Thursday, October 18, 2007

Greetings from Buenos Aires

Welcome to the very first Beetsolonely blog entry from the Southern hemisphere.

I'm writing you from the communal computer in the lobby of the Casa Alfaro B+B in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Kate and I came down here last Saturday via Continental's 10-hour flight out of Houston. Despite the length of the flight, the jet lag wasn´t so bad because we were only two hours ahead.

We spent Sunday strolling through San Telmo, where tango orchestras set up in the streets and antique stores brimmed with wares. That evening, we dined at our first parilla (La Casera) and ordered way too much bife de chorizo. Although the menus at each of the parillas we've gone to have been pretty much the same, each savory cut of Argentinean beef has had its own unique high points. Morton´s and Ruth´s Chris have nothing on the everyday neighborhood parilla in Buenos Aires.

We hit the Recoleta on Monday and walked through the rich folks´city of the dead, which was a fine contrast with the nearby Biblioteca Nacional - a brutalist-futurist monstrosity that was built on the site of Juan and Eva Peron´s former residence after an oppositional regime razed it.

Tuesday was a smog-choked subway ride into the Microcentro (B.A.´s central business district) and Puerto Madero, the city´s refurbished wharf district where expensive condo projects now reign supreme. The hustle-and-bustle of downtown B.A. is similar to what you might find in any huge metropolis, but the neighborhoods just outside the Microcentro all have their own charms. I´m very partial to Palermo Viejo, the barrio we´re staying in. The tree-lined streets and corner stores evoke a real sense of place, though there are plenty of boutiques and fancy restaurants, too.

Today we took a ferry boat across the Rio de La Plata to Colonia de Sacramento, Uruguay. Colonia is an old Portuguese military settlement turned resort town. It was nice to get away from the big city for a few hours.

I´m not sure what we´re doing tomorrow because our flight leaves at 9pm and we have to be at the airport four (!) hours early. I imagine we´ll take it a little easy because both of us are fighting cold symptoms. Nevertheless, it has been quite a fun trip thus far.

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