Category Archives: Buenos Aires

Last Day in BA

Ivan, Lil Dave and I walked to Puerto Madero on December 25, 2012 which is right by the river.  We walked along the river to find a place for lunch.

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All the restaurants were the same with pizza, sandwiches, burgers and some had Italian food.  We decided to go to TGIF’s.  Ivan and I shared the tasty fried calamari for an appetizer.  Lil Dave had a banana skewers dish.  I had the Jack Daniel’s chicken while Ivan got the shrimp fajitas.  The main courses were average.

It was time to walk around more.  I really like the big yellow cranes right by the water – I think they look cool. 

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Ivan wanted to check out the Fauna hotel which was designed by Philippe Starck.  It was modern and pretty inside. 

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The restaurant in the hotel was about the same prices as TGIF’s and had really cool antique items all around in glass cases.  Too bad we didn’t go here for lunch.

We walked back to Puerto Madero to find a bar.  It was hot out, but at least it wasn’t that humid like the past two days have been.  We couldn’t find a good bar along the river.  We did notice better restaurants than TGIF’s though, but we had gone the opposite directions in search of something.  Oh, well.

We walked back to the center and went to a bar and restaurant which I think was called Junto de 1812.  Ivan got a Stella Artois, Dave got a banana juice and I got a red wine.

We walked back to the apartment and arrived at 5:50 pm.  We were supposed to meet the lady outside the guest house at 6 pm.  She came shortly after and let us into the apartment to collect our backpacks. 

We had a great time in BA (Buenos Aires).  There’s lots of fun things to do here.  I really enjoyed seeing tango up close and dancing it. 

Ivan hailed a cab and we piled in and headed to the bus station.  Ivan went to the Rio Uruguay desk to print out our bus tickets, but they wouldn’t do it for him.  How can they not do it when we booked it through them online?  Good thing there was a internet café right by the desk. 

The bus left at 7 pm headed to Puerto Iguazu.  It was another luxury bus.  It was dumb since they have tv screens, but headphones weren’t given out – the sound played on the speakers right above the window seats.  There was no way to turn it off.  The seats were like the Andes Mar bus which were very comfortable and you could recline all the way back making a bed.

We were served drinks with an option of soda, beer or whiskey.  Ivan and I decided to share a whiskey.  A few minutes later, we got bag of pizza chips.

Dinner was served later on.  We got cordon bleu, potatoes, sandwiches, a bread roll and dessert served with red wine. 

Ivan and I watched the movie Anuva hood which is a funny British gangster movie.  We got a glass of champagne before bed.

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Hot Polo

Ivan and I had breakfast at 10 am at the guest house which was a croissant, toast, cereal and tea on December 24, 2012.

We got ready and were picked up at 10:50 am for the Argentina Polo Day.  Ivan and I were going to learn how to play polo today.  It took us 45 minutes to arrive at the El Camino Polo Club.

The staff are really friendly at the Argentina Polo Day.  We were given beef and potato empanadas.  Ivan told them he was vegetarian and he was given cheese and bread.  The group consisted of 9 people and us.  Everybody was also given red wine. 

It was a really hot and humid day.  We walked to the field and watched a polo match.  During the breaks between the 10 minutes of playing, we would practicing hitting a ball with a small mallet.  The ball is made of plastic.  There was an American teacher and she showed me three ways of hitting the ball.  I was good at hitting the ball, but I wasn’t on a horse doing it.  We were served red wine, tap water and more empanadas if we wanted it. 

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We spent an hour watching the professional polo players play.  Sometimes the horses would come off the field and come close to where we were seated. 

The group walked back and it was time for the BBQ lunch.  Ivan was given grilled potatoes, courgettes, onions and a big block of cheese.  It was a really bad having really basic vegetarian food.  Ivan thought they could have ran to the store to get something during the polo match.  I had salad, sausages, steak and grilled vegetables.  There was lots of meat if anybody wanted seconds.  The wine was unlimited as well.  Ivan and I drank the tap water.  I didn’t want to be drunk or buzzed  trying to learn how to play polo.

We learned that most polo horses are female.  If the horses are male, they are castrated first. 

It was an English woman’s birthday so a pan leche cake was brought out with a big white candle on top.  It was too windy for the candle to stay lit, so she didn’t have a chance to blow it out.  The pan leche cake is similar to a fruitcake.  It’s a bit dry and doesn’t have much flavor.

