Buenos Aires – the Paris/Big Apple of South America!

30 Oct

Biking riding in Buenos Aires

B.A. – B.A. – B.A.! What a fun city!

We arrived in Buenos Aires on a Saturday, which was perfect considering we wanted to enjoy some of the nightlife. We met our English friend Adam at the hostel and decided to spend the afternoon in the parks of Palermo – an upscale neighbourhood in Buenos Aires.

There were so many people jogging, strolling and rollerblading throughout the park. Surprisingly, there were so many people ‘trick’ rollerblading. The stunts were so entertaining to watch. Jumping, one legged, backwards, twists, etc. So cool! We were watching for a bit while we ate delicious street sausages called Chorizos. For dessert, I bought the biggest cotton candy stick EVER! It was practically the size of my upper body. I have picture proof.

cotton candy in Palermo park

Afterwards, we walked through the residential area which had nice boutiques and apartments. It reminded me of New York. We stumbled upon a market square and had an evening espresso. We needed energy for the night!

We nursed our espressos for so long that we were running late for the Buenos Aires Pub Crawl – so we hailed a taxi to the hostel, quickly got ready and then took the subway to the meeting point. We only had 15 minutes of free drinks before leaving for the first bar. I think we went to 3 bars before the dance club (haha, key word being ‘think’!) – which was perfect since most people in Buenos Aires do not go out to clubs until 1 or 2 am – something Canadians are definitely NOT used to!

We went to this dance club in the middle of a park, under a bridge called Crobar. I didn’t realize it until we went bike riding the next day and saw it. The club was fun, but too electronic for my taste. We met a lot of locals and they were so friendly. We shared drinks and they taught me how to dance BA-style. I was horrible at it by the way. I think I have some rhythm, but not compared to South Americans!

not the easiest path, but very scenic!

I think we stayed out until 5 or 6 am, but we intended on waking up early and going on a bike ride and picnic. Despite our ridiculous hangovers, we stuck with the initial plan and peddled our way through some of BAs best neighbourhoods. The bikes were so funky: orange cruisers with big baskets. They reminded me of my own bike. We took a few short brakes along the ride to climb trees and eat ham and cheese sandwiches. Afterwards, we stumbled upon an amazing cake shop! Adam and I splurged a hefty 3 dollars on two giant cakes. His dessert (a strawberry and fresh cream tart) was much better than mine, so much that we went back the following day and I bought the same thing. Yum!

We decided to check out another neighbourhood across the city, called San Telmo. It’s famous for street tango performers and a Sunday antiques market – which was perfect since it was Sunday! There was everything from vintage cameras, dresses and jewelry to homemade caramel liquor and obscure artwork. For lunch, we ate at an amazing grill house, also called a parilla in Argentina. I had the BEST steak of my life. Actually, Stef and I shared it because it was bigger than my face. Adam opted for the chicken… BIG mistake. haha. We strolled along the streets before we stopped to enjoy an espresso at a sidewalk cafe. We also managed to catch one of the impromptu street tango shows. Later, I saw a postcard of the same tango dancers. They must be well-known in BA.

San Telmo street market

The three of us had a quiet night inside the hostel and made some pasta for dinner. Stefanie forgot her passport at the bike shop, so we needed to wake up early and pick it up. We also needed to buy our tickets to Fuerza Bruta, a popular theatre performance I’ve been itching to see. It’s also an 0ff-broadway show in NYC, but it originated here in Buenos Aires.

We spent the rest of the day in the city centre, eating more chorizos and drinking espresso. We walked along the port and towards the ecological reserve. There are so many high rises, it kinda reminded me of Toronto – very similar style. We walked to the main plaza and the famous Casa Rosada. The Casa Rosada is the federal government building of Argentina. It looks like a small, pink version of the white house…. or maybe a rose gold colour. Evita famously sang from one of the balconies.

On our last night, we set out to see the Fuerza Bruta show. I was super excited, but sad to say goodbye to Adam and BA. We bought wine for after the performance and left for Recoleta – a posh neighbourhood where the theatre was located. The venue was located in the middle of a park, next to the Recoleta Cemetery where Evita and other Argentinean elite are buried.

I can’t even begin to describe Fuerza Bruta besides OMG! It was amazing, unique, high energy and interactive – definitely a MUST SEE if in Buenos Aires. I highly doubt the NYC show could compare. There were parts were I felt like I was on LSD, in a dream, at a concert, at a underground rave, in the pouring rain…. WAIT I was in the pouring rain at one point. We actually left the venue soaking wet thanks to their one-of-a-kind theatrics. Fantastic time!

a shot of Fuerza Bruta - amazing!

Once we got back to the hostel, the three of us dipped into the wine, had a party of three and passed out. We had a few hours in the morning/afternoon before our bus, so we were intent on eating some burritos downtown. Little did we know that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, would be closed due to the nationwide census. My god, not even the McDonald’s was open. There was a pharmacy open, but they covered the food, so you couldn’t buy it! How ridiculous. Finally, we saw a long line forming down the street. A corner store was selling hot dogs through their gate. We waited in that damn line for 40 minutes to eat a nasty, steamed hotdog because there was absolutely nothing else. I was starved.

Adam was staying in Buenos Aires and we were leaving for Puerto Madryn. It was sad to say good-bye. We had so much fun together, but that’s traveling for you. We said our goodbyes – to the city and to our new friend – and then it was another 18 bus ride to Northern Patagonia,  the furthest south we’ll be traveling. Ciao!


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