at Cafe Tortoni|
On Saturday we decided to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and went to Tigre, about an hour away by train. Here we got a train down the Parana river to one of the many islands, Tres Bocas. The serenity was a welcome relief and we strolled about, feeling like the only ones on the island, before settling down to lunch on the riverside.
After our relaxing day on Saturday, we wanted to take it easy on Sunday too, and not do too much of the usual trudging around the city (I won´t mention the part where I read the map wrong and we ended up walking for miles in the opposite direction). So we went to San Telmo and headed for Plaza Dorrego, where on sundays the Feria de San Pedro Telmo takes place. This is a market selling artwork, antiques, and jewellery, with the usual touristy bits thrown in, as well as having live music and street performers.
That night we ate in Palermo Hollywood, enjoying our last night in BA before a monster of a bus ride to the Iguazu Falls.