Thursday, December 30, 2010

1st (or is that 2nd) impressions

Well, day 2 in Buenos Aires and probably about time I let you all know what I have been upto. I say that it is not strictly my first impression of BA as I was here a couple of years ago. But it is like seeing it for the first time, through a new lens.

When I finally left Paris, the 13 hour flight was painless enough and I even managed to get some sleep. Which is surprising as I don't normally sleep very well on planes. And on arrival, thanks to the inhumane layover in Paris, I arrived in Buenos Aires on a glorious summer's morning. There is nothing worse than arriving thousands of miles away in a city clothed in darkness. I managed to get a shuttle bus and before you could say "hola" I was being whisked into the city centre.

Now being tired, and having travelled for over a day I would have liked to get straight into my room. However, check in was not for a couple of hours so I had to drop my bag at hostel and head off in search of food and drink. Not difficult admittedly in Buenos Aires.

Fed, watered and with a room at my disposal I refreshed myself and had a little nap. Only to wake wondering where the hell I was for a second! Having realised I was still in South America, I got dressed and headed out to explore San Telmo. San Telmo is a little suburb in BA of cobbled streets, leafy squares and great little bars and it wasn't long before I found myself in Bar Plaza Dorrega having a couple of cold Quilmes (the local brew).

I then meandered back towards home, up Avenida Florida and back to Avenida Corrientes where the hostel is. I decided that tonight was going to be an early night, ready to hit the sights tomorrow.

And that is what I have done. Up and out at 7.30am this morning, a brief coffee stop for a café cortoda whilst formulating a plan and then I have walked the city for the last 7 hours. I wandered upto the exclusive suburb of Recoleta and took in one of BA's top tourist attractions, the cemetery! But this is no ordinary cemetery, it has to be seen to be believed. This is where Eva Peron (made famous by Madonna in the Evita movie) is laid to rest. The cemetery is huge with rows and rows of grand mausoleums. The focal point for all the tourists being the family mausoleum of Evita Duarte.

After a lunch stop it was time for the long walk back into town. And it was then that I became aware of two phenomenoms of Buenos Aires. The professional dog walkers, who walk up to 15 dogs at one time, and the obvious signs that tell you why BA is one of the cosmetic surgery capitals of the world. Boy, do those girls make the most of summer clothes!!!

On that note, I will leave you. My beer is getting warm and I feel the need for a siesta.

Adios amigos.

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