After a whirlwind day yesterday, the roomies and I have decided on a very lazy, Sunday afternoon where we have been napping, catching up on reading, and now updating the blogs! First off, Friday night ended quietly, with the storm slowly coming to a quiet drizzle. However, the rain dampened our spirits enough to decide on a quiet and early night to sleep. As common with the porteños (people from Buenos Aires), we slept in until late morning on Saturday. Hearing about a fería, or market fair, in Recoleta, Sarah, Tajel and I went off to explore the city. Not sure how to deal with the buses yet, and thinking the walk would be fun and educational, we began our journey to the nearby neighborhood of Recoleta. However, the walk was very Very long. We stopped for a bite to eat where I got quesadillas con pollo.
From there we continued for another mile or so on the main street of La Libertador into the main plaza where the fería was up and going. About a hundred little tents surrounded the plaza and vendors sold leather bags, jewelery, shoes, dresses. Everything you’d expect at a little touristy part of town. Then, we knew the Cemetario de Recoleta was around the plaza and we walked over simply checking to see what the entrance fee would be. However, when we walked through the gates, we were already in the cemetery…which is the most important cemetery of Argentina. Many presidents, political figures, and historical figures are buried there, including Evita. As my book documenting the life of Eva Peron states…”It is easier to get into heaven than into Recoleta.” However, we could not find her grave. But we are returning on a tour soon and I’m sure we’ll see it then. People buried there prove their wealth by the grandness of their burial monuments. It looks like a small city with streets and houses lining them. As you can see here:
After walking around in the sun for miles, we were not looking forward to the walk back. We decided to give the bus system a try. After much discussion and options, we got a few coins by buying water bottles, and went to the bus station nearby. There, we had to ask which bus to get to our neighborhood of Belgrano. However, the first bus drove by us, which is quite common here. Whether the bus driver is in a bad mood, or simply going too fast to stop…he will drive right by. So, the next bus stopped, but unfortunately we didn’t have enough coins. So, after begging the friendly station manager for help, he spared a few pesos for us and we hopped on the bus. Driving through unfamiliar neighborhoods and aiming in a very different direction than our neighborhood, I had given up on getting home soon. I thought we were lost. Fortunately, Sarah and been watching the street signs and we got off on a familiar one and found we were on the same road, Libertador, that we had taken before. We walked along it for about 15 mins until we came upon our familiar neighborhood! Mama Sarah is now her nickname because she is always watching out for us!
Finally making it home, we fell into our beds completely exhausted from walking and from the sun shining down on us all day. A little pinker in my cheeks, I napped for several hours before getting ready for our next evening adventures!
We had agreed to meet another girl in our group, Jen, who lived a little ways away and go out and explore another part of town called Palermo Viejo. After much map dissecting and a little luck, Mama Sarah figured out the way to Jen’s place where we met up with her and walked back to our street where I had found a bus that would take us to the neighborhood that we wanted to spend the evening. Now we were getting a little more comfortable with the buses and definitely better at map reading. Finding a fun little place in one of my guidebooks, we headed through the quaint neighborhood of Palermo Viejo, where the further we went, the more people and shops and restaurants came out. We came upon the restaurant we wanted, se llama, Don Julio. A bricked walled, leather seated place, it was obviously Very popular. And as I said, the hours here are Very different. So we arrived at the restaurant around 11:45pm. Ready to have dinner! Haha. We got a bottle of red Malbek, a popular wine in Argentina and I ordered orange chicken with mashed potatoes. Very yummy!!
After dinner we walked to the heart of Palermo Viejo where we heard had a popular night scene. And boy, it definitely was! Even at the early hour of 1am people were crowding the little plaza where nightclubs and bars circled the small central area. Loud music, busy crowds and bright lights shined all around this small area. This picture barely shows the intensity of this place.
Sitting at a bar filled with red light and blasting techno and pop music from the U.S., we sat at a table, ordered a few drinks and chatted until the streets gathered more and more people. Around 3am, we walked around through the crowds, peaked into a few places, and decided we had had enough. After such a long day, we weren’t quite up for the intensity of this scene. We’re still adapting to this whole nightlife as well. It’ll take time….and we sure have it! Finding our way back to the main street, we hopped the bus back to our neighborhoods, made sure Jen got home ok and barely made the walk home. We were Completely exhausted!
Because of our Saturday activities, we slept in past noon today and have been lazing around, as I said before. No superbowl drama down here! Haha. It’s been a long weekend, but a very learning one as well. I really love that Sarah and Tajel are up for exploring, and we all know that the first time for anything is always the hardest. So even though we struggled through things, now the next time will be a piece of cake! It’s better to try things than avoid them just because they’re unknown or difficult. So far, everything has turned out fine and we are already getting a better sense of the city. Tomorrow is our placement test for our Spanish immersion class…so early night for us! Buenas Noches!