La Boca and Puerto Madera
07.02.2013 32 °C
Today we visited a two neighbourhoods, La Boca and Puerto Madera. This meant taking a bus to La Boca from a couple of blocks from our hostel. The bus driver was trying to tell us something when we handed him a note, but we couldn't understand quickly enough and we had to get off the bus. The phrase book came in handy here, as we searched for words that sounded similar to what he was saying. What we didn't know was that in Buenos Aires you need coins for the bus - 3.70 pesos each - for the bus, but in a country that has 2 pesos notes, 7.40 in coins is not the easiest thing to come by! We had to go and buy tictacs for change, so in the end it was win win!
La Boca is a colourful area of the city, with bright buildings and art on every corner. The main street was full of restaurants and bars, with entertainment - Tango dancers, an elderly Argentinian crooner and some men doing some sort of Latin-style tap dancing in what looked like cowboy boots - I could have sat and watched all day.
There was more dancing when a local band took to the streets
Andrew was more excited to see the Boca Juniors stadium. A few streets from the main area was an enormous blue and yellow stadium, La Bombonera, the home of Boca Juniors who are apparently a really famous football club!?
We also saw Messi hanging around in one the shops
We took another bus and walked to Puerto Madero. This is a really modern part of the city, on the riverbank with apartments, offices, shops and cafes. You can tell from the cafes alone that it must be an affluent area, and I can imagine an apartment with a balcony on the riverbank would be a lovely place to live here. As a side note here, we've come to love Starbucks already. Not for their coffee or sweet treats, but that their staff always let you use the toilet even when you're not a customer
As well as the modern buildings, there is a pretty white footbridge bridge ("better than the millennium bridge in Lancaster", Andrew Waugh 2013) that turns to let boats passed, called Puente de la Mujer, "Woman's bridge". It is supposed to look like a couple doing the Tango?
Over the bridge was a old training ship, Presidente Sarmiento, which is now a museum ship. It was built in the late 1800s in Birkenhead and has travelled the globe six times.
After a long walk back we headed back to the hostel for dinner and Argetinian red wine. We had a night time walk around the plaza and saw the Argentine National Congress building, amongst others. So many people we're out running and walking their dogs - I don't blame them when it's 32 plus degrees in the day, but it's still late 20s/30 late at night!