Hello! Thank you for taking a look at my blog about Buenos Aires. I’m sorry for not posting since my Patagonia blog, but I’ve been dealing with bronchitis and other issues.
After a couple trips to the doctor, I am starting to get better, and I’m ready to get back out there to do more exciting things! I’m extremely tired of resting and watching Netflix.
Despite being sick for the last few weeks, I’ve still done some interesting things around the city, and of course, have eaten my fair share of delicious food. Here’s a numbered list of some things I’ve done recently.
Here’s a photo of some cake from a restaurant called Maru Botana to get things started. And yes, the pieces were as huge as they look.
One of my friends, Holly, had a project in which she had to go to famous bars and cafes in the city. I accompanied her to a couple. The first one we went to, El Banderín, is one of the oldest cafes in the area. It opened in 1929, and we talked with the owner, whose grandfather owned it before him. It was definitely a locals’ bar. Everyone who came in and ate seemed to know the owner, and none of them needed a menu.
I had a delicious steak sandwich, and a Porteño wrote me a love note. Never underestimate the frankness of Argentine men. All in all, El Banderín was a charming café.
The other café we went to is probably the most touristy café in the city. Named after the famous French café, Café Tortoni is a beautiful, grand café that opened in 1858. Different paintings and artwork from artists who visited the café hung on the walls. I could just imagine seeing people in elegant dresses and suits from the 1800s sitting at the tables. Everything looked just like it would have then, minus all the casual outfits and selfies.
Also, Hillary Clinton once visited the cafe and left a note.
2. Visited a Basilica
While on an excursion with my study abroad program to a ranch, we stopped at Basílica Nuestra Señora de Lujan, which was gigantic and beautiful. It was also funny that it was practically in the middle of nowhere.
The basilica was in the middle of this area that was a perfect example of colonial towns. It amazes me how so many Latin Americans are catholic, a religion that used to be enforced onto them.
3. Toured Casa Rosada
Casa Rosada is basically the Argentine version of the White House, except the president doesn’t actually live there; he just works and has meetings at the house.
Our tour seemed exclusive as it was only our group, and guards had to open the gates to let us in. The tour was in English, which is always a nice surprise. It requires less effort to pay attention. During our tour, we were allowed to take as many photos as we wanted, but were forbidden to shoot video.
Casa Rosada was beautiful. It had a yellow courtyard with palm trees and a fountain, and the windows had a pinkish-orange shade to it.
4. Explored more churches, cathedrals and basilicas (oh my)
After our Casa Rosada tour, we decided to visit the Catedral Metropolitana and explore San Telmo, a neighborhood near Casa Rosada.
The cathedral was stunning. It was huge, with dozens of religious statues and hundreds of places to pray. I forgot to take a picture of the outside of it, so here’s a photo of the cathedral from buenosaires123.com.
The decor was gorgeous, and religious buildings never fail to amaze me. People create these huge structures for a higher power that they cannot see. It requires a lot of dedication and is really impressive.
Here’s some photos of another church we visited and pictures of pretty architecture.
5. Rooftop Bar
My friends and I went to SkyBar, which was on top of a hotel. The weather was perfect, and we could see stars above the lit-up city. Magical is one way to describe it.
I was on antibiotics so couldn’t drink any alcohol, but I had the best lemonade I had ever had.
On another excursion with my study abroad program, we spent the day going to different fairs and markets around the city. We went to Feria de los Mataderos, which had a ton of food, dancing and booths, and Feria de San Telmo, which is this extremely long fair in San Telmo every Sunday that goes on for blocks and blocks.
I bought a hand-made mug with flowers on it, and I watched some traditional gaucho dancing. I also found a burrito so delicious I was unable to take a photo of it. Overall, it was a great day.
7. Jardín Botanico
On a Friday, I decided to spend the day visiting different gardens around the city. The sun was shining and there was a nice breeze. It was perfect weather to explore. I started off with the Botanical Garden. It had dozens of different statues, flowers and trees. Besides the sounds of traffic a block away, I felt like I could have been deep in nature.
I’m taking a contemporary Argentine art class, and I had a project where I had to find six works of art and analyze them. I thought this garden would be the perfect opportunity to find some beautiful statues, so here’s a slideshow of all the statues I encountered in the garden.
Jardín Botanico also had a butterfly garden.
8. Paseo el Rosedal
In Buenos Aires, there’s this famous rose garden filled with different-colored roses. Busts of famous people, large fountains and gazebos sit inside the garden as well. The day I went was free, so there were many people there. But it was still beautiful.
9. Polo Match
The city of Buenos Aires offers free events for international students, and one event was attending a polo game. All I knew about polo was that men on horses whack a ball with a stick, which is exactly what happened, but it was pretty entertaining. I wore a big floppy hat and felt like I was in Pretty Woman.
My friends and I couldn’t go somewhere without one of us getting hurt. One of my friends stepped on her chair to climb over and take a photo of us. She broke the chair, and her leg fell right through, earning her a large scrape all the way up her leg. She was oozing out blood, and another one of my friends decided to be the nurse and put a pad on her leg, which soaked up the blood. I guess that’s one way to do it.
Despite this chaos, I had a great time. After, we walked around for awhile, and explored. Across from the polo match is this huge building where people can bet on horse races and play slot machines. Are all casinos this nice?
10. El Jardín Japones
In addition to the other gardens, I went with a friend to the Japanese gardens. It was a little cloudy and many people were there because it was a Sunday, but it was still very tranquil and fun. I drank some tea and saw some of the biggest fish I had ever seen.
11. Went to a secret bar
For my friend’s 21st birthday, we went to an awesome Italian restaurant and then after decided to go to a secret bar called Frank’s, which is a speakeasy bar. You have to have a password to enter, so we searched the bar’s Facebook and Twitter page to find a password. There was a one-sentence clue on their Twitter page about the password and then a picture on their Facebook page. The clue was something about the person being a U.S. ambassador in Ghana. We had no idea who the person was, even with the photo. But one of our friends sent the photo their family, and the person was Shirley Temple. We were so used to seeing pictures of her when she was a child, we had no idea it was her.
We got to the bar, and there was this big, black door. A guy came to the door, and we said “Shirley Temple.” He let us enter into this hallway with phone booth. A woman waited at the phone booth and told us the four digits we had to punch into the phone booth. Once I punched in the numbers, the wall of the phone booth opened to reveal the bar.
Its decor was from the 20s and had a dark, vampirish vibe to it. I didn’t get a drink there, as the drinks were almost $12, but we sat and had awesome conversation in this secret little bar.
I didn’t get a chance to take a photo of it, so here’s a photo from the Internet.
12. Ate awesome food
I’m sure you noticed I didn’t include many pictures of food throughout this blog. I thought I would save the best for last, because although I have been sick these last few weeks, I ate some great food. Please enjoy this slideshow of all the food I’ve eaten at restaurants since I’ve been back from Patagonia.
You’re all caught up now! I plan to blog more often now that I’m feeling better, but hopefully class won’t get in the way of this. I already have three papers and three presentations due next week, and they’re all in Spanish.
Thank you so much for checking in to see how I’m doing. I’m having a great time overall, despite my sickness. I hope to be rid of my cough soon. This is the longest relationship I’ve had. Stay tuned for next time!