Saturday, August 15, 2009

South America 2009 - Day 8 (8/14/2009) - Buenos Aires

We were awoken around 9 AM when our new roommate, Lukas, checked into the room. The plan this morning was to meet up with a free walking tour that was leaving at 11 from the Plaza del Congreso, which was very close to our hostel. Around 10:30, though, we found out that there was another free tour that started from the hostel at the same time - so we decided to do that instead. Lukas also did this tour, and on it we met Constance and her dental student friends from London. The tour started with a video about Argentine history and then we walked down Avenida de Mayo to the Casa Rosada. At this point, Greg and I had the option of continuing on with the tour for A$55, but initally chose to decline. When we realized that we did not really know what else to do, we rushed to catch up with the rest of the group. The tour continued to the CGT building, where we were shown through a shrine dedicated to Eva Perón by an old man who had lived through those times, stopped at a detention camp under a highway that was used during the rule of the military junta, and then finished up in Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo.

After the tour, Greg and I ate lunch at a restaurant on the square (I had spinach caneloni and crème brûlée, and he had a tenderloin steak) before walking back to the hostel via Avenida 9 de Julio, the wide 12-lane street. Once we got back, we decided to head out to the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA), a contemporary art museum. We took the subway most of the way there, but had to walk about a mile from the subway station to get there. We arrived around 6:15 and spent an hour there before heading back the same way we came. A few of the pieces were interesting, and some were pretty ridiculous - it was stuff that was kinda pointless and we felt like we could have done. In fact, we came up with a few ideas for "art" on the way back to the hostel.

Later that night we attended the barbecue that the hostel put on. The meat was pretty good, especially the beef and sausage. During the meal we met another guy from Wisconsin named Peter who we later found out was the fourth person in our room. After dinner Constance showed up and we all (me, Greg, Lukas, Peter, Constance, and her 3 friends) bought tickets to a club called Kika from the hostel. After hanging out for a while, we eventually took taxis to the club around 1:30. I had a pretty good time at the club, though I wish the musical selection had been more to my tasted - they played some American pop, some 80s and 90s, a little hip-hop, some raggaeton, and some presumably Argentine music. Around 4, Greg and I left early because some cigarette ashes had gotten into his eye and it was pretty painful (the others got back around 5:30).

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