Don’t eat steak in Buenos Aires….

22 02 2010

We had a warm welcome by Erika Bachmann, owner of the Casa Sol y Sombra in Buenos Aires where we had prebooked our appartment for 2 days – a short but hopefully intense stay in the “Paris of South America” as BA is called. This small private guesthouse is perfect for your stay – if you want to leave the trotten tourist paths and to get personal advice from someone living in the city for 5 years now. Erika from Switzerland decided to move to BA because of – make an educated guess – the Tango. Now she is running the Casa Sol y Sombra, meaning sun and shadow, and is as helpful and supporting as a non spanish speaking guest could wish.
The Sol y Sombra is situated near the upcoming and hip quarter of Palermo. You can walk there within 10 minutes and can stroll the streets with super chic cafes, bars restaurants and small shops where you can find stylish clothes, interior and all the things you always wanted to decorate your apartment with – but it is too heavy or big to bring it home in a plane.

Buenos Aires seen from Rio de la Plata

Casa Sol y Sombra

If you have forgotten something for your trip – like trekking equipment, clothes or whatever – just check one the shopping centres like the Abasto or the Alto Palermo Some of the the global players are here, for outdoor aficinados you find Salomon and North Face stores with enough equipment for expeditions. One of the local chains is called Montana (what else) where you get all for camping and other outdoor stuff. One of the shops is situated right by the Abasto center.
By the way Buenos Aires has a good underground system but driving around by relatively cheap taxis is like combing getting to places and have a sightseeing trip – for 10 to 20 minutes drive you pay around 15 argentinean pesos which is around 3 Euro. If you see prices with a $ sign – don’t get a heart attack. These are argentinean pesos – the others they call US$ so you have to check what is meant.
We came from minus 2 degrees and snow from Bavaria to 25 degrees in Argentina – and pouring rain in Buenos Aires. The whole summer was rainy, and today we had a thunderstorm and floods in the streets – tough job for the pizza guys you see all around bringing the ubiquitous italian food to the locals staying at home. Dangling electricity lines are quite a danger in Buenos Aires when it is raining like this so locals are not likely to go out when the weather is as bad as it was today.
Communication: We are still struggling to get the prepaid card of Claro working. Calls within Argenina are as expensive as to phone to Europe Erika told us – strange policy of the argentinean telephone companies as it seeems. Could be the reason why you see less people talkng on cell phones in the streets compared to Europe.

Eat and drink

We know that Argentina is the land of meat – but nevertheless we wanted to taste some fish and ended up in a classy sushi restaurant named Osaka – cool website – Tasty, very nice staff members trying to help us out with english as our spanish is more than rusty…. Buenos Aires is a tourist destination but finding someone speaking fluent and understandable english is not so easy.

The super friendly waiters at Osaka's

Skater in the streets of BA

But, as mentioned, the service was extremely friendly and helpful and we had a great first day and evening in BA. Even if the taxi driver we stopped thought he was a close relative to the late Juan Manuel Fangio and drove so fast that we missed our Casa for some hundred meters…

The next evening we went for meat.

Don’t eat lomo in Buenos Aires – you will never order another steak in another country. The meat is perfect and perfectly prepared. You are spoilt for the rest of your life. It is in one league with lobster in Boston, champagne in a French Champagne cellar, oysters at the atlantic coast, crayfish on the beach in South Africa and so on….
Tomorrow in the morning we are leaving early (6.00) for El Calafate, the start of our first trekking tours near the Fitz Roy.