We arrived in Buenos Aires on Sunday (24th) in the morning. Despite the bumpy 10 1/2 hour flight, we were pretty awake and raring to go - this was probably helped by the blue sky and the warm welcome we got from our friendly taxi driver and the hostel staff. We are staying in San Telmo which is the less expensive area in BA but has a lot of character and was the birthplace of tngo dancing. We dumped off our backpacks and heading out to the street market around the corner. The market was full of live music, freshly squeezed orange juice and loads of stalls were selling antiques. We walked along Puerto Modero, which is regenerated docklands that has lots of restaurants and cafes and lots of people roller blading. In the evening we went along to Plaza Darrego where locals go on Sunday evenings to tango. We watched them dance until 11.30pm and then headed back to the hostel.
On Monday (25th) we took the open-air tourist bus to get a feel for the city. We enjoyed it so much that we did the 3 hour loop twice so we got to know where the different areas are. Each area has a different atmosphere to it but mainly Buenos Aires feels like a Spanish/European city due to the influence of the European immigrants that have been colonising BA since the 1500s. In the evening we thought we'd try the famous Argentinian steak we'd heard so much about. Unfortunately we hadn't heard about the portion size and realised too late that people normally share a steak between them! So we ended up with practically half a cow on our table and did our best but there was no way that amount of meat could fit in our tummies! We tried to walk off the massive food baby by walking along Puerto Madero before going to bed.
On Tuesday we went for a free walking tour offered by the hostel. This showed us around the posher parts of town where the old aristocrasy lived and to the "Cemetario de la Recoleta" where Evita is buried. The cemetary wasn't like anythng I've ever seen before - the tombs were very elaborate and tall and some had glass doors where you could see th coffins inside (a bit creepy!). I'd expected Evita's tomb to be more elaborate than the others considering she was such an important person to the Argentinians but it was quite similar to the other tombs. This iswhere the tour ended and we had lunch with some other backpackers we met on the tour. That evening we went for a tango lesson, meal and tango show. We learnt the basic steps and had to practise dancing in pairs but there weren't enough men so they had to change every few minutes! The tango show was amazing and the dancers were very talented!
P.s. Sorry for the delay - I wrote this last week but I hadn't realised it didn't upload! My next entry will be coming soon!