A Travellerspoint blog

December 2018

Buenos Aires (20-25/11/2018)

Santiago to Buenos Aires

The Pajaritas bus terminal (with its station on the metro), which we used when coming to Santiago from Valparaiso, was also very handy for the trip out to the airport for our flight to Buenos Aires - there are buses from Pajaritas every 15 minutes to the airport. Then, a two hour flight over the Andes, smooth border formalities and baggage pickup on arrival, and quickly onto the airport bus in to Retiro near a metro and we thought it would be a similarly calm arrival in BA.

We found later that a taxi from there to the hotel would have been less than 3 euros - so, in retrospect, it would definitely have been the best option! Instead, we walked out to the metro station (knowing that it was only 4 stops to the station near our hotel). Firstly, not knowing the system for BA metro and not understanding the spanish, (we found out the following day) we got ripped off by the ticket attendant (not a big amount but still annoying!), then there were delays on our line which meant it took a long time and the carriage got busy and then, at the stop before our stop, the platform was full of people forcing their way on to the train. We were right at the far side of the carriage from the exit trying to fight our way off at the next stop (using our backpacks as battering rams!), with not a lot of others getting off, and more wanting to get on!! Not a pleasant experience but we made it!

Hotel Marbella, Avenida de Mayo

Buenos Aires is the final stop on our 10 week trip and we had 5 nights. Our hotel, Hotel Marbella, is very well located on the Avenida de Mayo in the centre of the city. We had stayed there twice (with a visit to Uruguay in between) on our trip 10 years ago. Rooms with a view of the street are fine, those in the interior are not! We arrived and the place was full and it looked like we were going to be stuck with an interior room for our last 5 nights on the trip ... but after much dscussion at reception and the fortuitous arrival of the manager, happily, we were able to move to an outside room after the first night. The hotel could certainly do with a makeover but the room facing the street was fine for us - particularly when we found out that the final cost (including simple breakfast) was only 23 euros per night when paid by Credit Card - (foreigners paying by CC or in US dollars avoid 21% local tax) - ridiculously cheap!

Hotel Marbella - 6th floor room facing steet with balcony!

Hotel Marbella - 6th floor room facing steet with balcony!

Hotel Marbella

Hotel Marbella


Hotel Marbella - Our balcony

Hotel Marbella - Our balcony


View from our balcony - rooftops

View from our balcony - rooftops

View from our balcony - rooftops in setting sun

View from our balcony - rooftops in setting sun


View from our hotel balcony in setting sun - Eva Peron image on building

View from our hotel balcony in setting sun - Eva Peron image on building

Buenos Aires was a great place to finish our trip. It is a big city of 12 million and, in some ways, it is like a European city, with wide boulevards and classic European architecture, but also with tango, Argentinian steaks and very fanatical football fans ...

Central BA

The central area includes the Avenida de Mayo (with our hotel) - which crosses the enormously wide Avenida de 9 Julio (impossible to walk across to the other side without waiting for the lights to change twice!), and covers several blocks north towards the Retiro station with the busy Calle Florida being a main pedestrian route. Its a very attractive area, with wide boulevards, lots of palm trees and jacaranda trees (in bloom), and some beautiful classic, old architecture.

Avenida 9 de Julio - Jacaranda tree in full blossom

Avenida 9 de Julio - Jacaranda tree in full blossom

Avenida 9 de Julio

Avenida 9 de Julio


Avenida 9 de Julio - a very wide boulevard to cross!

Avenida 9 de Julio - a very wide boulevard to cross!

Avenida 9 de Julio - Obelisco

Avenida 9 de Julio - Obelisco

Avenida 9 de Julio

Avenida 9 de Julio


Avenida 9 de Julio - monument

Avenida 9 de Julio - monument

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre - Plaza de Mayo

Around Buenos Aires centre - Plaza de Mayo


Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around the city centre - near Teatro Colon

Around the city centre - near Teatro Colon

Around the city centre

Around the city centre


Around the city centre

Around the city centre


Around the city centre

Around the city centre

Casa Rosada - Government House (the executive mansion and office of the President of Argentina)

Casa Rosada - Government House (the executive mansion and office of the President of Argentina)


Casa Rosada

Casa Rosada


Casa Rosada

Casa Rosada

Tigre and the River Plate delta

The next day was a glorious day so, after a walk in the central area to get our remaining dollars changed, a visit to the tourist information to get a map and some info and we had changed our room, we took the train out to Tigre (about 30 kms from BA). It is a pleasant small town on the River Plate delta. We took a one-hour boat tour round part of the delta. We had done a similar tour on our last visit and had loved the old houses and jetties along the waterways. There are still good examples of these but there has been quite a lot of development since our last visit (some far too modern for the setting - in our opinion!) - not sure we would want to see it again in another 10 years ...

Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

Tigre - our boat for 1 hour tour

Tigre - our boat for 1 hour tour


Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour


Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

Tigre - boat tour round River Plate delta waterways

Tigre - boat tour round River Plate delta waterways


Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour


Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour


Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

River Plate delta boat trip

River Plate delta boat trip


Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

La Boca

La Boca is a very colourful but touristy neighbourhood to visit which we reached by local bus. It is a poor area so care is needed and we stayed within the few streets 'reserved' for tourists. Good fun, lots of colour, all restaurants seemed to have their own couple doing the tango, tacky tourist shop arcades ...

It is also the home of Boca Juniors - one of the top Argentinian football teams. The last couple of weeks have seen the first leg of the main South American cup final (equivalent to the European Champions League cup final) between La Boca and River Plate - both top teams in Argentina and both from Buenos Aires who have never played each other in this final - so it was really grippng the country. Two weeks ago the first leg was played at La Boca (2-2 draw). When we went down to La Boca on Thursday on the bus there were some very noisy fans on it too - apparently fans were invited to attend a final team training at the ground before the second leg and there were a large number there. Next instalment on Saturday ... Incidentally, no away fans have been allowed at any games between the two clubs since 2013!

La Boca - Caminito

La Boca - Caminito


La Boca

La Boca


La Boca

La Boca


La Boca football stadium

La Boca football stadium


La Boca

La Boca


La Boca

La Boca


La Boca

La Boca


La Boca

La Boca


La Boca

La Boca


La Boca - Tango performers - and interested onlookers?!

La Boca - Tango performers - and interested onlookers?!

San Telmo (grey day)

We really enjoyed the San Telmo neighbourhood which we walked to (south of Avenida de Mayo/Plaza de Mayo) - one of the oldest parts of the city and still with colonial low rise buildings, it has a great market, lots of appealing bars and restaurants and the lovely Plaza Dorrego.

San Telmo - visit on grey day

San Telmo - visit on grey day


San Telmo - visit on grey day

San Telmo - visit on grey day


San Telmo - visit on grey day

San Telmo - visit on grey day


San Telmo - visit on grey day

San Telmo - visit on grey day


San Telmo - visit on grey day

San Telmo - visit on grey day


San Telmo - visit on grey day

San Telmo - visit on grey day


San Telmo - visit on grey day - Mercado

San Telmo - visit on grey day - Mercado

San Telmo - visit on grey day - holed up (but coping!) in the Mercado for a spot of lunch whilst it rained outside

San Telmo - visit on grey day - holed up (but coping!) in the Mercado for a spot of lunch whilst it rained outside

Ricoleto

One morning we took the metro out to Ricoleto. It seems quite a wealthy suburb, and the main reasons people go there are for the weekend craft market and for the cemetery. The cemetery is filled with enormous family mausoleums, many of them very extravagent - one of them contains the remains of Eva Peron. We went on a greyish Thursday and are not terribly keen on cemeteries so just had a short wander round, and were happy that we had called into the local tourist office on arrival, and the guy had recommended an excellent place for a light lunch (El SanJuanino).

Ricoleta Cemetery

Ricoleta Cemetery


Ricoleta cemetery

Ricoleta cemetery


Ricoleta Cemetery

Ricoleta Cemetery


Ricoleta - El Sanjuanino restaurant

Ricoleta - El Sanjuanino restaurant

Ricoleta - El Sanjuanino restaurant

Ricoleta - El Sanjuanino restaurant

Ricoleta - Floris Generica

Ricoleta - Floris Generica

Cafe Tortoni Tango Show

Cafe Tortoni is the oldest cafe in Buenos Aires ... and always has a queue outside! It is only 5 minutes walk from our hotel and we decided to go to a tango show there one night (which they perform in a small basement theatre). Pleasant one-hour show, but would have liked less of the lead guy singing and more of the tango dancers performing!

