Home > Argentina > Back in BA a few days

Back in BA a few days

With Rosario being booked up for the holiday weekend, we spend a few extra days in BA. In truth, it is a good opportunity to slow down a bit. This time we chose Palermo to stay in, a kind of trendy yet residential area. Our place was all painted in bright violet, and probably the nicest place we have stayed so far.
 

 
 

they hated me for making them stand with the guard

glass floors - hours of fun

Over the few days we caught up with the newly opened bicentennial museum, learnt about various invasions, junta’s, political failures and local heroes. The train ride to Tigre (named after the tigers that used to live here) was a fairly shocking eye opener. I thought I had seen squalor travelling in some parts of Asia, and given Argentina’s reputation for being “European”, it was all the more surprising that we encountered full on slum conditions. I expect that coming in for a few days as a tourist it is all hidden away, but stay a bit longer and scratch below the surface and it is pretty horrific. (We encountered a similar thing bussing into Rosario a few days later, apparently it is the old railway land who’s ownership is under question. That is why the slums grow up there).

playgrounds in the nicer parts of town

playgrounds next to the bus station

Tigre itself was an interesting place located on a massive river delta. It must have been amazing in the 1920’s, but now, it has a slightly faded charm, although the Yerba Mate Museum sold me a gourd and bombilla, and the exploded bit of ship from the Malvinas conflict made us keep our voices down for a bit. (only after Elena screeched something inappropriate!)

some of the houses would have been amazing

the old rowing club

On a more positive noted we also tried out the local Palermo zoo, it was like Alice in Wonderland.  Whilst small, it is ram packed with all sorts of animals, most of which you can get very up close and personal with – all within a single block in to town. As a relief from the city tourist, it was a really cathartic experience.

cute

Before we knew it our time in Buenos Aires was coming to an end, we were back in Retiro bus station, (no sticky goo scams this time) and on the uber-comfortable “Cama” bus to Rosario, the birth place of Che Guevara.

Buenos Aires has been very different to what we expected, if one stuck to just the privileged  areas and tourist spots protected by security guards, then it may match the impression one has back home, but actually, it is a massive city with many, many problems. The biggest redeeming feature is it’s people, who are the warmest, friendliest most open people we have met – (bar the bus drivers – every one of them). Leaving on the bus, we had great memories, but also a real sense of relief.

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