The Journal  

10 March 2006

Buenos Aires

Author: Jeremiah

Photographer: Holly


Buenos Aires

March 2-6

We entered Buenos Aires in the fading light of late evening, the sprawling cosmopolitan capital revealing itself to us through the windows of a microbus taxi. Buenos Aires was the first capital city of our trip that we didn't ride in on our motorcycle, the Guzzi safely packed for shipping twenty miles south at Ezeiza airport.

We found an affordable hotel in the downtown area to put us close to the sights we wanted to see in our short stay. Our guidebook described the Argentinean capital as having a European atmosphere, but the feeling Buenos Aires gave was closer to replicated feeling given by a travel poster. On the main north-south Avenida Colon stood the Obelisco, a Washington Monument look-alike. The copper domed House of Congress was also modeled on its American counterpart.

The Plaza San Martin, just down the street from our hotel, held the Torre Monumental, a replica of London 's Big Ben. The tower's name was one of the many reminders of the Argentinean defeat at the hands of the British during the Falklands conflict. The plaque by the entrance noted that it had once been called “Torre Inglesias” before being angrily renamed.


The Plaza Libertador General San Martin in Buenos Aires .


The Torre de los Ingleses or English Tower gave a 360 degree view of the city free of charge.


A girl squints against the setting sun on the tower.


The view from the tower offered a closer look at some of the skyscrapers to the visitors.

Buenos Aires was no different than anywhere else we stayed in Argentina , the bargain travel deal that many had claimed being hard to find. Our hotel was $15 more than our guidebook claimed it should be and other prices were also markedly higher than we had been led to expect. Maybe the country's economy is on the rebound.

Our search for food led us to discover what is maybe one of the few deals left in the country, the “tenedor libre.” These “free fork” restaurants were all you could eat buffets, their vast quantities of food usually giving Holly plenty of meatless options. A full meal, including drink and desert would only set us back $4.50 per person.

Like Santiago , our lack of a motorcycle forced us to discover the wonders of the Buenos Aires public transportation system. Like the Chilean capital, the subway system was limited, but cheap, some cars antiquated wood seats and glass windows that gave an odor that Holly described as smelling “like an old museum.”


The subway cars were old and had wooden seats inside and doors that had to be opened manually.

We only spent three days in Buenos Aires and that little bit of time was filled with efforts related to shipping the motorcycle and catching up on our journals. When we left we still left we felt we had not quite discovered the true Buenos Aires .


Fresh fruit stands offered an array of colors and choices.


Buenos Aires lies at the mouth of a river that drains into the Atlantic Ocean , so the water was a muddy brown color, but was crowded with fishermen and boats.



All photographs © Holly Marcus / Page design by Robin Marcus