Argentina travel blog by Mark Berman -
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I arrived in Buenos Aires on my first trip to South America not knowing what to expect apart from tango dancing and cheap steak. Since then I have visited
Buenos Aires many times, each occasion loving it more. The San Telmo neighborhood is a good base to explore the city and is central to many sights and
activities. Buenos Aires is a big and busy place but you can see a lot by walking, renting a bicycle or taking a bus, taxi or train. It's a great place
for shopping, studying Spanish and for leading a social life. There's plenty of statues, monuments and architecture to look at around the city especially
along Calle Florida.
La Boca is tourist central in Buenos Aires, it's like a Disneyland of Argentinian culture where the streets are very colorful
and feature art, bohemian and cultural figures, brightly painted houses and so much more. Don't miss it!
Around the city you will see dog walkers with
often 8 - 10 dogs, that explains why the footpaths have obstacles on them.
Daytrip to Uruguay
It's easy to catch the ferry across the Rio de la Plata to Colonia del Sacramento
Uruguay for a daytrip for an escape from the bustle.
The great thing about Buenos Aires are the many very different neighborhoods. Recoleta is
an upmarket area full of cafes, shops and art galleries, while Palermo Viejo is perfect for walking amongst nature and having picnics. San Telmo
where I have stayed on 3 occasions displays much traditional culture, while by the river the area of Puerto Madero has some great nightlife, clubs
On Sundays go to Plaza Dorrego for an exciting fair with performers in the streets.
Plaza de Mayo
Eva Peron made her famous
address to the workers in Plaza de Mayo in 1945 from the balcony of Casa Rosada. Casa Rosada is a sight in itself!
You can find several interesting
museums in the Belgrano district, in fact there are several museums in all districts, you are never far from a museum in Buenos Aires.
The Soccer Stadium
real taste of how much the Argentinians love their soccer, check out a game at La Bombonera Soccer Stadium in La Boca!
Grave of Eva Peron
The district of Recoleta has the
grave of Eva Peron at La Recoleta Cemetery
. It's an amazingly prestigious
cemetery with many presidents, actors, writers, politicians, generals and military officers buried here. The grave of Eva Peron (with her family) is
the most visited grave in all of South America, the family name is Familia Duarte.
In the Palermo district is the botanical gardens Jardin Botanico
Carlos Thays which are very nice with many trees, open spaces, statues and art (27 pieces), water features and cats roaming around. Gardens
include those from Africa, Europe, France, Oceania, Asia, America, Roman and a butterfly garden. It opened in 1898. Carlos Thays
was a French-Argentine landscape architect.
Buenos Aires Zoo
Across the road from the botanical gardens and Plaza Italia is Buenos Aires Zoo
, the entry fee for adults is around $10USD.
Buenos Aires Zoo is quite big, you can easily spend 2-3hrs wandering around seeing all of the animals that live here! Pink flamingos, brown bears,
polar bears, lions, tigers and other cats, monkeys, tapir, llamas, bison, elephants, camels and so many more. There is also a reptile house with
some big snakes like pythons and boa's.
Buenos Aires has some lovely parks. The huge park called Parque Tres de Febrero is outstanding, a beautiful
space to enjoy. Here you will find the Poets Garden full of monuments of famous poets such as William Shakespeare, Amado Nervo, Ruben Dario,
Alfonso Reyes and many others. The park also has rose gardens, a Greek bridge, a lake and island, patio and pavilion.
Waterways of Tigre
Tigre is a beautiful
part of Buenos Aires. From Retiro train station in the center of the city take a train northward. It takes less than an hour to get to Tigre.
You can then enjoy a boat excursion around the waterways and rivers. It's absolutely beautiful and you can stop to relax for a while and get
back on another boat. Tigre is a highlight of Buenos Aires indeed!
Thieves Attack Me
In September 2013
I spent 3 nights in the city and had 2 days of
sightseeing. I stayed in a different part of town than I had before, about 1km from Plaza Congreso. My first day of sightseeing was actually
cut short due to a problem with thieves.
At Plaza Congreso
While I was at Plaza Congreso which by the way is an absolutely amazing space full of art,
artists painting pictures and is surrounded by fantastic buildings like the Congress Palace.
I Hurt My Arm in Brazil
So, let me tell you the story! I had arrived in
Buenos Aires this time by plane from Sao Paulo in Brazil. I had hurt my arm while there and had it in a cast. Well actually on the plane I
took the cast off and was now using a sling. What happened to me next while walking around Plaza Congreso is an old trick usually done to
tourists in Peru in places like Cusco and indeed it was 2 Peruvians trying this on me.
And Became An Easy Target
I was an easy target with one arm in
a sling and the other holding an expensive camera. I was walking underneath a large tree, there were pigeons on the ground all around. Next
thing a knew the pigeons went crazy flying everywhere and some stinky liquid came down all over me. Suddenly 2 people, a man and a woman
were right there saying that the pigeons had pooped on me and that they could help clean me up. Suddenly without warning they were cleaning
me with tissues and water. The woman was behind me, the man worked on my legs and while he was cleaning he was pushing my wallet up and up
and out of my pocket. Haha, luckily by the time he had my wallet half out of my front pocket he could see it was attached to a chain that was
attached to my belt. I was holding my camera tightly during this of course, my other arm was useless.
Haha Adios Amigos
After realising they were not going to
be getting anything from me they left very fast, each in a different direction. I knew what was going on during the process but it all happened
so fast there was not much I could do. Whatever it was they threw on me absolutely stunk, it was like vinegar or something similar. I went
back to my hotel after this for a shower and called it quits for the day. Overnight my arm made a miraculous recovery and I was now able to
hold my camera with both hands again and not look like an easy target for thieves. I had a fantastic day of photography this time, walking
for 7hrs and somewhere between 12-15kms around the city.
Statueland, Plazas & Street Art
I said to myself that I would not take so many photos of statues but that is very
hard to do in Buenos Aires because there are 100's and 100's of them everywhere. I wanted to look for street art, architecture and interesting
facades, that kind of thing. I wasn't disappointed. I found a ton of street art and many awesome murals. I saw some great plazas and parks
including Plaza Lavalle, Plaza Libertad, Plaza San Martin, Plaza Fuerza Aerea, Plaza Roma, Plaza de Mayo (again) and the Plaza de la Constitucion.