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Trip Report: Highs and Lows After a 3-Year Absence

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Portland, Oregon
posts: 656
reviews: 1
Trip Report: Highs and Lows After a 3-Year Absence

I missed the major brownout by a day and landed the night of the biggest demonstration against the current government to date. During my stay the Fragata controversy continued, Maradona was in the headlines over various ex's, a major strike shut down most of the city, and the Griesa decision was announced. Whew, just mentioning all this high drama makes me want to reach for the bottle of Malbec!

That said, it was great to be back in Buenos Aires again and here's a few high and low points, starting with the highs:

1. Easy at EZE: arriving at night has its definite advantages, as in few incoming flights so no huge lines. I had the visa bought, the bag collected, breezed thru customs, made a brief stop at Banco Nacion, and was in my Ezezia taxi within 45 minutes of landing.

2. Live performance at Teatro Colon. Wrote a separate post about this. What can I say....hearing O Mio Babbino Caro sung in one of the most historic....and acoustically best...opera houses in the world was di-vi-no!

3. A day out of the city with Delta Unplugged. Only 90 minutes from the city and entire change of lifestyle. Ana and Ralph were wonderful hosts. Great trip on the Delta and fabulous lunch on the sailboat served under a weeping willow on the embankment

4. Lunch at the oh-so-elegant and refined Orangerie in the Alvear Hotel with my GA and another TA friend. I really knew I was on vacation when I ordered wine for lunch! Focus on the salads and cold platters and save room for the decadent dessert table.

5. Catching up on Messi. He was everywhere: on billboards, in the newspapers and on television. With sports heroes dropping like flies, this young man remains a class act.

6. Trying a new (for me anyway) Luigi Bosca blend called "Sangre". Expensive but yummerooney!

7. Making Como en Casa (Laprida and French branch) my 'home away from apartment'. The wait staff got to know me so well they had my breakfast request memorized. I'd while away 1/2 the morning there, sitting outside or inside next to one of the big windows and watch every day Buenos Aires life go by: parents taking their little ones to school, the dog walkers, and yes, even the scarce garbage trucks doing their pickups (more on that later).

8. Seeing my first Pembroke Welsh Corgi. I know, kinda corny, but with the plethora of dog breeds in this city I had yet to see a 'cousin' of my own dog. Speaking of canines, the 'fashion dog' definitely seems to be the French Bulldog..they were everywhere!

9. Last but not least, the people of this city. Generous, warm, passionate, humorous and kind to a fault.

Now for the lows, and I write these with hesitation as it is always difficult to criticize a place or person you love:

1. Walking down streets with a handkerchief over my nose and mouth because of the putrid, rotting garbage that had not been collected for some time And these were classy streets in Recoleta and Barrio Norte! I understand there are some 'rolling strikes' going on, but I hope it gets sorted out soon as hot weather approaches.

2. The crumbling sidewalks and dog poop are worse than my first visit in 2006. The former may be attributed to difficult economic times, the but the latter? There's no shortage of plastic bags as evidenced by all the trash bags on the street!

3. Exorbitant domestic airfares for foreigners meant I stimulated the Uruguayan economy for a week instead of the Northern Argentine economy (sorry, Angie!).

In signing off this rambling post, a shout out to ALL the TA posters and LE's who provide such useful information on this forum. Moreweird and Marnie, without you I would never have known how to 'bus it' to Belgrano station! And I definitely will be back...it might be a while but plagarizing Rick, I'll always have Buenos Aires!

Buenos Aires...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
posts: 16,544
reviews: 14
1. Re: Trip Report: Highs and Lows After a 3-Year Absence

Wonderful :)

We used to go to Como en Casa on Laprida all the time, really, almost every day , with Pup. He had his own table, it was lovely. . it is really easy to while away the time there .

