We have been in Buenos Aires for a few days now, and it has been great so far. Our trip from Bogota went smoothly and we arrived here at our hostel on Monday night. Our hostel here is more like a hotel than our others have been, with really nice communal areas, good breakfast in the morning, and fairly reliable internet. We've also gotten to know more people at this hostel, which has been fun.
On Tuesday, our first full day in Buenos Aires, we walked around the neighborhood where we're staying (San Telmo) and a good ways down the Avenida de Mayo, BA's famous avenue which is one of the widest in the world. There was a lot of beautiful architecture to see, but not many people around, as there had been a pretty bad thunderstorm that rolled through Tuesday morning. As we walked, we decided to buy tickets to a show at Teatro Colon, BA's famous opera house which supposedly is ranked in the top 5 in terms of acoustics in the world. We bought tickets for the concert that night, which was a 16-piece string orchestra along with a lead flute. We could only afford standing tickets, but it was totally worth it. The theater was beautiful, the music and acoustics were really amazing (not that I frequent opera houses, but still...) and it was just fun to be among the crowd and in the atmosphere. Most of the crowd up among the clouds with us was young, probably 20's and 30's, which was nice to see. It's been years since I've been to any classical music performances in the US (case in point), but when I think about the ones I have been to, I don't remember crowds of 20- and 30-somethings.
Yesterday we visited Recoleta Cemetery, which is where Evita is buried, along with other Argentinian elite. It's not a cemetery in the traditional sense (no grass or headstones), but basically a small city of mausoleums, many of which are quite ornate. The setting was beautiful and quiet, and the sun was out yesterday, so we got some good pics there (I'll try to upload some later, but my phone is dead right now).
Today we're waiting for our laundry to be done (I made it a week and a half!) and then this afternoon we're going to head to the Plaza de Mayo. We walked through the other day, but every Thursday afternoon, there is a protest there by Asociacion Madres de Plaza de Mayo, a group of mothers of Desaparecidos, the students who disappeared during the Dirty War in the 70's and 80's. They have been protesting every Thursday afternoon in front of the presidential palace for over a decade, so I'm very interested to see what that's like.
There is so much to do in this city and our hostel has put together a book to help guests decide, so we've also spent our first three days here just trying to narrow down what we want to do. Other things on the list so far: a free tango lesson here at the hostel this evening, a trip to El Tigre, a town about 45 mins north of BA, and a professional soccer game on Sunday. On Monday we will likely head to Uruguay for a few days by boat (you can see on the map how close it is) and then come back to BA for our last five days or so.
It's hard to believe we fly back to the states in two weeks--of course, there will be much more travel to come later in the summer--but South America is flying by! We continue to feel very blessed and grateful for the love and support coming from back home.