Monday, October 27, 2008

Day 7 - Buenos Aires

I was still feeling a little sick so we spent the morning sleeping in then ordered room service for lunch. We took a taxi to Recoleta to check out the cemetary. Fortunately our taxi deposited us right outside a store selling handbags which I wandered into while The Husband was paying for the taxi. I found a beautiful light brown leather handbag for about 160 dollars. This bag would be closer to 400 dollars in the US. And with this purchase I am officially done shopping in Buenos Aires.

There was an antique car show going on outside the cemetary. We were very surprised when we entered the cemetary. I thought it would be green and grassy with the occasional mausoleum. Instead it was endless rows of mausoleums, each more ornate than the next. Not a single patch of green in sight. It was very impressive. After the cemetary we walked around the market in the park next door. The market was huge. The husband bought some tango photographs to hang in our house. Maybe those will get framed sooner than the painting we bought in Italy 2 years ago.

We had dinner at Cabana Las Lilas, a very famous steak restaurant in Buenos Aires. Yet another meat orgy. The steaks were so huge I decided to order something else since I knew I'd make myself sick trying to eat all that beef. The Husband had tenderloin in a wood sauce with almond mashed potatos. The steak was so tender you could cut it with a fork. I decided on the Patagonian spider crab which was excellent. A little different than the crab we're used to in North America. Plus anything from Patagonia sounds so exotic and fun.

After dinner we strolled along the water. The restaurant is located in Puerto Madero along the old docks. This part of the city is so modern and brand new, a huge contrast with the rest of the city. We also got to walk over Santiago Calatrava's Puente de La Mujer (Bridge of Woman). All the streets in Puerto Madero are named after women, the only major city in the world to do so. Then we headed to Cafe Tortoni, a very famous Argentinean cafe for a drink. They had a tango show going in the basement which we skipped since we'd already seen one. Then off to bed early again for another early flight.

Antique car show

Church of Recoleta Cemetary

Market in Recoleta

Crazy lady who danced outside of the cemetary for hours

Mausoleums in the cemetary

Angels atop a mausoleum

There were wild cats everywhere in the cemetary

Eva Peron's (Evita's) grave

Plaque for Evita

Very large mausoleum

Wood-grilled tenderloin and almond mashed potatoes

Patagonian crab

Our little cow friend
Along the docks of Puerto Madero
Calatrava's Bridge of Woman

With the Bridge of Woman in the background

With a large cow in front of a restaurant

Cafe Tortoni
Thoughts on our hotel: We stayed at the Intercontinental because we had hotel points. It was a very nice hotel, good service, nice rooms, especially nice bathrooms. However it wouldn't be my first choice. First we prefer our hotels a little more modern and this was a little too frou frou and traditional. Secondly, the hotel is located close to the business area. It was nice for walking around to see nearly all of the tourist attractions, but it's a bit deserted at night and supposedly can be dangerous to walk around at night. Next visit I would prefer to stay in Recoleta or Palermo, closer to shopping and nice restaurants.
Thoughts on the city of Buenos Aires: Buenos Aires is a beautiful city and full of character. It just didn't pull me in the way Rio did though. Now that I've been there once I don't think I'd go back again. Economically, Argentina isn't in a good place. The average income in Buenos Aires is closer to 12k or 15k whereas in the US it is 30k or 40k. What I loved most about Buenos Aires was all the old architecture. The area of Puerto Madero is up and coming though with cranes everywhere and a lot of modern buildings. Buenos Aires doesn't have a singular tourist attraction that pulls in the tourists per se besides the tango, just a lot of historical sights. I do wish we'd had more time for nightlife such as tango clubs and the nice restaurants which seems to be a huge attraction in the city.

1 comment:

WeezerMonkey said...

I really liked Buenos Aires. It was kind of like visiting a European city without the European prices. :)