The garbage strike is over .. I worry more about rats and bugs than smell. There was a garbage strike right after we moved here .. annoying but these days , there seems to be a strike somewhere every week. Subway again this week :(

I notice more new sidewalks but there are so many old ones. New road work, new Subte, I guess with all the new work going on, there is still plenty of old things to fix. If they fix sidewalks the way the plumber fixes the pipes in my apartment, you may never notice when the sidewalks were repaired or not :

Maybe I will get a bottle of Sangre for a Christmas present for my husband :)

And coming from someone in Portland, I think you must know wine !

Messi is something else, isn't he ? :)

Hurry back ..

WDC
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
posts: 3,278
reviews: 42
2. Re: Trip Report: Highs and Lows After a 3-Year Absence

Hola D.

Thank you for the shout out and for this 'fair and balanced' TR. I think posting the good - and the not so good - gives visitors a realistic picture of the city - and makes the poop & sidewalks less shocking when they are confronted by them.

You have taken full advantage, from what you describe, of the cultural, gastronomic, sports and political as well as the social wonders that are Buenos Aires. Kudos, D.

But what the heck is a GA ?

I hope you will be posting a TR on your visit to Uruguay ? Welcome Home !

~Marnie

Edited: 12:16 pm, December 02, 2012
Boulder, Colorado
posts: 1,167
reviews: 238
3. Re: Trip Report: Highs and Lows After a 3-Year Absence

Hola DT........We're still here....almost at the half-way mark....and thoroughly enjoyed your post.

Thanks for also giving me a new word: YUMMEROONEY. Will need to look for that wine.

And last,but not least.....it IS the people who make us want to always return and make our long visits worthwhile.

We are off to Uruguay on Wednesday,Dec.5th.

Wishes for a terrific New Year: personally & professionally.

Ottawa, Canada
posts: 247
reviews: 3
4. Re: Trip Report: Highs and Lows After a 3-Year Absence

How wonderful to read your review and hear something different (good and bad) to be said about this wonderful city. We are looking forward to our return to BsAs this March and April. We are also wondering how much things have changed since our last visit 4 years ago. Marnie, Scarlet, BASandy, Dr Dawgy and many others are better than any published travel book for helpful advice.

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
posts: 4,397
reviews: 679
5. Re: Trip Report: Highs and Lows After a 3-Year Absence

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience there. I agree it's good to hear both the good and the bad.

Happy holidays.

WDC
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
posts: 3,278
reviews: 42
6. Re: Trip Report: Highs and Lows After a 3-Year Absence

Why brickerbrac, thank you kindly...you have included me with such stellar posters...I am blushing. And, by the way, your posts have provided good information and leads that we have followed.

~Marnie

Ottawa, Canada
posts: 247
reviews: 3
7. Re: Trip Report: Highs and Lows After a 3-Year Absence

Marnie so nice to know and to follow your posts too. One day it would be nice to meet over coffee or helados in BsAs or your beautiful city which my family and I have also enjoyed and wish to return to.

So many places, so little time :)

posts: 11
reviews: 20
8. Re: Trip Report: Highs and Lows After a 3-Year Absence

All,

Thank you for these posts. I'm planing a trip for my boyfriend and I this Dec 30 to Jan 7. We are coming from NYC area. It helps to know everything. I'm planning to buy a book on buenos aires and Uruguay, if you think I should.

Any tips, I'll greatly appreciate it.

Mpt

Buenos Aires...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
posts: 16,544
reviews: 14
9. Re: Trip Report: Highs and Lows After a 3-Year Absence

Mpt, yes, a good guide book is important. I don't know if you need one for Uruguay but definitely get one for Buenos Aires.

Thank you so much, brickerbrac ! How kind of you and what good company you put me in :)

Nice, France
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
posts: 2,112
reviews: 4
10. Re: Trip Report: Highs and Lows After a 3-Year Absence

Your report makes it easier for new visitors to have a feel for both enjoying and beng surprised by the unexpected in BA. It also makes me pine for a couple of hours at "Como en Casa", my 'go-to'.

I've posted since 2009 that I thought the streets were being kept freer of dog poo. Since few others seem to have that impression, perhaps my footwork just improved by that third visit. I've not seen much or stepped in any since and that's a relief.