Buenos Aires has more than 38,000 taxis, more than any other city in the world. Radio taxis have meters and you will rarely spend more than $4 US on a ride in the city. If four of you are riding, be careful when getting into the front seat. The meter often juts into your forehead. When leaving a taxi, it is impolite to slam the doors. Tips are not expected, but they are appreciated. Taxi drivers HATE to make change. They'll break down a 20 peso note, but start to shake if you hand them a 50. Give them a 100 peso bill and expect a full, screaming rant. It's best to have plenty of small bills in hand if you are using taxis.
The sport of princes
You may need a princely income to play polo - maintaining a string of ponies certainly doesn't come cheap - but even years of dire economic troubles hasn't stopped Argentina being the polo capital of the world. Buenos Aires is the only city I've ever been to where there are so many shops devoted to selling polo gear - and I don't mean Ralph's , this is all pukka stuff, just the thing for anyone heading off for a chukka or six. (A game of polo is divided into 6 chukkas of 7 minutes duration)
Polo's exciting to watch - think hockey on horseback, 4 players in each team, thundering around the field, mallets swinging, ends changing with each goal scored - you need to keep your wits about you if you want to follow a game properly so go steady on the champers. The players ride out the whole game, changing ponies after each chukka (hence the need for a "string") - the best riders manage to change ponies without touching the ground. Spectators take to the field at halftime to stomp down the divots kicked up during play. Yes, it's all as esoteric as it sounds, but then who but a fan can follow an game of hockey on ice?
Spring is polo season - October to December - and you don't have to break the budget to watch, though tickets can be hard to get and rain means matches are rescheduled, so getting to a match can be problematical if you're on a tight schedule. The Buenos Aires Herald (in English) will have current information or check the website.Related to:
- Horse Riding
The king of Tango
Carlos Gardel has been dead for over 70 years but to Argentinians everywhere he is the heart and soul of tango. Still today his portrait is to be seen everywhere and his records sell in millions. Born in France in 1890, he began his singing career in 1914, singing and writing songs and starring in films that made him a legend throughout South America. When he was killed in a plane crash in Colombia in 1935 the Latin-American world went into mourning and as his body was transported via New York, Rio and Montevideo to its final resting place in Buenos Aires thousands upon thousands of heartbroken fans paid him homage.
Devotees still visit his grave which is always adorned with fresh flowers, and often a lit cigarette in the hand of the full-sized statue, on his tomb in La Chacarita Cemetery in Palermo Hollywood (Avenida. Guzman. Subte B: Frederico Lacroze)
Listen to his singing hereRelated to:
- Historical Travel
Boca Juniors : a passion for argentines!
Boca Juniors is oneof the leader football clubs in the world. It is the football club that won more prizes in international competitions (Real Madrid from Spain, Milan from Italy and Independiente also from Argentina are the second clubs in this ranking).
It is said that more than half of argentines are funs of Boca Juniors. It is a tradition from parents to their sons! Like in my case: my father is a Boca fun, I am a Boca fun and my son Faustino is a Boca fun (since he was born!!, see the pictures).
When visiting "La Boca" do not miss the very well world know stadium of Boca Juniors, "la Bombonera". It is impressive. And if you have the chance, go and see a match between Boca and River Plate in "La Bombonera", one of the most exciting things to do in Buenos Aires.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
There are loads of stray cats in Buenos Aires... most of them live in groups in parks, hospitals or abandoned houses. There's always someone who takes pity of them and feeds them. You'll see many at Jardin Botanico (Botanical Gardens).
We love dogs, so you'll see many people walking their beloved ones here... but be careful! They don't pick up the dirt...! That's been a problem for many years, and despite the fact that everybody complains about it, nobody does anything!
Dog walkers are a typical sight too!
Cosy guest house in BA
There are more than 100 hostels in BA.
If you are looking for one of them, i's easy to find it.
But I, as many travelers, choose to stay with some host family, to talk about daily news, travel as locals would, for an "authentic" experience as possible in each country.
I found a very nice place with reasonable prices and a helpful landlord. He can show you or send you to many places you cannot know if you just follow the typical tourist plans.
The house is in a safe and very quiet area, very well connected, that is importannt in this big and impresive city.
As it's not easy to find in internet a guesthouse, I am posting this information for these travelers:
... and enjoy Buenos Aires!Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Study Abroad
Newstands (Puestos de Diarios)
Just stand in any corner, look around and you'll spot one. There's one in every block.
They sell local newspapers and magazines. In the ones located on Florida street you can get some international ones. The only local newspaper in English we have is the Buenos Aires Herald, with local and international news.
This is a tradition that fortunately has not disappeared. In many corners of Buenos Aires, it's typical to see men selling warm popcorn, called "pochoclo" here, as well as toffee apples (the twist here is that they have popcorn on top of the melted sugar), garrapiñada (sugar coated peanuts), toffee figs (with popcorn on top too) and cotton candy.
Even if you don't buy any, it's a pleasure to go past them and smell them...
Another typical scene, and smell, you'll see in downtown is the garrapiñada vendors. Garrapiñada consists of peanuts cooked in melted sugar, so once they're cold, they have a sweet crust around them. You can usually get almonds cooked this way.
This is a snapshot that you'll see many times while in downtown: a man sitting on a stool, usually reading the paper, and having his leather shoes polished. I've even seen a boy having his black leather Nikes polished!
The pictures shows this tradition, but in 1908.
Feed the 'Koi'
The beautiful Japanese Gardens in the park-like Palermo district have large fish ponds integrated with the displays of plants from all over the world. In keeping with a Japanese custom, these ponds are inhabited by large 'Koi' fish, which can grow to a length of 2-3 feet and live for 35 years or longer.
Koi were developed by the Japanese over 200 years ago, specially for their ornamental ponds. With their variety of orange and white mottled skin colours, Koi look like large Goldfish, but in-fact are descended from bottom-feeding Carp. These fish will eat just about anything, and when they spot a likely handhout, they swarm the surface of the water with their large mouths opening and closing as they wait to grab a morsel.
It is good fun to watch their antics as the people enjoying the park take the time to throw some crumbs to the fish!Related to:
- Family Travel
We use this way of writting dates:
It may sound stupid, but it is very usefull!!
We mostly use the 24 hs. way:
1 1 am
2 2 am
11 11 am
12 12 pm
13 1 pm
14 2 pm
22 10 pm
23 11 pm
24 (00) 12 am
Nosotros usamos esta forma de escribir das fechas:
Puede sonar medio tonto, pero es util saberlo!!
News paper's store
This is where we buy our news papers and magazines. In most of them you can buy telephone cards and a bus guide called Guia T.
Estos son los puestos de diarios donde compramos nuestros diarios y revistas. En la mayoria de estos kioscos de revistas se pueden comprar tarjetas de telefono y una guia de colectivos llamada Guia T.
Credit Cards / Tarjetas de credito
En la mayoria de los negocios, bares y restaurantes, se puede abonar con cualquiera de las tarjetas de credito mas importantes, pero hay que tener en cuenta que en algunos casos, pueden aplicar recargos sobre los precios de contado (entre el 10 y el 20%).
Most of the stores, bars and restaurants in the city take any of the most important credit cards, but be carefull cause in some cases they may charge you an extra 10 to 20% over the cash price.
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