My second to last day in Buenos Aires, Stephanie and I went sightseeing. We visited Recoleta and the cemetary there. It’s very, very cool. It’s basically a small city of tombs, reminded me a lot of Italy. There were some really incredible tombs there, some so huge and quite pretentious. Some looked like churches or cathedrals. And of course there’s Evita’s tomb, which isn’t really that impressive but is covered in flowers and little gifts and trinkets people have left. Then we visited Puerto Madero, which is a nice, newly renovated area with lots of cafes and restaurants. We also walked through the San Telmo area of the city. That night we went with another girl, Kate from Oz, to get Indian food. A nice break from steak!
Yesterday I went with Stephanie and Gordon (another Aussie) to the botanical gardens and zoo. It was pretty cool. There were some interesting native animals wandering around everywhere, including one that looked like a cross between a weasel and an otter, and another that looked like a cross between a tiny deer and a rabbit or something. Very strange looking animals! The enclosures were also quite interesting. They didn’t seem overly safe/secure. But you could get really close to a lot of the animals! And they let visitors feed a lot more of the animals than we do in the U.S. People buy food and feed pretty much everything, even if they’re not “supposed” to, from elephants to sea lions to bears. And the brown bears they had kept sitting and waving (literally) to everyone. It was a little weird. It was a good time though.
I also wanted to note a few other things I’d noticed in Buenos Aires. For one, a lot of the young teens have piercings on their faces (usually above the lip, so it looks almost like a pimple or mole), which I found a bit odd. Another interesting thing is that all the street signs (where they actually have them!) are sponsored, mostly by Claro, which I think is a phone company.
The subte (subway) is another cool thing to note. The A/light blue line, which has a stop right outside my hostel, is very very old. In fact, it is almost more like a tram or trolley underground! The inside is all wooden, and the doors are just plain wooden doors that you open and close manually, so you can open them easily while the train is moving! Same with the windows. A very interesting experience! The subway is quite small though, especially that line, and you often just walk right in, get your ticket, and right into where the trains are, as opposed to going here and there, up and down stairs, like in most cities.
All in all, it was really hard to leave Buenos Aires and I will miss it a lot. I met a lot of cool people there, loved my hostel, and had a good time just hanging out, exploring the city. A number of things came together that made me decide to move on, but I could have easily spent a lot more time there, and there many many things I didn’t get to do and see. I look forward to going back someday.