Poor but beautiful
14.12.2009 - 15.01.2010 31 °C
When arriving at Buenos Aires Airport, use earplugs when you go to pick up your luggage. The baggage belt was squealing like a pig at the slaughter and the high squeaks where a terror to the ears. I do not understand why they did not fix it, because it is a poor welcoming committee to your country.
When going into town from the airport think about how much money you want to spend. Because taxi´s get you to your hotel quik, but are all but cheap. A 15 minute trip from the airport downtown cost you 110 Argentina pesos. On the other hand taxi´s inside Buenos Aires are very cheap, so do not hesitate to take one if the next place you want to visit in Buenos Aires is Just a little bit to far to walk.
Taken on the whole, at the moment it is all in all a very agreeable city. Because all the prices in the city are very good. It looks like the global economy has struck Argentina hard and therefore prices in the city are very good for the visiting tourist. Even if you go to the most famous café in Buenos Aires, café Tortoni, you will find that you walk out with a feeling of wow that was cheap.
Cafe Tortoni, established in 1858 at Avenida de Mayo, is well worth your visit. The atmosphere and the decorations are good. It is a mix of the old and the new and the coffee is great.
When walking down Avenida de Mayo you arrive at Plaza de Mayo and you will see that it is still a place of protest in Argentina. These days it is the veterans of the Falkland war, or Islas Malivinas, as they are called in Argentina.
They fight for recognition for their efforts in their war. It seems to me that maybe the Falkland war veterans suffer the same faith as the Vietnam veterans did when they returned home. Honoring the soldiers of a war that is lost seems to be an embarrassment for the people of a country and a problem for its government.
Plaza de Mayo has some very beautiful buildings however and, apart from Casa Rosada the presidential palace, Cathedral Metropolitana is well worth you visit. It contains some very nice murals and a national monument, permanently guarded by two soldiers in uniforms looking like they where dressed for a ball in the 1800´s
But next to this it looked to me the city of Buenos Aires has some problems itself too, mostly financial by the look of it. Every where you walk in the city you will find that the footpaths have either been patched up with some concrete or are missing complete pieces of the footpaths and you have to be careful not to step in a hole. Which I think is a real shame, because Buenos Aires is a very beautiful city with a lot of marvelous architecture.
A must go in the city is Puerto Madero and the adjoining Reserva Ecológica. Next to the architecture and the old docks in Puerto Madero, lies the Reserva Ecológica. If you are a nature buff and want to enjoy a lot of different birds in a big city visit this park. It is beautiful.
And when visiting Buenos Aires do not forget to take the boast one day and cross the Mar del Plata for a visit to neighboring country Uruguay. Just a one hour boat trip will bring you to a marvelous piece of history: Colonia del Sacramento. But more about this city in my next blog
But inform yourself before you buy a boat ticket, because there are several companies that provide this transfer and their prices differ enormously. Busquebus is the most modern and luxurious one and also the most expensive, but if you look around you can also go with for example Seacat Colonia. Their boats are maybe a little bit smaller and older, but just as fast as Busquebus and cheaper.
All in all I recommend you go visit Buenos Aires, because it is a city with a lot to offer and maybe at the moment with some financial problems, but just overlook that fact and go.