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My one-day trip to Argentina Posted by on Jun 27, 2011 in Spanish Culture

Hey, there! How’s it going?

During Carnival here in Brazil I went on a sea cruise down to Argentina and Uruguay. We only had one day to spend in Montevideo and Buenos Aires, so we got off the ship at 9 am, hopped in a cab and drove along these cities. Montevideo is a beautiful and clean city but it was Buenos Aires that grabbed my attention completely.

Its architecture, squares, monuments, they’re all amazing. So we were there on a Thursday, a working day for Argentineans, and we had a three-hour drive around Buenos Aires. Taxi fares there are very, very cheap and we paid around 12 dollars each (4 people) for this sightseeing drive.

We had a little itinerary already planned out and we had the luck of having a driver who, even though he was young, was very knowledgeable about architecture and the city itself. So we asked him to take us first to see the Casa Rosada, the Presidential House. Cristina Kirchner, the President, was opening some public buildings so there were a lot of police there and traffic was extremely heavy.

One thing that struck me as highly interesting is that Argentineans protest for almost anything. In our three-hour drive around Buenos Aires we spotted at least five demonstrations. In one of them I saw this rainbow-colored flag so I asked the driver, ¿Es la comunidad gay que está protestando? and he gave me the dirtiest look ever and said, No señor, son los indígenas que a los que les quitaron sus tierras, that is, homeless indigenous people.

We also went to Caminito, which is a short street in the Boca district, where you can find colorful houses which date back to the 60s, when artist Benito Quinquela Martín decided to remodel the abandoned street, after the railroad was closed.

We saw a lot of historic and government buildings downtown and near Caminito our driver told me, Che, hay algo que quiero mostrarte (Hey, there’s something I want to show you). He drove us to this closed factory, which had a very unusual façade: a mythological orgy of people as beasts. So here’s one sight in Buenos Aires your travel agency won’t take you to. It is amazingly built and I’m glad the driver took us there. You can see the picture on the post.

So after driving for three hours we went to eat at the Puerto Madero area, near the Buenos Aires ports. They have a lot of good restaurants there and we ate at at Siga la Vaca (Follow the Cow). It is a self-service restaurant with a great menu of salads, rice, and you can go to the barbecue and order your meat. So here’s what happened, I’d had my salad, rice, beans, etc., and I went to the barbecue to get some meat. I ordered chicken breast and I thought the guy would serve me a small piece. Little did I know they serve you half a chicken breast, so when in Rome…

After eating we headed down to Calle Florida, a shopping street, to buy souvenirs. My friend Lavinia and I bought tons of alfajores Havana, magazines and some clothes at a good price. If you’re looking to buy leather jackets, that’s the place to go. One thing I noticed in Buenos Aires is that almost everybody speaks portuñol (portugués + español) and most establishments accept reais (Brazil’s currency) as payment method.

We had the hardest time getting a cab at rush hour, 5 pm, but we managed to arrive at the boat in time. I’m thinking of going back to Argentina really soon and spending some days there to walk around town and see the “hidden” Buenos Aires.

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About the Author: Adir

English / Spanish teacher and translator for over 20 years. I have been blogging since 2007 and I am also a professional singer in my spare time.