Argentina > Buenos Aires: Part I
We spent an amazing ten days in Buenos Aires and each day was filled with something new and exciting; too much to fit in this little blog so we'll only allow our fingers to share the highlights...
From Iguaçu we went from luxury to luxury, leaving our hotel-like accommodation and traveling in style for 16hrs. Our ´suite´ bus included fully reclining seats, covers, pillows, a TV, dinner with alcohol and breakfast provided by our steward - Nick was more impressed with this than with the flight over here! We chose a night bus and slept right through which meant waking early feeling ready to take on the city that never sleeps.We had received a "security" email from the hostel prior to arriving advising us to take the metro to get there because it's not only much simpler, but also because of the reputation that follows the taxi-drivers: too many professional con artists who will replace whatever cash you give them with a fake note in the blink of an eye and give you back the fake one refusing to take your fare. Unfortunately a girl at the hostel became a 400pesos (GB100) victim to this as she hadn't read the email.
A quick shower, coffee and croissant later at the very lovely hostel ("Estoril", we'd recommend this place to anyone going to BA!), we set off in search of the weekly Sunday markets. Decorated with a variety of sellers, restaurants, performers and plenty of locals, the streets were nothing but inviting. Wanting to feel at home we perched on a curb and gobbled down one mighty steak sandwich that came with a side of traditional street Tango.
Alike most hostels, Estoril display activities around their reception and Nicks beady little eye caught that Boca Juniors were playing a team from Venezuela - so we paid up and went to enjoy the game. Based in Boca the yellow and blue stadium stands tall and mighty in and amongst the houses of Boca. With the stadium filled, all were satisfied with 90mins of great football in which Boca took charge and won 3-0, one of which goals was an impressive over-head kick. Even if we hadn't of seen the football info at the hostel, the bus loads of fanatics that sang and waved their flags all day were a big give-away. There's no denying that this country are just as passionate about this sport as they are about Tango and wine.
Knowing BA has a lot to offer we wanted to set up camp for longer than a few days; a couple of Google searches later we stumbled across ByT Argentina, a company who let out apartments on a weekly basis at prices that actually beat Estoril. Although we'd seen a couple of pictures on the website we were still unsure of what we were going to walk into. Right near the main shopping street our apartment was perfect - we indulged in breakfast in bed (we finally got our cereal and it was so good!), whilst watching TV in bed, a couple of home cooked meals and being able to hang our clothes up for 7 lovely days made us feel like a king and queen. We have been meeting some great people along the way but the privacy was greatly appreciated and we indulged in the peace by spending a whole day just reading. Amongst many other things, staying in hostels has really made us appreciate the little things in everyday life.
Located a few blocks from our apartment was a gem of a restaurant (or 2 should I say, it's so good they opened a second on the same street! Both always booming from the moment they open, 8.30pm, right through to the early hours.) called ´La Cabrera´. A French bistro that offer a variety of meat on their menu but specialising in steak, all of which are big enough for 2 to share. Served on a wooden platter the red juicy steak we ordered came accompanied with twelve small dishes, each holding different foods, just like tapas. It was one of the best meals we have ever had and the great service provided by old guys wearing flat-caps only added to that - it's so good, we went back a second night!(http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/central-and-south-america/argentina/buenos-aires/60725/la-cabrera/restaurant-detail.html). As for dessert, BA is known for coming alive at night, streets filled with bars and restaurants all packed with hungry locals, coffee places, clothes shops open until 8-9pm and even chocolate bars; there are a handful of "Volta" bars spread around the city whose menu consists of huge lists of ice-creams, cakes, chocolate drinks and sweets; we only sampled a few scoops of ice-cream but it was delicious - if only a crawl around these particular bars were put on by the hostel...