Dessert came out later which was fruit cocktail from a tin (just like the one Dole makes in the USA). 

Next, it was time to learn how to play polo.  Ivan and I were put on our horses.  I’ve never been the best at steering horses.  Ivan’s great on horses though.  I prefer to be on a camel which I’ve actually only done once in India. 

Our mallets are really long and heavy. 

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Mine wasn’t long enough since I’m short.  I had to bend really low to hit the balls.  My horse was really stubborn and I couldn’t steer him at all.  The American lady kept hitting balls near me so I could practice hitting it. 

My horse, which I named Rachel, was following Ivan’s horse which he named Tammy.  Later, my horse was following a horse that was being ridden by an English girl. 

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The mallet was heavy to carry around.  I know for sure I’m not going to be a polo player.  I can barely control my horse and hit balls at a standstill.  Ivan was doing alright on his horse.

At one point, Rachel and Tammy led me and Ivan off the field.  I’m not sure why the gate was wide open for any horse to leave.  The group kept continuing to ride around the field and try to hit the balls.  It would have been fun to play a match or a small game.  We spent an hour on the field.

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It was time to head back.  We were given water or beer.  I felt so sticky from the humidity.  Ivan went to pay the $170 USD per person.  We don’t think it was worth it.  We could have been served bottle water.  Ivan could have been served better vegetarian food.  The dessert could have been something better like a nice strawberry pie or alfajores.  Also, we think that it would have been fun to play a game to make it fun.  It was a fun day out.

Ivan and I went back in the mini bus back to the apartment. 

Later that night, we went 36 Billares for dinner.  Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve in Argentina so not many restaurants were actually open.  Lil Dave had banana ravioli.  Ivan and I shared a salmon salad for a starter.  We both got a trout for our main course.  The food was alright.

At midnight, we heard fireworks going off for Christmas.

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NOLA Brunch

Ivan, Lil Dave and I checked out of the apartment on December 23, 2012.  We got a taxi to the Centro where our guest house was inside a nice apartment.

For lunch, we went to the Scandinavian restaurant Ølsen for their brunch.  The restaurant is very modern and airy with very tall windows. 

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Ivan and I went for the set menu for 105 pesos per person ($21.38 USD).  Ivan got the salmon galvez (smoked salmon), risotto with cereal and fried potatoes.  I got the pollo asado, grilled vegetables and fried potatoes. 

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Our brunch also came with a drink which we chose the great champagne Chandon 187.  Lil Dave decided to go with a cheaper brunch with banana oatmeal, fried bananas and a banana croissant.  The food tasted great.  Our set menu was a great deal since it came with tons of food.

We went to San Telmo and walked around the Sunday market. 

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The stalls were filled with souvenirs, mate cups, art, shoes and clothes.  We saw a few bands playing in street.  San Telmo is known for tango in the street during the night.  We saw an older lady dancing the tango with two different men.  I thought that it was weird that she closed her eyes while she danced.

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It was really hot out so we stopped by a bar for a drink.  Ivan had a Stella Artois while I had a white wine.  A couple started dancing the tango on the stage.

We went back to the apartment where I took a short nap.

Ivan got a last minute reservation at NOLA which is a closed door restaurant.  Ivan and I quickly got ready and got a cab to the restaurant.

NOLA is a New Orleans restaurant that is run by Liza and Francisco in their home.  We were dining with 3 other couples: one from Toronto, Canada, one from Ottawa, Canada and a Sweden couple.  Liza presented the dishes while Francisco was the sommelier and told us about the wine.

The couple from Toronto was a guy named Luke who looked like Jesus with his blonde girlfriend Jackie. 

It was a four course meal. 

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The first course was a lovely gazpacho with shrimp and avocado served with a Torrontes wine.  The next course was okay which was an octopus salad with a rose.  The third course was a braised pork with a creamy polenta with a chili ancho sauce with a Malbec wine.  Ivan got a salmon instead of the pork.  The delicious creamy polenta was spicy with the chili sauce.  Our dessert was a blueberry pie with a Dulce wine.  The food and wine were wonderful.  I highly recommend the NOLA restaurant for a great night out.

After the meal, we went with the other couples to the bar Soria.  Ivan and I went to bar for an espresso at a bar nearby to wake up.  We went back to the bar and chatted with Jackie.

