Day 1: Buenos Aires

Hotel La Cayetana

Hotel La Cayetana

We arrived in Buenos Aires yesterday morning to find it was raining and chilly, weather we were not prepared for. Once at La Cayatana Hotel, a beautiful but overpriced place I would not recommend mostly because of the 125 dogs that live in the kennel/vet on the street behind it who NEVER stopped barking, I went out for prociutto pizza (at Campo del Fiori) while Martin slept (I had taken a melatonin and slept on the plane). Then I walked around the city for two more hours, discovering the parts of BA that made me think this city is more like Shanghai than Paris – cheap clothing stores I´d never heard of, Argentine department stores and malls, lots of Fisherman Wharf-Venice Beach-style street vendors, etc. I have to admit I was not liking BA at that point-cold, gray, windy and lots of dingy clothing stores were not what I had expected. “BA is like Paris,” people had told me. I was expecting Paris.

Then, in the evening, we took the subway (my feet were killing me by then) to Recoleta, an upscale neighborhood with a lot of designer clothing stores (three story Ralph Lauren shop, etc.) and restaurants. We had dinner at a place called La Cholita where I ordered a huge steak (Argentina is known for great beef), fries, grilled vegetables and a bottle of Malbec and ate every bite (I don´t like Malbec, by the way, at least not that Malbec-yeck). Later we stopped at a bar and I had a very creamy (as in clumpy cream) White Russian. We slept until after noon, about 11 hours, so today we´re wide awake.

Things I am looking for: place to have authentic mate (I´ve been told you have to go buy it and buy a gourd and bombilla and make it yourself), place to have good Italian ice cream.

Things that surprised me: The Italian influence. They don´t eat beans and rice here (why do I think all Spanish-speaking countries eat meat, fish, beans and rice?) They eat a ton of meat and a lot of pasta. Those seem to be their staples, which is fine with me.

The obelisk that is the center of the city. I don´t know its history, but it doesn´t seem to “fit” somehow. I guess I tend to associate it more with D.C. than with the Place de la Concorde in Paris.

Something strange: Argentine menus that are written in both English and Spanish translate “arugula” as “rocket” in English. So you can order goat cheese on rocket salad. Huh?


1 Comment

Filed under Patagonia

One response to “Day 1: Buenos Aires

  1. mel

    I knew you were going out of town, but had no idea you’d be in Argentina! Wow. Hope you’re having a great time, and look forward to reading the next six posts…

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