Buenos Aires is no joke. It’s huge, it’s loud, it’s lively, it’s fast, it’s dynamic, and it just so happens that I arrived on December 10th, which is Argentina’s annual Human Rights Day. Imagine streets filled with passionate throngs of people, all carrying banners resembling different organizations trying to outdo each other in drum and song. And I was part of it all.
How did I get here?
After reaching Buenos Aires by ferry, I got a firsthand of its notoriously horrible midday traffic, as I checked into my hostel in Monserrat over 40min later after I had arrived by taxi. By that time it was already 2pm. And since I was famished, unkempt, and underslept after 2 days of nonstop travel, I wasn’t ready out the door until 4pm.
Here’s what I’ve done since:
First things first. I try an Argentinan steak at Bar Gijon and I let it do it their way (medium):
This was my first real meal of the trip (airplane food doesn’t quite count!) so you can imagine how this tasted: The way the fat slowly dissolved in my mouth, the juice that emanated with each bite, the subtle smoky aftertaste, the aroma that lingered afterwards…I ate everything. And the bill came out to be $12 USD.
After my late lunch/breakfast/last night’s dinner, I started walking up north through Monserrat:
Once I hit the main Av de Mayo, I turned left and walked west towards Plaza and Palacio del Congreso, (guess who meets here) which is modeled after the U.S. Capitol:
I then did a 180 and walked east along Av de Mayo:
All the way east of the city center along Av de Mayo, you’ll eventually hit neoclassically designed Catedral Metropolitana on your right, which houses the tomb of liberator Jose de San Martin:
And don’t forget to glimpse Casa Rosada ahead of you, famous for where Eva “Evita” Peron greeted and enraptured her adoring masses:
If you then turn right and walk south along Calle Bolivar, you’ll come upon Manzana de las Luces, a square of 18th century buildings that include Buenos Aires’ oldest church, Iglesia San Ignacio, and the top-tier high school, Colegio Nacional.
The square was under construction when I visited, so I didn’t get that much out of it:
What I did get a lot of, however, was walking among all the crowds that came out for Human Rights Day…it was spectacular to be inadvertently part of this. The energy buzzing on the streets was long palpable before I even found out something big was going on today:
Even better was how all the car traffic that was closed off today (maybe that’s why it took so long to get to the hostel from the ferry) to allow countless asados (outdoor BBQs) and street fairs for you to sample:
I chose the unobstructed path along Roque Saenz Pena to walk to the Obelisco, and then I became part of a huge parade championing for diversity:
It was the signs adorning the Obelisk (modeled after the Washington Monument…) that allowed me to finally understand what was going on today:
From the Obelisk I beared to the left and walked up north along Calle Cerrito, passing by the legendary 7 story Teatro Colon:
I then turned right along Calle Viamonte, continuing westwards until I hit the old post office, Palacio de las Aguas Corrientes:
And with the exception of Galerias Pacifico and the Recoleta Cemetery (which I’ll do tomorrow), I had hit all the major sights of Central Buenos Aires by foot in just under 3 hours.
Time for a nap before dinner!
– At time of posting in Buenos Aires, it was 68 °F – Humidity: 72% | Wind Speed: 15km/hr | Cloud Cover: scattered clouds