We said good-bye and headed to the gay club Amerika.  Nothing was really going on yet since it was early, so we got a taxi back to the apartment.

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Designer Dancing

Ivan, Lil Dave and I headed to the La Boca neighborhood for lunch.  We strolled around the restaurants to find one that had tango dancing and live music.

We ended up at La Barrica.  Ivan got an anchovy sandwich while I had a tuna sandwich.  Lil Dave ate a banana and honey sandwich he brought.  The restaurant did have tango dancers, but they were more interested and charging money to take pictures with the customers in tango poses.  The band played a song every few minutes with a man singing and then later a woman singing.  It was annoying because the dancers were on the stage talking.  Since it was probably about 20 minutes and still no dancing, I thought that they didn’t even know how to dance. 

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But, they started dancing for one song and then take another break and get more pictures taken.  The dancing was okay – the dancing at Complejo Tango was so much better.

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La Boca is filled with colorful buildings.  We walked around the stalls selling jewelry, mate cups and other souvenirs.

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Next, we got a taxi to Palermo Soho.  Ivan and I did lots of window shopping and we also checked out the designer shops. 

Later that night, we went to the aphrodisiac restaurant Te Mataré Ramirez.  Ivan and I arrived at 8:30 pm for our reservation, but the restaurant was just setting up and weren’t ready yet.  Ivan told the hostess that we’d be back at 9 pm. 

We walked around Palermo Soho to waste some time. 

Shortly after 9 pm, Ivan and I sat down at Te Mataré Ramirez.  Since it’s an aphrodisiac restaurant, the dishes had suggestive names, but they didn’t have any aphrodisiac qualities or look erotic but they didn’t. 

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Ivan and I shared the ‘Confused by the aroma of her desire’ which was strips of fresh salmon marinated with vegetable mirepoix, ‘I Know Her Essence She Never the Same’ which is brie and goat cheese brochette covered with corn flour, semolina and mint over a mix of sprouts and ‘I Covet The Beauty That her Short Skirt Suggests’ which is a vegetable lasagna with tomato ragu and white sauce.  The food was just okay.  The lasagna was the worst since it didn’t have any pasta in it and was mostly just melted cheese with cucumber slices.  The names of the dishes had nothing to do with the presentation or the taste of the dishes.  It didn’t make any sense to us.

The nude tango came on which didn’t have much tango at all.  The acts were really short with 3 acts lasting 5 minutes.  It was more like artful erotic dancing.  There were two girls and a guy.  The guy did take off everything, but covered up his goods.  The girls were topless and eventually did take everything off.  Ivan and I were expecting more with the food and the dancing. 

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For dessert, Ivan and I shared the ‘Until You Scream with Pleasure and Pain’ which was a fiery chocolate volcano with a banana center.  It didn’t have much banana flavor at all, but tasted alright.

I don’t think Te Mataré Ramirez worth it for the 220 pesos minimum charge per person that the restaurant charges since the food is below average and the dancing show wasn’t too exciting.

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Empanada Experience

On December 21, 2012, Ivan and I went out at 1:20 pm. 

We were doing The Argentine Experience.  The group consisted of a girl from Seattle, 3 Asian couples (2 of them from Sao Paulo, Brazil and one from Canada) and us.  Our teacher was an English man named Richard from Essex, England with help from an Argentinian lady named Maru. 

Richard showed us how to make our own empanadas.  The ingredients were shredded beef, caramelized Malbec onions, ratatouille and cheese.  You put your ingredients in the middle of the pastry sheet and then close it up by putting the two parts of pastries together in the middle first and then all around the edges.  You can use water on the pastry if it’s too dry.

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Richard then showed us how to make the ridges on the edges with our fingers and not cheating with a fork.  You fold it over once and then keep folding over with your thumb.  Everybody in the group got to make two empanadas.  The group were served a nice red wine.

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Next up was the empanada making contest which was based on creativity.  There was 15 minutes to make our empanada.  I started practicing making an empanada and forgot we were doing the contest.  I didn’t know what to make anyway.  Ivan made a cock and balls. 

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I put boobs on my empanada.  The rest of the group were really creative with such things like making a present, flower, hot air balloon and roses. 

It was time to eat our empanada creations. 

