It’s time to catch up! I know it has been a long time since our last post, but we have been living a somewhat normal life in Buenos Aires for the last 18 days. Although our life has been “normal”, there is still plenty to write about!
About BsAs– The capital of Argentina; colonial and modern at the same time; definitely Latin, but with a European feel; a mix of music, culture, art and fashion; filled with many tourists, but they blend well with the locals. With a population of 13 million, BsAs is the most populated city in South America. It is huge! with lots of everything: cars, restaurants, parks, big buildings, you name it… and there is always something going on. People party like rock stars until the sun comes up.
Where we are staying– Our original plan was to find a nice, inexpensive hostel and stay there for 3-4 weeks while Adam studied Spanish, but after staying in 3 different hostels we realized that nice and inexpensive doesn’t exist here, so we opted for plan B and found a studio apartment (nicer and cheaper than any hostel we saw/stayed) in Palermo; a very cool, hipster neighborhood with lots of boutiques, restaurants, bars and cafes. We love Palermo and are staying here until the middle of January.
To Do– There are so many things to do and places to visit in BsAs. We still have time to wander around, but so far we’ve accomplished the following:
- Spanish lessons: Adam found a great Spanish teacher, Veronica, on Craigslist. She is tutoring him 3 to 4 days per week. If you need a Spanish teacher in BsAs look her up. Now Adam is able to say more than “Hola cabrrron!” Hopefully with a little more practice he will be fluent in Spanish very soon.
- Photography lessons. I also found 2 amazing photography tutors, Sabrina and Delia. They put together an intense course of 8 sessions for me. I absolutely love it! Now I am able to manage my camera in manual mode all of the time.
- Avenida de Mayo, 9 de Julio, Corrientes and downtown. These are some of the main avenues of BsAs. Lots of colonial buildings, beautiful architecture, and good history. It is representative of the porteno (local) culture and is worth seeing. Be sure to grab some pizza or ice cream.
- San Telmo. We visited on a Sunday to see the famous street market. It covers many blocks of narrow cobble-stoned streets. We found musical bands, couples dancing tango, solo artists playing an instrument, art, and loads of random stuff. Also, we tried our very first authentic asado; the meat was so tender that it almost melted in our mouth… delicioso!
- La Bomba del Tiempo. 15 musicians playing percussion in a drum line, samba and Latin beats; they will make you move your hips for sure! They play every Monday at the same place and thousands of people come to see them, it is an awesome experience watching every person there dancing at the same time! A must do in BsAs.
- Botanical Garden and Zoo. I had a photography session in the botanical garden. It is a good place to relax/read/walk and is next door to the zoo, my next destination. To be honest my experience at the zoo was different than in the past. I notice the impact of my wildlife travels and especially my trip to the Galapagos. Sometimes it was tough to see animals that weren’t happy or free.
- Puerto Madero. By the Rio de la Plata (Plata River) this water front district is formed by many upscale restaurants and very modern buildings. It’s one of the more expensive places in BsAs.
- Palermo. Again, we love it! It’s trendy, every street has boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops, book stores, bars and beautiful people. We spent New Years here at Plaza Serrano. We watched a Brazilian band and dancers, drank lots of wine with some London friends, and watched locals light fireworks off in the streets at midnight. Tons of fun!
- La Boca. We visited this small port neighborhood on a weekday, but it wasn’t the best time to go since most of the restaurants and shops were closed. I still was able to practice my photography skills on the colorful houses. We might try to make it back since it’s supposed to be entertaining on the weekends.
To Eat. The most common food in BsAs is asado (steak), pizza and empanadas, but being such a big city you can find any type of food. We were stoked to eat at a parilla (steak house) and it didn’t disappoint. We have also tried pizza, Indian food, sushi, empanadas and mexican food. We liked it all! I would definitely recommend La Fabrica del Taco in Palermo for Mexican food. A late dinner after 10 pm is very common and restaurants are open until 2 am or later. And last, but certainly not least, the wine! We have been drinking lots of it and have grown to love the local malbec variety, fantastic!