Buenos Aires

We flew domestic to Sydney and then needed to transfer by bus to the international airport. Everyone went to the toilet and then the kids went to the bus first. While Nat waited for Simon the kids rang to say Kate left her phone in the toilet.
Nat went back to check…but then kate found her phone.
In the meantime the fire brigade turned up and there were no more buses, so Nat was left in the domestic terminal having to run to the other end, find a train, wait for a train, get to international, clear customs and get to the gate 5 mins before scheduled departure time.
Luckily plane delayed 30 mins!

After a supremely long flight to Santiago and then onto Buenos Aires, we have arrived at our very cute AirB&B. Manuel gave us our briefing for the week. Marta the maid will be coming for 4 hrs each day and there are cold beers in the fridge! What a great guy! Bel and Will are sharing are room but Kate, Abi and Izzy have their own rooms, although Izzy’s room is for hobbits 😂. Tan, Luke, Nat and Simon went for a stroll to buy some food staples and explore a little. We spent the evening playing cards.

We were picked up at 9am by Emiliano for a half day city tour. We were surprised to learn that this city is home to 14 million people! The city was first established 1580 and declared its independence in 1810 from the Spanish. In the 1860’s immigrants poured in from Europe therefore Buenos Aires looks very much like a European city. 

First stop on our city tour was Plaza de Mayo. Unfortunately there was scaffolding up as tomorrow there are big celebrations in the square to welcome the new President, Alberto Fernandez, who will be sworn in. It is a change for Argentina back to Peronism.

La Boca is an old working class neighbourhood famous for its colourful homes, and La Bombonera stadium, home of the La Boca Juniors. The sea of yellow and blue colours was inspired by the colours of a Swedish ship.

Former presidents, military generals, artists and, most famously, Eva Perón, are buried here in fabulous mausoleums of stone and bronze crowned by cupolas and crying angels. There are more than 6400 tombs in this city of the dead, densely packed against one another along narrow alleyways and leafy avenues.

Dinner and a late Tango Show! El Querandi historic Tango hall is 100 years old. We were picked up at 8pm and the show didn’t start until 10pm – thank goodness for that afternoon sleep. On our return to the house we seemed to get a second wind and stayed up until god knows when playing cards!

We had a late start to the morning and left our house at 10:30. Today was the formal inauguration of the new Argentinian president, so the streets were filled with people walking to the city square to the beat of drums and waving flags. It was chaos on the subway and we truly became the ‘Sardines’. At one of the stops a street busker rolled a tiny keyboard and speakers onto the train and for a few stops gave a pretty cool performance. Once we got off the tube we headed to the steak restaurant.

Don Julio is one of the most famous steakhouses in Buenos Aires and the whole of South America. We definitely couldn’t miss the experience. Even though we didn’t have a booking lining up early paid off as we managed to get a table inside. The air conditioning was the cherry on top on this 37 degree day. After having a quick browse of the menu we were invited downstairs to look at the different cuts of meat, however this did not stop the ‘eyes bigger than our belly’ syndrome that was about to ensue. To start we ordered empanadas, blood sausage and chinchulin (fried intestine), which was actually really delicious, and reminiscent of calamari. Then practically half a cow descended on our table. The boys demolished a 1kg tomahawk steak each. It’s safe to say that a food coma followed us around for the rest of the day. Overall, it was an amazing restaurant and the service was great. 

Once fed, we decided that we would explore the large gardens in the city. We definitely underestimated both the distance we had to walk and the temperature. Once we reached the botanic gardens we stood under the cool sprinklers in the shade of some beautiful large trees. After becoming lost trying to find the rose garden we found ourselves in what was the old zoo which was closed in 2016 due to concerns for animal welfare. Now the park contains rehabilitated animals. At first we didn’t understand it was a zoo so we were extremely confused when we started seeing flamingos, ostriches, camels, vultures and some strange South American mammals that look like a mix between rabbits and dogs. It was an unexpected sight. We then headed to the rose garden. At this point we were fading quickly in the heat and were underwhelmed by the rose garden which was reminiscent of New Farm park. We quickly abandoned our plans to catch the subway home in favour for a taxi. Once we returned home with our mild heat stoke we had a rest, and the parents ventured out for dinner at 8:30.