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They tasted quite good!  We also were served grilled vegetables and mashed potatoes with another red wine.  Our creative empanadas came out later.  An Asian girl won the empanada contest by making a pretty flower.

Richard and Maru taught us Argentine hand gestures like don’t be a chicken, be careful or why are you breaking my balls?  It was fun trying to guess what the gestures were and then doing them ourselves.

Richard taught us how to make an alfajor which is a popular confection in South America.  We took a wafer and put a good amount of dulce de leche on it and then you put a wafer on top.  The next step was rolling it in coconut and then dipping it in chocolate. 

The group also learned how to make a cup of yerba mate.  The yerba mate is a similar to an herb tea and is a very popular drink in Argentina.  Traditionally, the same cup is shared among friends and drank through a silver metal straw called a bombilla.  If you don’t want to drink any more mate, you say ‘Thank You’.  We got to make the mate in our own colorful cup.

Richard showed us that you fill the yerba mate cup two-thirds full.  Place a hand over the mate cup and shake it like you’re shaking a cocktail shaker.  Do this step a few times to make sure you get rid of some of the dust.  You move the tea down to create a hole and pour in a little hot water. The kettles actually have a setting for yerba mate.  Richard told us you can stick the straw in the hole and push the tea over and the straw won’t move.  Then, pour more hot water and it’s ready to drink.  Don’t stir the straw in the cup.  Yerba Mate has a really bitter taste which I didn’t really like – some people add sugar, honey or a zest of a lemon or orange.

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The alfajores taste good with the mate. 

This class was tons of fun.  It’s always great to learn how to make things and eat your creation. 

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Richard was a great teacher.  I highly recommend The Argentine Experience, if you ever visit Buenos Aires.

Ivan and I went back to the apartment.  Shortly after, we took a really long nap. 

For dinner, we walked around the neighborhood to find a restaurant.  Ivan, Lil Dave and I ate at Voulez Bar.  Lil Dave got a banana stuffed chicken dish.  Ivan and I shared a salad with mushrooms, avocado, smoked salmon and mango, shrimp ceviche and salmon tartare.  It was a very tasty meal.

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Italian Graffiti

Ivan and I left the apartment at 12:40 pm on December 20, 2012.  It usually only takes 5 minutes to get to the Brazilian Embassy.  But, there was traffic so it took a lot longer. 

I rushed to the Brazilian Embassy on the 5th floor.  There was no line for window 5 and the lady wasn’t behind the window.  I was getting worried since it was 1:05 pm.  I was hoping that she didn’t leave for lunch already.  I waited a few minutes and noticed people walking around in the back office.  I saw her poke her head out.  She was mad and said a la una.  I said there was traffic.  She still wasn’t happy.  All she had to do was grab my ticket and give me my passport which isn’t a big deal.  I was only a few minutes late. 

We went to Libertad Plaza Café for lunch.  Ivan had the salad bar again while I had a chicken sandwich with cheese, pineapple and boiled eggs. 

Ivan and I got a taxi for the meet-up of the Buenos Aires Street Art tour.  Our guide was a man named Matt. The group included us, an Australian girl, an American lady and a German couple.  Buenos Aires is different since a graffiti artist can ask permission to paint on somebody’s private property.  If they’re given permission, then they can start making some graffiti. 

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Matt was very knowledgeable about street art and graffiti having co-wrote the book Textura Dos: Buenos Aires Street Art.  We went to a park that is filled with graffiti, street art and tags on many buildings. 

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It’s illegal to do graffiti here, but owners would have to paint it all the time since the art changes regularly here.

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We saw lots of murals, graffiti, street art, stencils and tags. 

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Matt told us the differences.  There are lots of great street art and graffiti by artists like Blu, Jaz, Pum Pum, Ice, Cof, Oz and Nerf.  The street artist Blu created a video with street art in Buenos Aires – check out the video here.  This was a wonderful tour.  Ivan and I love seeing graffiti in different cities. 

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I highly recommend going to this great street art tour

Ivan and I got a taxi back the apartment.  We used the internet and then took a siesta (nap). 

At 10 pm, Ivan, Lil Dave and I went to the Italian restaurant Guido Restaurant for dinner.  There are two locations, but we went to the closest one to the apartment on Cerviño.  The other location has a crazy owner and no menu.  I thought the other one sounded good, but we didn’t know it was the wrong one until we got the menu. 

