Saturday, February 21, 2009

My Big Trip 2009...Buenos Aires

I am back in Exmouth after a fantastic getaway!  I was a bad blogger while away due to poor internet connection and being far busier than I thought I'd be.  I still don't understand where the time went on those sea days we had! Now that I'm home, I will get to work on posting about my trip!

My first stop was Buenos Aires.  I stayed here overnight before flying out to Iguazu Falls for two days and then returned to Buenos Aires for two days before getting on the cruise ship.

I had a good vibe from Buenos Aires and would love to go back and really spend some more time in this passionate city.  It's filled with incredible architecture, colourful history, friendly people, great restaurants, endless shopping and hopping nightlife.

My two favourite sculptures - and BA has 1000s - were Floralis Generica - this metal flower sculpture opens in the morning and closes at night.

and the Puente de la Mujer. It's actually a 335' suspension bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava and donated to the city of Buenos Aires by Alberto Gonzales & his family. The bridge is meant to represent a couple dancing the tango and I thought it was just beautiful. It has centre section that swings 90 degrees to let boat traffic through - how cool is that? We didn't get to see it in action, in fact, we didn't even get to stop! I just saw it from the bus window as we sped past LOL Another site for a return visit!

The Cementario de la Recoleta is filled with opulent tombs and ornate statuary. You could wander for hours and be repeatedly amazed at the detail and expense that went in to these structures every time you turned another corner. It is also where Eva Peron is laid to rest.

My friend Cheryl and I loved that the Presidential Palace, Casa Rosada, is pink. It takes a certain kind of confidence to pull that off.

The Plaza de Mayo also boasts more monuments to BA's independence from Spain and is flanked by the gorgeous Catedral Metropolitana

Bright colours were everywhere in this city...from this juxtaposed graffiti on the retaining wall below a Russian Orthodox Church (again, no stopping on the pod people bus tour! I think the reflected sticker in the tree really adds something to the photo hehe)

to the truly kitschy El Caminito in the La Boca area. I thought this area was great and wish I would have been able to spend more time here. It's filled with characters, shops, bars, street artists selling their wares & outdoor entertainment - when I come back it's definitely on the list of places to spend a few hours!

And did I mention shopping? The leather here is top notch - supple, beautifully grained and reasonably priced. There are also quite a few varieties...I bought a Capybara leather bag that's now been converted to a stealth camera bag (photos soon). But the big draw for me was, as always, shoes. I was very restrained and only bought two pairs...the pair of new Audrey-esque black dress shoes I actually needed and then the sexy tall boots that I didn't realise I needed until they called my name!

My fellow cruisers told me that we had to pick up some Argentinian wine so off we popped to a wonderful hole in wall, mom & pop wine shop - Tiempo de vinos. The whole family is so helpful and friendly; when my friend wanted a white with less oak, the mother couldn't understand her so the mother rang her daughter who speaks excellent English. Now that's customer service!

No visit to Buenos Aires would be complete without taking in a tango show. We opted to have dinner at a different steak house before heading to the show itself (an excellent choices as the "snacks" and wine served at the show were terrible). They had a wonderful live orchestra on a second storey stage while the dancers performed below.

Buenos Aires was a brilliant start to the adventure but there's lots more to come, so keep an eye on this space!

1 comment:

Amanda said...

You definitely made me want to go Buenos Aires too! It looks amazing. That cemetary is just unbelievable. Fantastic photos, too!! I can't wait to see the next installment.

Also, I just have to note that my word verification word to leave this comment is "whankers"... what?!?!? should I be insulted?

Seriously, can't wait to see more!