We are in Argentina!
We arrived in Buenos Aires via overnight bus from Paraguay. We were immediately impressed with the bus station, which had both free bathrooms and abundant water fountains! Also nice was that we were able to walk right into the central part of the city rather than have to deal with public transit, though as we later learned, the subways are cheap and easy to use in BA.
After some comparison shopping, we settled on a very central hotel that cost 80 pesos, or about $21 US, per night. Most of the rooms were down regular corridors, but for some reason our door was right off the stairwell, making our address officially "the cupboard under the stairs."
Right down the street from our hotel was the Casa Rosada, or Pink House, Argentina's answer to the White House. Yup, we stayed right down the street from the president.
When we went to take a closer look at the Pink House, the guards let us walk right in, and we stumbled onto a free tour led by a toy soldier!
We understood maybe an eighth of what he said, but there were some pretty rooms to look at.
After the tour, we left the Pink House, accompanied by a whole regiment of toy soldiers.
We checked out the cathedral, very nice...
...and then went off for hot chocolate and churros in a beautiful old cafe. I'll share those pics in our next foods post.
Buenos Aires has many very wide avenues. Avenida 9 de Julio (as in Brazil, many of the streets in this country are named after dates, making it possible to say things like "I'll meet you at the corner of 9 de Julio and 28 de Julio, OK?") is apparently one of the widest in the world, and we had to cross it a lot! There are even more lanes than you can see here.
Jewing it up in Buenos Aires...here is a synagogue from the 1800s. Apparently you have to make an appointment with the rabbi to go inside, so we just admired it lit up at night.
On our first night in BA, we went to the Teatro Nacional Cervantes, where for a whopping $6 apiece we saw an incredible tango-ballet-modern dance show put on by a company called Tangokinesis. No pics of the show, but here are a couple of shots of the beautiful theater.
If Tangokinesis ever tours in America, I humbly beg you to go see them, because it was one of the best dance shows I have ever seen--incredible dancing, wonderfully original choreography (men tangoing with other men, for example), beautiful costumes, etc. Brooke, Emily, and other fellow dancers, I wish you could have been there!
Within the city itself is a large marshland reserve that is quite popular with joggers on the weekend. We took a walk through it and saw a few birds. Also, cool to see the city rising in the distance over the marsh.
Hey, check out the latest play to take Buenos Aires by storm!
(We actually went by the box office, and the absolute best, most expensive ticket you can get is $35 US. This was painful for me to learn, because I paid more than that to sit in the balcony at previews when it first came to New York.)
Tickets to everything cultural seemed to be cheap in BA. On our last night in town, we went to the movies for $3.50 apiece. Never mind that we saw "The Reader," which has been out on video in the US for months...it was very good.
And check out the plush seating in the aforementioned subway, for which tickets cost 30 cents.
We'll share more when we post about foods of Buenos Aires (restaurants there were also very inexpensive, esp. compared to Rio).
Ah, Buenos Aires...you were cheap, you were clean, you were full of culture. In short, a muy bueno place to visit.