Buenos Aires, Colonia and Montevideo
25.05.2011 - 31.05.2011 10 °C
From tango lessons to antique fairs, our remaining time in Buenos Aires was spent doing a bit of sightseeing and a lot of relaxing, a little holiday in the middle of my travels. A particular highlight out of all of the touristy activities had to be The Evita Museum. I did not quite realise how much she had achieved in terms of social welfare reforms, the right for women to vote, and being nominated for the position of Vice-President all before the age of 33, when she passed away. I know she has her haters, the "long live cancer" chanters, but I am pretty sure I will not have achieved anything to even compare to Evita by the time I am 33, if ever. We also strolled around the parks in Palermo and one of the things that has continuously amused me with all of the parks is that there are so many dog walkers. They are professional, some of them taking 15 dogs at the same time and they think nothing of walking across 8 lanes of traffic in the middle of Buenos Aires.
On Wednesday 25th May we did as the Argentinian´s do, celebrate the Bank Holiday due to the revolution in 1810. I love it when the roads are closed for these kinds of events so you can stand in the middle of them, and walk along them, when usually you can´t even cross them due to all of the traffic. The live entertainment in front of the Casa Rosada was not amazing, the first few hours aimed at children with dancing frogs, but the atmosphere was great along with all of the street-side snacks- dulce de leche filled ice cream cones!
We also managed to squeeze in a spa day, Stew´s first time at a spa, but there was really no reason for him to feel out of place as I was the only woman there. I don´t know if it is this particular spa, or an Argentinian thing, but the spa seemed to be a great place for male bonding. You just wouldn´t really get a group of men heading to the spa together at home, but then they also don´t greet each other by kissing each others cheeks, so I am not surprised. Also both of our massages were done by masseurs, Stew being asked to get completely starkers for his massage. They didn´t even suggest that I take my bikini off- oh so rejected.
It was then time for Stew to depart and head back to England, so after a tearful goodbye at the port, I headed off on the ColoniaExpress ferry to Uruguay. It could have looked quite romantic, waving each other off etc. but you can´t really shed a beautiful tear like in the movies so my blotchy face just didn´t quite portray the correct image. First stop, Colonia del Sacramento, full of beautiful colonial buildings and cobbled streets. There was such a relaxed atmosphere, so much so that the people living opposite the hostel did not waste their time, or energy, by picking up the leaves in the road outside their house, but instead just set them alight in the middle of the road. I decided to go on a tour of the historical center as most of the signs were in Spanish, so I did not get much information from them, and we had the most over-enthusiastic tour guide in the world. She also had to say each piece of information in English, Spanish and Brazilian, which was a little tedious, but made a whole lot worse by the stupid American man on the tour. He was so obsessed about taking pictures of everything with his many different lenses that he would wonder off and then come back to the group to, each time, ask a question that had already been asked and discussed- Fool.
From the beautiful Colonia to the not so appealing to the eye Montevideo I took a short coach journey to my amazingly cheap hostel. You can´t complain about staying anywhere for 5 pound a night, and it really wasn´t too bad. The main bits to go and see in Montevideo, when it is way too cold to head to the beach, and you have done a lot of walking, are the museums and historical buildings. The not so large but amusing Museo de Carnaval had to be the highlight as I had missed carnival time but still got to see lots of costumes and masks. Some of them were really creepy, with long noses and strange faces but I am sure with the right music and dancing they have their intended affect.
Time to wrap up warm, let´s head south!