Since our smiling argentine friend Guada picked us up at Ezeiza airport on Wednesday, Buenos Aires has only become better and better. Tango, clubbing, Evita, wine, sun, ridiculously low prices and lots of friendly people – and some old friends.
Running to catch the airport train in Oslo on Tuesday the snow/slush was up to my knees, and the temperature was just over 0 degrees Celsius. The sun set at 16:00, and my life was dull and grey. Talk about a miracle cure. Less than 24 hours after getting on the plane, I arrived in Buenos Aires. Here the sun is shining every day, the temperatures are around 30 degrees Celsius, and the sun sets sometime after 20:00 in the evening. And I left all my worries back in Norway. I just read in La Nacion today that in Boston there was -43 degrees Celsius yesterday, and in New York -18 degrees. They should try coming here.
My friend Marte and I travelled to visit our friend Lars, who now lives in Argentina. Unfortunately he wasn’t there when we arrived, but his girlfriend, Guada was. And now we are lazing the days away by Guadas pool in the barrio San Isidro, just outside of the city centre. Just what a tired Norwegian needs in January.
We’ve had time to do lots already. We’ve seen the grave of Evita in Recoleta, we’ve seen the famous Latin-American art exhibition at the Malba gallery. Including the self-portrait of Frida Kahlo (Selfportrait with monkey and parrot). We eaten proper Argentinean steak in the trendy Palermo Viejo barrio, and had lots of good argentine wine. A good 3-course meal, including wine, at a restaurant here doesn’t set you back more than around US$15. To a Norwegian the country is extremely cheap after the economic crisis of 2001/2002.
Lars has arrived, and his small Palermo apartment at the 17th floor gives a wonderful view of Rio de la plata, and you can even see Uruguay on the other side. Hopefully we’ll get to Uruguay a bit later.
The nightlife in Buenos Aires is legendary. In Norway the clubs close at 2 o’clock. Here they open at 2 o’clock. The club concept “Club 69” at Club Niceto can only be recommended. (Although the day after can be pretty tough).
With Lars we’ve seen tango both at a milonga (traditional dancing place), and in a more touristy show, starred by Guadas cousin, Mica.
A good illustration of how small the world is came at the TzaTzaTzu CISV (Childrens International Summer Villages) where we were stepping in to “baby-sit” the children on the leaders night out. I was amazed when my Guatemalean friend, Karina, suddenly showed up. She lives in Argentina now – and we first met in Perth, Australia. And then we bump into each other in Buenos Aires. Small world.
Guada and Lars also took us to an estancia (farm) for a taste of the Pampas, and a wonderful Argentine asado (barbeque). While the others were relaxing by the pool, Guada, and the cowboy Eirik went horse riding. This was all good and fun until the horse wanted to go home and started galloping at full speed towards the stables at the end of our ride – with the result that I flew of the horse. It can not be recommended to fly off horses at high speed. (My wounds have mostly healed by now, and my back works too).
Two other good tips if you are visiting Buenos Aires: the wonderful antique Sunday market in San Telmo, and La Boca (both for the distinctly painted houses, and for the soccer team – soccer is religion here).