Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Day 1 in Buenos Aires

First of all, I owe a great deal of thanks to a good friend of mine, without whom I would not be able to see as many shows and travel to as many places. Due to his generosity, I'm able to fly anywhere in the world for just the price of the airline taxes!  I hope he knows just how much I appreciate it, and although I've said so before, I just wanted to reiterate how much I truly do appreciate it.
So Kami’s mom, Beth, drove Kami and I to the airport on Monday night. Our flight to Buenos Aires was due out at 10 P.M., and we arrived around 7:30. We checked in, went through security, and headed directly to Chipotle so Kami could fill her little tummy and get a good sleep on the flight!
We made our way over to concourse C, found the gate, then sat and watched the standby and upgrade list going up and down as the check in clerk messed about on the computer. I just made it on the flight and managed to snag an emergency exit seat, so I had plenty of legroom. The flight was just under 11 hours, and while I don't mind flying at all, after about 8 hours, I wanna get off! It was a overnight flight, but the hope of getting a solid sleep didn't really happen, although I managed to get 3 or 4 hours intermittently. Kami slept even less. She was several rows farther back than I, and unfortunately she was sat next to an Argentinian woman that wanted to talk the whole way!
Argentina has a reciprocity fee that they charge citizens of the USA, Canada, and Australia when entering the country. Fortunately, the UK isn't included on the list, so I didn't have to pay $140 to enter the country! Kami did. At least the fee lasts for any visits in the following 10 years, but it's still a lot of money for a one-off visit. It took me about 45 minutes to get through immigration, and it took Kami nearly 90 minutes, as she first had to line up to pay the fee. By the time she came through I had all our bags off the carousel, and we headed down through customs and out to the terminal to change our dollars into pesos. That was another 45 minutes of standing in line, but the rate was about 15% higher than if we had changed our money in the USA!
We booked a car service from the airport to the apartment we are renting, and while the drive started pleasantly out in the country, it took about 40 minutes, ending as we pushed through a bit of hair-raising traffic in the city! When we started planning this trip, it was evident that the cost of hotels in Buenos Aires is like the cost of hotles in any other major city throughout the world. NOT cheap! I started looking around online at apartment rentals, and we found a great apartment in a great area of BA called Palermo Soho. Its a great, “hip” neighbourhood full of restaurants, bars, boutique stores, art galleries, and lots of little trendy stores. Its about 5 miles away from the stadium where Roger is playing and a very safe area.
View from the apartment balcony
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After unpacking Kami slept for a few hours, and I headed off down to the supermarket a couple of blocks down the street to get something to drink and some food for the next few days. The great thing about an apartment rental is that you have your own kitchen with all the mod cons you have at home. After finding what they call butter, I looked around for milk--which I found in plastic bags! The bags held 1 litre of milk, and I was just confused--how do you store the bag after you open it?! Thanks to a few Facebook friends, I know now there's a type of container you buy to put the bags in. I eventually found “regular” milk in a carton and bought that instead, though.
We took a walk round Palermo for a couple of hours. It's very arty and littered with small cafes and plenty of street seating. It's very chic and eccentric in appearance--kind of like a larger version of Soho in New York.
The cobbled streets, cute roads, and cool cafes of Palermo Soho      
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Sunset picture                                              Beautiful tree lined avenues
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After wandering round for half an hour, we stopped to have our first drink at a cafe and sat on the sidewalk, taking in the atmosphere.
Our first drinks in Argentina                                              Old rusted out truck parked on the street
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Full album of pics from day 1

8 comments:

  1. Man, that is a good start for a good story.

    Buenos Aires is just beautiful, and, ... are they beautiful or what?

    Simon, try to get to the "Brigada" grill restaurant, the one in San Telmo (got to get in and out by taxi). Absolutely heavenly steaks.

    And
    of course
    SEE YOU FRIDAY!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Man, that is a good start for a good story.

    Buenos Aires is just beautiful, and, ... are they beautiful or what?

    Simon, try to get to the "Brigada" grill restaurant, the one in San Telmo (got to get in and out by taxi). Absolutely heavenly steaks.

    And
    of course
    SEE YOU FRIDAY!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Have a wonderful time Simon, can't wait to hear all about it! Safe travels.

    Deano from Perth

    ReplyDelete
  4. Definitely your post provides a great and useful resource every reader must adhere. This is truly a must read and admire. Thanks a lot for sharing!

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  5. Excellent beginning, I look forward to time to sit and read it all.

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  6. Milk in a bag, that is crazy. Looks like a great litle neighborhood. Have fun at the show, glad the blog is back. Have fun guys! Greg from Bensalrm

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  7. Glad the blog is back, sounds like trip is off to a great start. Have a great 1st show guys

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  8. I believe it’s nice you want to tell your activities in BA. I have to admit that I do believe the city is "the Paris of South America".It is the architecture, the way people look, street and building design, everything is European. Maybe not Paris, but I would definitely say Italy.
    Anyways, I remember when I travelled to BA, I decided it on a whim and headed to the big city. I also got an apartment for rent in buenos aires just to start with something. Don’t worry if you don’t understand things and bureaucracy, friendly porteños will help you out and you will end up knowing all the secrets.
    Have fun!
    Kim

    ReplyDelete