Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Buenos Aires, Argentina Feb 17-22, 2011

Let me prelude this entry by saying I wrote this about 8 months ago, but the site had a bug with hosting pictures, so I put my writing on a hiatus.  I will try to finish off the rest of my travels as I can so that I can start fresh when I head off to Europe in a few months, enjoy.

Traveling: I took the Busque Bus to get here (a ferry). Aboard it was like a cruise ship interior where you could sit wherever. The food selection was good, and it was easy to take a nap. The ride totaled 3 hours and it was very comfortable, I'd highly recommend it.  Below is a picture of this ferry.

Culture/Stuff about there: Buenos Aires is an extremely unique, amazing city. It boasts some world renowned steaks, as their meat is very good. It is also not very expensive, you can eat like a king and have red wine for a very reasonable price. The city is large, and it offers a large variety of things to do. One can take the subway over to Palermo and see the beautiful parks and relax, or catch a famous soccer match as I did. You can drink the streets, as well as enjoy the nightlife which seemingly never ends. Some clubs don't get going strong until 2am, and some are open until about 9am. Stores close mid day as in Europe for the siesta, and the people love their wine, food, and beer here. It has a European feel to it, with cheaper prices.

This was one of the first sites I saw when I was travelling to my hostel, a main area to the bustling city.

Language: Spanish, besides Brazil and some of the French owned countries up North, everywhere in South America speaks Spanish. It does change from location to location, just like how people speak differently in California than New York. It was nice to be able to try and recall some Spanish from high school, and attempt to start learning again. I did a little Rosetta Stone here, but knowing the key verbs is crucial to get points across, even if they are not used correctly.

Safety: I felt very safe here, it is the same as the other countries, don't go stumbling down a back alley while speaking solely English and you should be fine. At the soccer matches though they get very rowdy, so sit in a visitor section and go at your own risk.

Transportation: Car is the main means of transportation here, with some bikes and such. It is much like a US city with cars and the subway, and taxis.

Population: 15.2 Million

Currency: Argentinian Peso, about 4 pesos = 1 USD

Place Stayed at: Hostel Portal Del Sur. It was a nice hostel inside, but the crowd was too old, and the atmosphere was not one where people were up for going out to explore or going out. I would not recommend it, the Millhouse Hostel next door is so much fun, however I did not experience, but highly recommend it. You must book it well in advance though since it is so popular. I booked last second and that is why I could not stay there. This makes a huge difference in how much you will enjoy the trip, so don't put it off. 
View from 3rd floor

We didn't have much of a view off the balcony, but it was nice to have one nonetheless

Food: The steaks here are world known, and they lived up to the hype. Also, the wine is much cheaper than it is in the USA. I recommend gorging out here for terrific, relaxing meals that cost about half of what they would cost in the USA. It is also a large city, so you can find whatever food is to your liking.

This was a meal I sat down to outside w/ Peter to enjoy the crowd walking about

Beers/Drinks: Quilmes was the main beer I saw, and it was mediocre. The beer here is not to expensive, nor are the mixed drinks. Handles of alcohol are also very cheap here if that is what you like.

Entertainment: The nightlife is popping here, some good clubs don't get good until 2am and run until 9am, everything starts late here. You won't be disappointed here, there is so much to offer. There are lots of good clubs in Palermo which is a metro ride away.

Internet: I was in a hostel, but it is better here than most of South America

Sites to see/Things to do: There was this serene park located in Palermo. People were doing everything, from tight roping to soccer to street hockey. You could rent bikes, which we did, and casually ride around the park. Many people were jogging and rollerblading as well. There is a small pond, and unlike most crowded areas I am used to as a US citizen, this somehow remained calm. There was not loud noise, and it was just a super relaxing day.

I saw this inspiring Argentinian and figured I'd get in a quick workout myself, street style

Always amazed by what I see, didn't expect to run in to any Amish here

The nightlife is world known here, sadly I messed up this part of the trip and didn't find all the good nightlife, which typically gets good at 2am and runs until about 9am, thus making it a crazy city that fits my lifestyle and hours. I also went to a soccer game between Racing and the Boca Juniors which was fun. They don't sell tickets on the day of the games so buy them ahead of time or at the gate, people told us it was impossible to get them at the gate, but that was far from true. Watch out for the scalpers though, they all sell fake tickets. Also, you cannot drink in the stadium, but many people bring in marijuana, so pregame hard before hand if you want to be hammered during the game. Afterwards they block in the home team fans for a solid hour so there are no fights, that was just stupid. The food here is good also, stroll around and have a great big steak with red wine on the cobble stoned streets that let the air seep in to coolly breeze you while you prepare for your upcoming siesta.
Outside the stadium, downing some beers with some friends before heading in

Everyone smokes some mari J during the game if you want to partake, I had no idea it was going to be like that, but without selling beer to avoid chaos, it makes sense

Watch out, they held the home team fans for an hour so that no fights would ensue w/ the other teams fan, damnit...

Recommendation: Stay at Millhouse hostel, do there nightlife activities, and get to the park in Palermo. Also, attend a soccer game and enjoy the steaks and cheap wine. Almost anyone will have a good time here, you would have to try to not to.

Other Pics:

About to enter the park in Palermo, was playing around w/ color settings

Graffiti #1

Graffiti #2

Me and mah girl

Some shots around town with Peter:

Cheap great lunch together, they open the windows and a great breeze shoots through


Tons of street vendors to go through looking for souvenirs

Peter and I after a long day seeing as much as we could

Rating: 9.5/10, this is a place I would definitely consider living in, and a destination I'd encourage most people to see at some point. It's a highly livable city, with cheap prices, great night life, and lots to do.