Buenos Aires : part 1

I arrived in Buenos Aires with Erica and we promptly navigated the subway system to get us to our hostel “The art factory” in the beautiful Palermo district of the city. Think old buildings, individual boutique shops, restaurants, cafes and an outside plaza with bars at night.

The whole city is lovely and has a real European feel to it with French and Roman esque architecture – the modern mixed with the old. There is a harbour area which reminds me of Gunwharf in Portsmouth and various artsy and antique districts.

So after exploring our neighbourhood and sampling empanadas, Erica and I also sampled the crazy night life in BA – here you hit a club at 3am and party until 6am. The tipple of choice is the Italian drink Fernet with cola which apparantly doesn’t give you a hangover but does give you an aversion to coke the following day! Fortunately in our hostel we were lucky to meet lots of Argentinians and South Americans who showed us the local bars and tried to teach us Spanish!

On our first day we explored the centre of town where there is a large plaza and cathedral and happened upon an international food Fayre. After much deliberation over which food to pick we ended up having Korean and it was delicious! A Brazilian drum group provided the entertainment, but unlike in Brazil, the Argentinian people seemed a little more reserved, (or less drunk), and no impromptu dancing took place!

Food in both Brazil and Argentina largely consists of meat, fried, sweet and salty foods and pastries. Feeling a lack of vitamins in our system, Erica and I set about making homemade falafels with salad and pitta – and were the envy of our fellow travellers who all wanted a taste! In Argentina dulce de leche is huge – it is eaten on bread at breakfast, in coffee, in pastries, on ice cream and is obviously amazing, but I do wonder how anyone has any teeth left here! Another tradition is matte drinking. Matte is a sort of herbal tea win actual plant material in it that is drunk from a special cup with a metal straw. People meet in parks to share matte and it is quite the social event, although not to my taste!

Every Monday evening there is an amazing percussion show called Le Bambo de tiempo held in an open air venue. When I went, I thought the show started off a little slowly, but soon the crowd were raving to the beat of the drums, and everyone was dancing. Electric atmosphere, really friendly vibe and the biggest beer cups I’ve ever seen!

I love this city!

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