Ivan and I started off with cheese with greens and fried onions in a great sauce and anchovies.  The anchovies were tinned and not fresh.  The cheese was delicious.  Lil Dave got a banana pizza. 

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Ivan and I shared a vegetarian pizza and grilled vegetables.  The pizza was awesome – we’re glad since the pizza we’ve been seeing in restaurants look really bad.  It was a wonderful meal.

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Ivan and I each got an espresso before leaving the restaurant.  Lil Dave headed back to the apartment.

Ivan and I got a taxi to Palermo Hollywood which is filled with restaurants, bars and nightclubs.  It was too early to head to the club, so we went to Carnal Bar for a drink.  I had a 2110 while Ivan a drink that sounded like Voltron, can’t remember the name though.

Later, we went to the nightclub Niceto for the Club 69 Gay Night.  The club was playing generic techno with the same beat going on in the background for a long time.  There were dancers on the stage. A round stage with a stripper pole would be moved by somebody around the dance floor while a girl danced around the pole.  Ivan told me later that the performers were transsexuals which I didn’t even notice while we were there. 

The club was filled with a majority of guys.  The club was dark and looked like a warehouse. 

A short dance act was performed on the main stage. 

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It’s so stupid in the girl’s bathroom that you have to give a tip to get toilet paper since there’s none in the stalls.  Some girls would skip the line since they would give the host a tip and get toilet paper.  So, the second time I went to the toilet, I took a paper towel that’s provided for you after you wash your hands.  The host who gives out the toilet paper saw I had it in my hand and she tried to grab it from me.  I wasn’t having that and went to the toilet.  I slammed the door and that pissed her off.  Clubs should provide toilet paper for free.  How annoying!  I came out and she started talking to me in Spanish – I’m sure she was telling me not to use the paper towel for toilet paper and to not slam the door.  I just said I don’t know what you’re saying and walked to wash my hands.

We kept dancing to the repetitive music.  Ivan and I like techno, but this was really bad techno and it was doing my head in.  At one point, a guy started rapping.  Good looking guys from the club started dancing around the rapper.. they were trying to dance to the rap which just looked silly.  After two rap songs, the techno music resumed.  We danced for a bit before heading back.

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Wine Cafe

Ivan and I went out at 10:30 am on December 19, 2012 to the Brazilian Embassy.  There was a long line, but it turned out that a few of the people were picking up their passports.  I’m glad the lady remembered me from yesterday.  I showed her the new statement with December transactions.  She crossed out Doesn’t Have In on my form.  She charged me 883.25 pesos which Ivan says is 200 more than it should be.  I guess she charged me more since I didn’t have my entry ticket and for not having my bank statement the first time.  I still think the lady is really mean.  The lady said that my passport would be ready tomorrow.  I asked her what time I could come and she said from 11 am to 1 pm.

I had to go to the Itaú bank nearby to pay the money for my Brazilian visa.

We went to the vegan restaurant Picnic for lunch.  Ivan got a wok while I got a falafel sandwich.  My sandwich was tasteless and needed hummus or something.  Ivan’s wok was okay.  I ate some of his since mine was so bad.  There were only two falafels in the sandwich which wasn’t even real falafel.  The restaurant has 8 things on the menu and Ivan thinks that they should make sure every dish is delicious since they ONLY have 8 items on the menu.  I would definitely avoid this restaurant unless you’re into bland food.

Ivan wanted to do a self guided walking café tour in Buenos Aires.  He picked a few cafes from the café crawl that’s listed in the Lonely Planet’s Best of Buenos Aries guidebook.  Ivan thought it would be good to get one or two things at each of the cafes we went to.  I thought it was a great idea especially since I was still a bit hungry after the light lunch I had.

Our first stop was Café Tortoni which is the oldest café in Buenos Aires opening in 1858.  The décor is great with the colorful stained glass ceilings. 

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Ivan and I each had an espresso.

We walked to the next café City London.  Ivan ordered a gancia batido for us to share.  This Italian apertif made with soda and lemon is tasty. 

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The café is known for its pastries – tried to order a flan, but they didn’t have any available.

Next stop was Café La Puerto Rico.  Ivan and I had a tasty slice of strawberry pie and a sparkling water. 

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I noticed a Malfada statue and thought it was really cute.  Malfada is an Argentine cartoon character.

