Special Day - A Porteno from WDC was in BsAs visiting family. He took us to the the former Escuela de Mecanica de la Armad – the spot where many of the dissapeared were tortured or drugged and dropped into the Rio de la Plata; it is now a kind of community meeting and educational center for The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo an association of Argentine mothers whose children “disappeared” during the military dictatorship between 1976 and 1983. It is on the site of the Parque de la Memoria – which is impressive, but requires a reservation or a bus tour to enter. We will certainly return to see the memorials in process and the statue of the 14 year old ‘lost boy’ in the river.
It is stunning how history comes alive in such a setting. tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g312741-i979-k2351…
That evening our friend took us to dinner with his family and friends, seriously challenging our Spanish, but providing a delightful evening with interesting Portenos.
Transportation A great site for plotting how to get around by Subte, Collectivo or Walking is: http://www.comoviajo.com/ A good supplement to GuiaT, and easier to use.
The Subte was fine and not at all difficult to manage – but caution should be taken with bags, wallets etc as in any large city – especially at rush hour or conversly, when there are too few riders (e.g. late at night). You can pay with bills and get change, yea! Subtes are not air-conditioned so can be stuffy in summer. Line A with it’s ancient wooden panels & seats was interesting, but if you miss it – no big deal, IMO.
Collectivos are great once you get the patterns. My husband has gotten us to far and wide on Collectivos (a bit of a challenge as there are a gizillion different bus companies and each bus takes a different route going and coming on the mostly one-way streets) but the guides above are great – the drivers helpful and it is well worth the effort if you have some time and enjoy the adventure. We surely did, and finding the bus stops gave us the opportunity to walk in different neighborhoods and on small, interesting side streets and passageways (always conscious of not veering into questionable neighborhoods).
Walking is what it is all about for us. Recoleta, Palermo, San Telmo, Centro etc. what a wealth of wonderful walking options – and did I mention the cafes? Buenos Aires is walking and café sitting heaven.
Favorite Restaurants. What can I add to the list? – not much. We went to El Sanjuanino for a lunch and a dinner – loved the empanadas, salads, provelettas -and were kicking ourselves for having missed it last year – it is right next door to the hotel we stayed in…..We enjoyed lunch at Sante – tasty food, excellent service and all round a place to return to. We loved Sirop for our romantic Valentine’s Day dinner: We had coups de champaigne, a delicious and nuveau picada then I had an amazing sole en croute and DH had an excellent steak (maybe one day we will have had our fill – not yet!) And oh yes, creme brulee and helado! Sooooo, they can roll us back onto the plane.
We love Buenos Aires. This by way of apology for this looooong report.