Here’s yet another travel post – this one in South America.
My buddy, Wes and I arrived in Buenes Aires, Argentina yesterday morning at 9:30 AM. Although neither of us had slept much on our 10 hour flight from Houston, we were determined to be good little travelers and not give in to our strong desire to nap once we arrived at our hotel, The Sheridan Libertador. So after being told they had upgraded our room (yay for free snacks and wifi), we set out on foot to visit BA’s oldest barrio, San Telmo.
My first impressions of BA? An interesting mix – Mostly Euopean (the architect, the narrow cobbled streets, the green plazas breaking up a sea of stone and brick), New Orleans (the wrought iron balconies), and also New York City (the smells of humanity and street vendors, and of course, bustling pedestrians).
San Temo was quite a walk but well worth it. This is Sunday and Sunday is fair day. What a fun beginning! The streets were lined with arts and crafts booths as well as musicians filling the air with lively tunes and entertainers drawing small crowds along the way. Our favorite was the
marionnette who appeared to be very drunk. (Check out Wes’s video on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10153143436762560).
At Plaza Dorregos we plopped down at Todo Mundo, cafe to enjoy a light lunch and people watch. Then we walked to the other side of the plaza to have an expresso and cookie at Havanna – I have a feeling I will be drinking too much coffee here as it is so wonderful!
But the shopping was the best. I purchased a Bahama type hat plus a paper thin vest with leaf prints. Wes was very patient as I shopped, however, I did hear a sigh escape from him once or twice :).
The most amazing part of our afternoon, however, was our stop at El Zanjon, a beautifully restored 1830’s house in which a labyrinth of tunnels was discovered buried underneath. Some historians believe that this is the location of the first settlement in BA in 1536. I’m sure our guide was well informed but since he spoke only Spanish, I was quite lost. Regardless, I found the tunnels and the artifacts found therein to be quite fascinating!
Even though we were extremely tired that evening, we opted to enjoy a nice dinner and tango show at El Querandí. The evening was filled with surprises – so much more than either of us had expected.The 3 course dinner was superb, and the show simply spectacular! The old house was elegant, antique chandeliers dimly lighting the room, a stately wooden bar lining the wall, and tables dressed appropriately with red roses and small dangling lamp shades. The space was intimate and we were fortunate to be seated at a table close to the stage. The musicians, the singers (especially the elderly man who had the audience eating from his hands), and the tango dancers were all so amazing! And it wasn’t just modern tango – this show depicted the history of the dance so it was interesting seeing the changes in fashion as well as the different styles of tango, some much more athletic than others but all so intense and passionate!
Needless to say, our first day in The Southern Hemisphere, in South America, in Buenos Aires was a memorable one!