The finale: Buenos Aires

When i was researching my trip, i was told that Buenos Aires was as if Paris and New York had a baby…. and it’s true!

Parisian influences are everywhere…. The metro stops and buildings look typically French…

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One of the few cities which has a Rodin sitting quietly in the centre – free for all to see…

But meanwhile you’re never far from skyscrapers and big glass buildings, reminiscent of New York (or a big city)

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Puerto Madero – the port

I spent about 10 days in Buenos Aires – and love the city… there’s lots to see and do with plenty different areas to explore…

Sundays are all about the markets… San Telmo is the big one where you can see musicians, artists, painters and hundreds of stalls selling their wares. There’s also the Feria de Mataderos which is smaller and bit more authentic with gauchos walking around and women dancing to traditional tunes

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A typical Argentinian BBQ... called an asado
A typical Argentinian BBQ… called an asado

I did a graffiti walking tour around La Boca which was cool. There is so much street art to see and appreciate – sadly some of the area is ‘dangerous’ so the tour was done via foot / taxi and included a big burly guy who was our bodyguard (not that we needed it!)

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We saw massive colourful murals, some stencilling, and a whole street where each house has some art around it – all done by the same artist. It’s all considered street art – and is held in high regard – some shops commission artists to graffiti up their shops as branding.

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Loved finding this dog just chilling out the window!
Loved finding this dog just chilling out the window!

Nat and I decided to do a cookery class one morning… we learnt traditional Argentinians food such as empanadas (kinda like a pasty), Locro (a type of stew) and alfajores (a type of macaroon with caramel filling). It wasn’t the greatest class – with a teacher a bit too OCD about everything, but it was a fun few hours nevertheless!

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We did a walking tour around the city – taking in the Pink Palace (where Evita Peron made her speech), the obelisk, and all the way up to Recoleta cemetery which is a beautiful resting place for many…

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There’s a parade / protest almost every day… today was actually a celebration of 31 years of independence
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A massive picture of Evita doing her speech on a building (though it looks like someone eating a sandwich for some!)
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“Don’t cry for me Argentina”

We visited the MALBA museum where we saw lots of art including some modern pieces and we got to meet this “pretty” lady…

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The first evening Nat arrived we went to see Fuerzabruta – a great show which is shown globally. It’s interactive, immersive and very different to anything i’d seen before… if you’ve not seen it, go!

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One day we managed to visit the oldest Synagogue in Buenos Aires. it has a large Jewish community, and actually one of the only kosher McDonald’s outside of Israel… The synagogue was beautiful – and the lady who took us around was really interesting to talk to and learn about the Jewish history in Argentina

One of the first most surprising facts was the symbol which was found numerous times in the synagogue… (see pic below). Most people associate this sign with a certain famous film, but it actually is a Jewish sign. The hand gesture forms a Jewish character (the letter Shin) which represents a name meaning God. This hand gesture (done with both hands) used to be performed in synagogues during ceremonies, but is now more known for meaning ‘ Live Long and Proper!’ If you want to read more about how it ended up in Star Trek… read this post

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There are many beautiful buildings – from the Theatre Colon (where i went to see The Nutcracker), a bookshop in an old theatre and random buildings all dotted around the city…

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We saw a Tango show (impressive!), we ate some amazing steaks (you CAN cut it with a spoon!) and saw some dog walkers (cute!)

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Christmas and Boxing Day were very different here. Very few Christmas trees and 30 degree temperatures! We may not have had turkey and the works (not that we usually do!), but we did have a fab evening – spent with Leonard – our Israeli cousin who we hadn’t seen for a few years. So it was still a family day for us which was the best part!

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We managed to get quite a bit of shopping in during our time in BA – in fact, i didn’t bring many (any!) of my travel clothes home and instead came home with new stuff which is fun – just a shame i’m going back to cold wintery London and i bought summer clothes!!

We did a couple day trips to Uruguay and Tigre from BA whilst we were there too which were both lovely days and suddenly it was time to fly home…

I’m now writing this from Paris where we spent NYE together as a family last night. It was great being all together… we’ve always been a close family, but travelling made me realise how much i see / speak / think of them all and how important they are to me! Plus we did a slightly delayed Secret Santa (or Happy Hanukah) and my cousin had made me a photo book of my journey which just tipped me over the edge and i burst into tears (of happiness!)

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A fabulous way to end my trip and start my journey back to normality!

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