Sure we arrived without Argentinian Peso so we had to pay our taxi with Reals. When we checked with our hostel where we can change money we got the information, that we can exchange money on the street. No bank?
Walking down Calle Florida was a bit strange. So many people just sat there and said “Cambio, cambio, exchange”. After walking down a bit we approached a more serious looking man and brought us to a newspaper stand. Michael went inside and the rate of the so called blue dollar was insane. At the bank you will get 1 – 7.8 and on the streets you get 1 – 14.6. So you double your money and that’s the reason why a lot of tourists exit Argentina to get some dollars elsewhere.
Afterwards we decided to do some sightseeing and strolled down the big Avenida de Mayo to the Plaza de Mayo surrounded by government buildings. The Plaza was the place where the mothers of the disappeared people (during the dictatorship of the 70s) came here every Sunday to claim the bodies of their children. We stood in front of the balcony of the Casa Rosada where Evita and Peron gave their appearances and where 5 governments changed in only less than two weeks during 2002.
How comes that so many National Congresses look like the Wahsington Capitol. At the Plaza Congreso we took some pictures of the Congreso de la Naciòn and on our way to the Obelisk we run into a dutch guy. He addressed us in German and warned us against the bus station. In the morning he arrived after a long trip from Santiago de Chile and when he left the bus station to walk over to the metro station two guys approached him. One poured a liquid in his eyes and they started burning. While he was struggling with those two guys they took everything. With nothing left he went to the police and wanted to go to his embassy just to realize that the Dutch Embassy was closed today. We felt bad for him and gave him some money to pay a room and get some food. Sure we were a bit suspicious but than in the end he was wearing a Dutch jersey had a heavy Dutch accent and looked really messed up. Hope he made it home safely.
In the evening we went to a Tango Show (Consejo Tango). After one hour dance class we had a delicious dinner with wine and 3 hours Tango Show. The show was just mind blowing. They showed the development and different Tango Styles from the 1920 to the year 2000.
The next morning we joined a free walking tour with Nicolas. He was really great and we continued till late afternoon. We became some background information about the political situation and the history of Evita and Peron. In the Labor House, where Evita worked to improve the workers life we listened to an 84 years old man who met Evita. The stories he told where super interesting. Unfortunately Evita died very young – with 33 years on oval cancer.
The funeral lasted 14 days and people waited up to 18 hours in a massive line around several blocks to pay theirs honor to the beloved Evita. Argentina run out of flowers already after one day and they had to import flowers from Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay and Brazil. They conserved her body and placed her in the Labor House. When the government was thrown over by the military dictatorship the body disappeared for 16 years. A fascinating story and we definitely have to read into it a bit.
In the afternoon we changed our whole travel plans. After Michael found really cheap flight tickets back home from Ecuador, we decided to travel Argentina first. No zig-sagging and backtracking to Patagonia in December but going to Patagonia in one week. Less people and cheaper anyway.
But first we have to travel north to see the Iguazú Waterfalls which shouldn’t be missed. Can’t wait to sit on those buses for days.
Accommodation: Estoril Terrazas, Avda. de Mayo 1385, Buenos Aires
Price: AR$ 130 p.P., 6 bed dorm, shared bathroom, breakfast included
Comment: Clean and organized hostel with friendly staff and good situated.