Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Patagonia - Buenos Aires 2

Buenos Aires is known for its unique neighbourhoods and the most colourful of all (in more ways than one) is La Boca. Tour books had warned tourists about violence and robberies in La Boca so we were a little leery about visiting on our own. Our tour drove us through the neighbourhood then dropped us in the touristy centre, where we were allowed to wander around unescorted but warned that we should stay in the "triangle" - "make a right and then a right and another right to get you back to the meeting point". We would be "safe" if we don't wander out of those lines. For once, I followed instructions. But I find it ironic that we were willing to play tourist in an area that obviously was not what it appeared to be - but we pretended it was and played along with the "fake" setup - like Disneyland but not...

We walked the afternoon away in the cobbled streets of San Telmo and wandered fortuitously into a historic literary café, La Poésia, where we had a nice dessert break.  A staircase led up to a loft with a photo gallery of literary figures who had met in the café located in a turn of the 19th century building. It was a long but interesting walk back to our Recoleta hotel through the pedestrian thoroughfare Florida Street - a back to reality walk, with the street full of hawkers and solicitations. We were offered "cambio" by street money-exchangers non-stop throughout the walk down the crosstown street.

The highlight of our Buenos Aires visit was a wonderful evening at the historic Los Laureles (established 1893) tango bar, attending a "milonga" where locals danced the tango.  What a fun way to end the trip!

Colourful tenements in La Boca - only the tenants would know if life is really that colourful...

Tango and singing on the street to entice customers


Street mural in San Telmo by famous Argentinian cartoonist Juan Carlos Colombres (Landrú)

La Poesia, an historic literary café in San Telmo that we just happened to wander into

Cobbled streets of San Telmo

Pedestrian thoroughfare in Centro
Flordia Street famous for shopping and "cambio"

Historic milonga bar, Los Laureles, established in 1893

Instructor at tango lesson

Tango demo

Live music for locals dancing the tango at the milonga

Good night and goodbye, Buenos Aires!

This wraps up my posts on Patagonia. It was one of the most spectacular trips we have been on. Looking forward to the next one - Munich, Salzburg and the Alps. Stay tuned!

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