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We walked to Bar El Federal which has a cool wooden arch over the bar.  The bar is lowered so that the barmen are eye to eye with the seated customers.  At first, Ivan thought the barman was a midget but then he remembered the description he read in the guidebook.  Here, we shared a tasty apple strudel.

Our last café stop was Plaza Dorrego Bar which has been visited by Robert DeNiro and Eric Clapton. 

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The wooden walls have lots of writing carved into it.  Ivan and I each had an espresso.

We walked around San Telmo where we browsed the unique shops.  There’s also lots of antique markets, but we didn’t check out the markets.

Later, we went to the Anuva Wines wine tasting.  Ivan and I were in a group with 5 other people for the wine tasting.  I was into writing down notes about each wine such as the color, aroma and taste of the wine that I forgot to take pictures.  We had 5 wine tastings which were paired with 5 Argentine tapas. 

Daniella told us about the wine which were limited edition wines.  The first wine was a sparkling wine called Hom which was very light and airy.  It was paired with a bruschetta with cheese, apple, arugula and walnut. 

The next was a white wine made from the Torrontes grape.  This Las Perdices wine was floral and bitter.  I have really liked Torrontes wine in the past at the Etchart winery, but this one didn’t have the best flavor.  Two lovely sorbets were paired with the wine: strawberry and banana and peach and orange juice.

The third wine was a Bonarda red called Mairena.  It was a smooth tasting wine that was paired with salami, grueyere and fontina cheese. 

It was nice that it was unlimited wine pourings if we liked a wine. 

The next two wines were presented by an English girl named Poppy who’s training.  The fourth wine was a red Malbec called Carinae Gran Reserva.  This was our favorite wine of the night which was oaky and plum in color.  This wine was paired with a beef and potato empanada. 

Our last wine was a red called Caluna.  This was a another tasty wine that looked like dark red paint.  It was paired with 2 types of delicious chocolate, one from Ecuador and the other from Venezuela. 

Here’s Ivan and me with Poppy and Daniella for one of our project pictures.

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The wine tasting was great.  At the end, we got a price list of the wines which were expensive wines.  Ivan thinks the wine tasting is worth the $52 USD per person since the wines are pricey and you can drink as much as you want.

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Dancing the Tango

Ivan and I left at 10 am on December 18, 2012 for the Brazilian Embassy.  I had an appointment today, but Ivan didn’t write down what time it was.

There was a short line at the Embassy.  We found out that my appointment is at 1:15 pm.  Brazil charges Americans to enter the country since we charge Brazilians when they enter the USA.  We had lots of time to spare.  I had to print out my bank statement and my plane ticket exiting Brazil as part of my visa requirements.  Ivan kept asking where an internet café was and we couldn’t find one.  There was supposed to be one on Santa Fe but we couldn’t find it.  We hopped in a taxi to head back to the apartment to print, but then we spotted one in the taxi.

I got my prints and then we went to lunch at Libertad Plaza Café for the salad bar.

We went to the Embassy for my appointment.  The lady asked about entry to Brazil.  We said that we were walking in at the border at Iguazu Falls.  She said you’re going to walk to Iguazu Falls from here.  No, we’re taking a bus there I said.  She wanted the bus ticket to Iguazu Falls which is in Argentina… showing a ticket to the falls doesn’t prove I’m entering Brazil.  She wrote Doesn’t have in on my visa form.  She didn’t like my bank statement since it showed October and November, she wanted to see December transactions.  I told her that was the latest statement.  She said she needed December and that I had to come back tomorrow with that statement.. I think showing tomorrow’s date.  Great! 

Ivan and I headed back to the apartment and used the internet.  We went out again at 4:40 pm.

We went shopping on Calle Florida (Florida Street).  Ivan was looking for socks, but didn’t find any.

We stopped at a mall and got our haircuts.  The guy who did my hair was being cheeky when he said he was going to dry my ends, but didn’t tell me it was 50 pesos to blow dry it.  I didn’t end up paying for the blow dry since I told the lady at reception that I just wanted a haircut.  Still not sure how a blow dry is 50 while a regular haircut is 110. 

Ivan and I hopped into a taxi to Complejo Tango.  We signed up for the tango class before the dinner and tango show.  It should start at 7:30 pm, but Ivan read that it starts closer to 8 pm which it did. 

