Primavera en Buenos Aires!
We are enjoying the mild weather of spring. Our coldest day had a high of 57˚ and the warmest was 73˚. Each Sunday we walk to the local church where we have met many new folks. We try to practice our Spanish while they practice their English. The service is completely in Spanish including the music which has been a fun experience, however they also record the sermon in English so that we can listen with headphones.
We booked an English tour of the inside of Casa Rosada, the “Pink Palace”, that houses the executive branch of Argentina’s government. There are only 2 tours a week in English one on Saturday and one on Sunday. The tour included the Vice President and President’s office however; no pictures were allowed.
Just a little bit of trivia…
The only president to actually live in the Casa Rosada was Roque Sáenz Peña, between 1910 and 1914.
In addition, we were able to visit Eva “Evita” Peron’s salon where she conducted her business and the balcony that President Juan Peron gave his final speech.
While exploring the city we ran into a Chilean fair where they had authentic food, drinks and music. There was entertainment going on all day but that evening there was a famous group that preformed. Everyone knew the words to their songs except us, however we enjoyed the music. Nice surprise for us!
We have enjoyed finding local parrillas and cafes to go to where you can enjoy a good steak along with other fare at reasonable prices. One treat we discovered was lemonade where they mixed in mint and ginger. We loved the tart, sweet and fresh taste…muy Bueno!
While the metros have been our favorite way to travel, there is a peculiar culture that goes along with riding them. Vendors walk up and down the trains putting things (i.e. Kleenex, stickers, notepads and other small trinkets) on your lap hoping that you will buy them. Then they come back along and pick them all up. Something that is quite unusual to us.
We did ride the bus for the first time to La Boca, what an experience! Nobody spoke a bit of English and they drive crazy. The public buses aren’t really public. They’re privately owned hence the Playboy bunny emblems in the window and the mirrored steering wheel. We had a young guy driving our bus, who was continually shining the steering wheel…was it to see himself better or to impress the young ladies? It also appeared that the bus owner was sitting in the front seat so he could speak to the inspectors when they randomly stopped the bus.
We belong to an organization called “Servas”. Their purpose is to promote peace and understanding through travel and hosting. There are hosts around the world that will open their home to travelers to stay a couple of days and/or spend the day showing you around their neighborhood. We contacted Beatriz who lives in the La Boca area of Buenos Aires. She is a retired sociologist that now teaches taichi-qi gong in her neighborhood park. She was friendly, open and spoke English. We enjoyed our time getting to know each other and walking the streets of La Boca. She explained some of the history and we toured the Museo Benito Quinquela Martin, who was an Argentine painter born in La Boca. The museum included his home as well as his works of art. We had a nice lunch at the top of the Fundacion Proa Museo. Beatriz was very knowledgeable and it was a pleasure to spend the day together.
The sights of La Boca.
We look forward to sharing many more adventures!