Cafe Tortoni

Cafe Tortoni


Cafe Tortoni Tango Show

Cafe Tortoni Tango Show

Teatro Colon (Opera House)

On our final day we managed to book a slot for a tour of the Teatro Colon Opera House. The outside of the building is quite austere but the inside is beautiful - spectacular.

Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon


Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon


Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon


Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon


Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon


Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon


Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon


Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon


Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon

Puero Madera and an encounter with the La Boca fans!

Later, we headed down to the Puerto Madero dock area, in a roundabout way to get down to San Telmo. It is a pleasant place for a stroll but the way we were heading to leave the area seemed to be very noisy with La Boca fans. Apparently, the team were staying in a hotel there before heading off to the River Plate stadium, where the game was due to start at 1700. We found ourselves amongst the masses of fans! Very hectic and noisy, loud fire crackers - we were relieved to escape into the San Telmo area!

Puerto Maduro

Puerto Maduro


Puerto Maduro

Puerto Maduro


Puerto Maduro - Boca Juniors fans

Puerto Maduro - Boca Juniors fans


Puerto Maduro - Boca Juniors fans

Puerto Maduro - Boca Juniors fans

San Telmo (final afternoon of trip ... and SUNNY!)

Quiet when we went in the week on a grey day, the Plaza Dorrego in particular was lively and busy when we returned on the Saturday - loads of artisan stalls there and we saw some superb tango dancing from two separate couples. A bit late ... but we also discovered that there are designated "Cafe Notables" in BA - classic old cafes and bars (apparently 26 currently) - we visited the excellent Cafe El Federal in San Telmo and have been to a few others, but will have to return to BA to check out others!

San Telmo

San Telmo


San Telmo

San Telmo

San Telmo Mercado

San Telmo Mercado


San Telmo - Cafe El Federal

San Telmo - Cafe El Federal

San Telmo - Cafe El Federal

San Telmo - Cafe El Federal

San Telmo - Cafe El Federal

San Telmo - Cafe El Federal

San Telmo - Cafe El Federal

San Telmo - Cafe El Federal


San Telmo Plaza Dorrego

San Telmo Plaza Dorrego


San Telmo Plaza Dorrego and craft market

San Telmo Plaza Dorrego and craft market

San Telmo Plaza Dorrego and craft market

San Telmo Plaza Dorrego and craft market

San Telmo Tango performers - Plaza Dorrego

San Telmo Tango performers - Plaza Dorrego


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Heading back to our hotel, we learned that the La Boca team bus had been attacked with stones thrown by some River Plate fan as it arrived at the River Plate stadium for the match. The game was eventually postponed to the following day due to injuries to the La Boca players. "A black day for South American football". It is being played today - Sunday - whilst I am writing this on the plane to London Gatwick! (Later .. on Tuesday it was announced that the match is to be played outside Argentina - a sensible solution as they have to play the game in the next week and the G20 summit is in BA from Thursday!)

The return

This time we hailed a taxi from outside our hotel to Retiro, and then took the airport bus. Easy, comfortable and cheap!

Norwegian Airlines - a first for us...

Norwegian Airlines - a first for us...

Special bird of prey (to see us off!) outside window where we were waiting to board our plane

Special bird of prey (to see us off!) outside window where we were waiting to board our plane

We travelled with the low cost long distance operator Norwegian Airlines for the first time for the flight back to Europe (Buenos Aires - London Gatwick). Thirteen hours is long but we were happy with the flight and would use them again. There is a no frills basic price (for which you get nothing more than a seat on the flight) but for a little more you get : a 20kg bag in the hold, to choose your seat at time of booking, and (very edible) meals - and drinks with those meals - during the flight. They also have good interactive screens (which we have not experienced before) for each passenger with films etc (but take your own earplugs if you dont want to pay $3 extra!), and if you want to order something extra like a gin and tonic (or duty free items) during the flight, you just order it on screen and swipe you credit card below the screen to pay! - and the steward brings it to you 5 minutes later ...

We arrived in Gatwick at 0400 and had to wait there until 1300 (not a comfortable wait!! - I was falling asleep on a stool numerous times!) for our Easyjet flight back to Nice - at least the sun was shining on arrival!

Sunny weather and snow on the Southern Alpes for arrival back home! - the islands are the Iles de Lerins

Sunny weather and snow on the Southern Alpes for arrival back home! - the islands are the Iles de Lerins

THAT'S IT!
Nothing else to add except ... ... it really was a superb trip with a lot of variety ... we'll be back!

Posted by Lindseyalan73 04:16 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

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