© 2007 Shawn

Dec 18th in Buenos Aires

From the hotel in Palermo, it was just a short walk to Santa Fe street where the D Subte (subway) line heads downtown to Plaza de Mayo. The subway cost 70 pesos per ride – cheap and the trains were good and on-time. Only during the commute hours were the trains really crowded. The Casa Rosada (Pink House) is at one end of the plaza and is where Eva Peron (Evita) once appeared from one of the balconies. Today there were people there protesting some labor issues related to a casino.

casa rosada, plaza de mayo, buenos aires, argentina

On another side of the plaza is a cathedral. Inside was a young boy posing with the guards next to the tomb of a famous general.

cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina

We stopped into Cafe Tortoni for a coffee and a rest break. It’s a great old building and their coffee was good too. At night they also have a tango show that is supposed to be good.

cafe tortoni coffee

Florida Street is jam-packed with people walking past blocks and blocks of shops. There are a mix of boutiques, leather stores, tourist stores, restaurants, and fancy malls. We found the Galleria Pacifico to have a lot of nice stores.

Since a lot of the places we were staying on the trip refused to take credit cards, we had brought lots of travelers checks along instead of cash. It turns out that travelers checks are nearly impossible to use. Very few places were willing to accept them. Even at Citibank changing travelers checks for cash was a lengthy process. The best scenario was just to take cash out of the Citibank ATM – no charge. Using other ATMs incurred a 10% fee.

After reaching the end of Florida Street, we found Plaza de San Martin and decided to continue walking on to the Recoleta Cemetery. Recoleta is a neighborhood filled with beautiful architecture and expensive shops. We toured the cemetery, including seeing the most famous spot – Evita Peron’s tomb. It was blazing hot in the cemetery and we were in desperate need of some water. Luckily there was a street vendor outside the cemetery. We could have walked back to the hotel, but decided to take a taxi instead. The price of a taxi is very reasonable and never seemed to amount to more than a few dollar.

recoleta cemetery, buenos aires argentina

For dinner, we went to Bar Uriarte, a restaurant someone had recommended. As the waiter brought us a bottle of wine, I looked around and noticed that all the locals that were there seemed to be drinking Coke. Some more investigation on this is required.

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