Leaving Buenos Aires was not easy. Especially because of the taxi service we had: Cynthia gave us a lift to the airport. On the airport we were chatting and drinking coffee nearly forgetting about the boarding time.
It was 10 pm when we finally arrived at the hostel. The welcome committee of the hostel can be described as the best-of a gangster movie. The fact that no one else was in the hostel and no English speaking person was around did not make us feel more comfortable. On top we needed to buy drinking water. Thankfully one of the hostel staff went out with Niels to buy some. On the way he constantly turned around checking the empty streets always one hand on the 20-25 cm knife in his pocket – a nice neighborhood we arrived in J Without any success they returned. The water (in a used bottle) which was offered to us was the first time we gave the water purification tablets a try. As you can see we survived the night – even though it was freaking cold!
The next days we went for some serious sightseeing with Maik and Tino. First on the list was the huge Basílica del Voto Nacional (see the pictures in the following post), the Plaza Grande and the Old Town. Another day we went for El Panecillo, the small hill to the south of the Old Town which is topped by a statue of La Virgen de Quito. To be honest, it’s nothing special but the view of the city and the surrounding volcanoes are definitely worse the trip. In the afternoon the same day we went for a place called Café Mosaico. It has an open terrace with a magnificent view of the city especially while the sun sets.
As much as the days were pleasant the nights were not. After 5 very cold nights in our spooky hostel we decided to move to La Mariscal because Niels got sick – getting worse every night. La Mariscal is a nice area. Most tourist stay there as well as party people from Quito. The new hostel was wonderful, they even offered us a heater for the room without charging money. It didn’t take long and Niels was feeling better (maybe it was because of Eva taking very good care, including cooking magical chicken soup).
View from the rooftop terrace of our first hostel…and during night
Our neighbourhood looks quite nice during day time…
Bullfight arena in the neighbourhood
Café Mosaico …and the view in the evening
View of Quito to the South
View of Quito to the North
Iglesia San Francisco
Statue of La Virgen de QuitoView from the top of statue of La Virgen
The Church of the Society of Jesus, which is fully decorated with gold inside
Right after arriving in Buenos Aires the first highlight awaited us: the cozy apartment of our Airbnb host Martin. Its perfectly located in the district of Recoleta, which offers lots of bars, Cafés and green spaces. The first night we met Cynthia who was visiting her family in BA for a nice dinner and chatted till late night.
For the next days we had a long list of sights to visit. Most people recommended the cemetery (?!?). Also it is listed in the lonely planet as a must-see. Honestly, we were more than skeptical. But it turned out everyone was absolutely right about the cemetery – its crazy. Some of the tombs are big like houses. Most of them are build out of marble. Words can’t really describe this place.
Another highlight was Puerto Madero – Buenos Aires copy of the Hamburg Harbour City ;). To be honest, its bigger, seems to be even more modern and hosts more bars / restaurants than the Hamburg Harbour City. Especially Niels liked the area a lot. However, this was not the real highlight of that day. The evening should await us with what all of us now call their best dinner ever! “Parrilla Pena” – the place where dreams come true! Bife de lomo (tenderloin) and bife de chorizo (rump steak) as big as a very large male hand, at least two finger thick and so tasty, people start to cry J On top the waiter is super friendly, super fast and super passionate about what he does. An absolute must-do in Buenos Aires. Oh and just by the way, the food and drinks are cheap – very cheap – the starters are even for free! To finish off a perfect day we went for a bar after dinner, just to find out 2 hrs later that we actually ended up in the most famous gay bar in BA.
Look who we found, someone who did NOT win the world cup!
Buenos Aires Harbour City!
Best steak ever (seriously, by far!)
We ate it all (best meal ever!)
Best grill ever!
Best waiter ever in the Parrilla Peña!
Some impressions of the cemetery
Some graves are big like houses.
Our cozy apartment
After visiting the Brazilian site of the Iguazu waterfalls we had the choice between seeing the Waterfalls from the Argentinian side or paying Paraguay a short-term visit. The weather forecast wasn’t good for the next day. Since we have seen the waterfalls already Paraguay was our choice.
The adventure started: Taking the bus to Cuidad del Este (Paraguay) was easy. At the boarder we decided to get our passports stamped. It took quite a while to figure out where to go. However, afterwards everything went quite smooth. Only the Ponte de Amizade (Friendship Bridge) nearly gave Maggis an heart attack (fear of heights). The city itself doesn’t hold any tourist attractions and offers a very different picture compared to the neighbour countries: traffic jams stretch along shabby streets, the shady shops only seem to offer (fake) electronics and clothes. The only two things we bought were a sunglass case and a Paraguayan mate cup. Mate is a traditional South American tea which is prepared by boiling steeped dried leaves of yerba. You see mate drinking people everywhere.
After spending a few hours walking around the exciting streets, a McDonalds visit and generally enjoying the chaos, Eva asked the locals in perfect Spanish for the bus back to Foz do Iguazu (Brazil). After only some attempts the right bus was found 😉
The three of us enjoyed the last evening in Brazil by killing a gigantic chocolate crust pizza – sounds weird – is weird – is delicious!!!
Hipster –> Maggis 😉
World famous POLYstation! Now in 4D!