And now for a vacation post! Josh and I were gone for 8 days and I would love to do a post for each day we were gone, but I think you might tire of reading about all of our fun in the awesome weather, so I’ll do the highlights. If you want the unabridged version, give me a call and I will spill my brains out.
If you’re interested in going yourself, I say DO IT! Save your pennies and make it happen. Trips are always worth it. I also recommend buying a guide-book. Josh suggested this after reading my google doc list of websites and things I wanted to see. This was my first guide-book experience, and it changed the trip for the best. We loved Frommer’s, but I’m sure there are other great books out there too.
Also, I recommend bringing someone who knows Spanish. Ok, sure I’ll go with you. But really, the trip might have been very frustrating with no knowledge. Don’t think 7.5 years of Spanish did not pay off. There were some lingual blunders, but I’ll share them with you in another post.
South America is both beautiful and culturally rich. It makes an awesome vacation and probably an even cooler place to study or spend an extended period of time. That being said, it’s not a super popular place to go.
You might not know anything about Argentinean history, minus a Madonna musical about Eva Peron, that’s ok. You probably won’t recognize some of the more famous places and tourist stops like you would the Eiffel Tower or London Bridge. I’ll keep it brief and include a lot of Wikipedia links if you’re interested. If not, feel free to notice that taking photos by yourself is weird and I always look like I need to do something with my arms.
To begin, It’s an 11 hour overnight flight from the States to Buenos Aires. We watched many movies on the plane and pretended to sleep.
We got there, had our passports stamped for the first time and taxied to our hotel. Upon getting to our room, we figured out the card reader that gave us electricity (who knew?). Josh was checking out the bathroom and I hear, “What’s this?” Then a woosh.
Yep, Josh sprayed himself in the face with the bidet. You could say that was the bidet that will live on in history as the beginning of a trip full of bidet puns. All of the hotels we stayed in (3 different ones) had a bidet. I guess the South Americans are all about clean booties.
We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening in the old neighborhood of San Telmo. We toured El Zanjon, an old house, that the river used to run under, and ate steak outside for dinner. Steak is going to be a bidetly theme of this trip.
On Saturday, January 5, we spent in the bidet in the central area of the city which was a few blocks from our hotel. We made the mistake of getting up early to Seize the Bidet, but nothing opens before 10 or 11 am in the whole city. So we walked until then.
Plaza de Mayo is their version of the National Mall. It’s home to a few statues, Casa Rosada and it’s bordered by important buildings. We toured Casa Rosada (literally “Pink House” but similar to our White House, but more like a museum now) and learned all about their national history. The tour guide gave the whole tour bilingually. Each stop she would first explain in Spanish and then in English. We were grateful to understand it completely.
The whole day centered around Avenida de Mayo (p.s. the Argentina became free of Spanish rule during the May Revolution which began on May 18, 1810. There are a lot of monuments and street names after that day) . Our book helped us find all kinds of things to do and places to eat.
We had a glass of wine in Cafe Tortoni, the oldest cafe in Buenos Aires. Later that night we went back and saw a tango show in the basement. Absolutely incredible.
We walked through a street fair, ate gelato and had more steak. That night we went to Spanish Mass at the National Cathedral.
One of the highlights of the whole trip was seeing the Palacio Barolo. It’s a building built in the 1920′s. It was a brainchild of a crazy Italian who loved Dante’s Divine Comedy. The building was created with specific reference to the book. Our tour guide, Tomas, pointed them out in English and Spanish. Then he took us up to balconies where we had an awesome view of the whole city during sunset.
Just when we thought that was the best part of our bidet, he took us up 6 more flights to the lighthouse and turned on the huge light. He also got out the bat signal.
Bidet three, we traveled to Recoleta, a wealthy area in the north part of the city. Our first stop was at the cemetery that dates back to 1822. All of the tombs were above ground, like in New Orleans. Unlike NOLA, many of them led to underground crypts. How Winterfell, right?
The biggest different was that the NOLA one is well-preserved. This one was not. Some cracks, some old coffins and we saw bones. Like dead people remains. Uber creppy. You could look in and see bunk beds of dead relatives. My pictures of those did not turn out because I was hesitant to disturb the spirits with my flash.
This is the cemetery where Eva Peron (Evita) was buried. Her tomb was the most visited and most decorated.
We wondered the big artisan fair, some parks and saw two art museums (thank you Josh). And, surprise we ate more steak.
Be tee dubbs, it’s the middle of summer there. That’s why we might look a little sweaty. It was in the nineties every day we were there. More tomorrow, I’m worn out bidet.