Our teacher was a man named Alejandro.  He showed the class how to do the basic box step.  First, the women were shown the move and then the men.  After we learned it, we danced together.  Ivan and I got to dance together at first and then switch partners.  The women had to dance the whole time since there were more men.  Some partners didn’t want to change and only dance with their significant other.  I think it’s good to switch since sometimes you learn more since you’ll dance with people who are better dancers than your partner. 

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The group was taught another move where girls turned on each side.  This was easy for the guys since they just had to move us to each side while we did all the work.  Alejandro is a great teacher who knows his tango moves and keeps the class laughing.

The last move had both partners move their hand up and then down.  Then, the man puts his right leg out and the girl wraps her leg around the man’s leg and both turn their heads and make a sexy face. 

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I had to do all the moves that we learned with a guy from London along with three other couples so that everybody passed the class.  Good thing we didn’t mess up! 

Here’s Ivan and me striking a pose.

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This tango class was so much fun.  I definitely recommend taking the class.  At the end, everybody got a certificate for passing the class.

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The group headed upstairs for the dinner and tango show. 

We got to pick our 3 course meal from different options.  We both picked salad for our starter.  Ivan picked fish and I went for steak for the main course.  I’m still being bad and eating meat.  For dessert, we picked flan with dulce de leche and a brownie with ice cream.  The food was tasty and it came with unlimited wine.

The tango show was next and it featured 3 couples dancing.  It was amazing.  The dancing was erotic and very captivating. 

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I was trying to take pictures, but it didn’t turn out that good since they’re constantly moving around.  Plus, I was so enraptured with the dancing that I didn’t want to stop watching.  I definitely prefer watching tango than flamenco since it’s more exciting and has more moves.  This was a great night filled with lots of wonderful tango. 

Watch some of the dancing we saw at the show:

You should definitely check out a tango show like Complejo Tango if you’re ever in Buenos Aires.  Ivan called up to book the show and haggled a good price which gave us closer seats.. we were front row right by the stage.

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Walking around BA

I woke up in the middle of the night on December 17, 2012.  I tried going back to sleep and I just kept tossing and turning.. but I think I slept for a little while.

I woke up before Ivan and Lil Dave at 6:50 am.  Breakfast was being served which was a muffin, toast with jam, a wafer covered with chocolate (alfajor), orange juice and hot chocolate.  Lil Dave munched on a few bananas for his breakfast.

The bus arrived in Buenos Aires at 8:15 am.  Ivan and I got a taxi to the Airbnb apartment we’d be staying at.  We had to wait for the cleaner to arrive.  One of the doormen called the cleaner for us since she was late.

The cleaner showed us around the apartment and gave us the keys.  Ivan and I took showers and went out at 10:30 am.

We got a taxi to Plaza del Congreso for the meeting point for the Buenos Aires Free City Tour.  Our tour guide was Juan with a group of 35 people.  We saw the Congreso building which took 40 years to complete. 

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Juan told us that at one point there was no middle class in Argentina and lots of Italians immigrated to Argentina.  No wonder there’s lots of pizza and Italian restaurants in Argentina especially in BA (Buenos Aires).  Juan’s friend says that Argentinian people in Buenos Aires look Italian, act British (since they love football), speak Spanish and their city looks French (with the French architecture). 

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The group went to many places like Avenida 9 de Julio where I found out that July 9, 1816 is Argentina’s Independence day.  The avenue was once the widest in the world.

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We also saw Calle Florida, Café Torino (the oldest café in Buenos Aires), Plaza de Mayo, the Pink House and Obelisco. 

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Juan talked about the politics and the history of Argentina and Buenos Aires.  It was a great tour. 

After the tour, we walked around to find lunch.  We ended up at an Italian restaurant called La Continental.  Ivan got a salad with eggs, peas, beets, onions and apples.  The salad didn’t come with lettuce like most salads in Argentina.  Ivan got a tri-color fettuccine with white cream, pesto and tomato sauce while I got a fettuccine with a scarparo sauce with scallions, garlic, pesto and tomato sauce.  Lil Dave got a spaghetti dish with bananas.

We got a taxi back to the apartment and took a long nap.

Later that night, we walked around the neighborhood to find a restaurant.  There wasn’t much open.  Ivan and I went to La Guidita.  We shared a pumpkin ravioli (which we think was actually cheese ravioli) and salmon.  The meal was okay.

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