I can’t believe how fast the time is going by. There is so much to see and do in Buenos Aires, but there are also some easy day trips that are worth checking out. I joined up with new friends from the English Group of Buenos Aires for a tour of La Plata on the hottest Saturday of the entire summer. It was blistering, but good fun. La Plata is the capital of the Province of Buenos Aires, while Buenos Aires City is the capital of the country – sort of like the difference between Toronto and Ottawa. Despite the heat (36C), we managed to walk all over the city and take in the racecourse, the cathedral and the museum of natural science. The train from BA, which you can get at the Constitucíon station takes about an hour and a half, and is so cheap. A return ticket cost less than 6 pesos – or about $2 Cdn. Unlike many cities, La Plata was designed and planned out before it was built in 1832. Our first stop was the racecourse, where I made friends with this beauty.
After a lovely lunch with the group at La Trattoria, we walked to the cathedral that sits in the centre of the city. It’s the largest church in Argentina.
The natural science museum is known for its collection of dinosaur bones. It’s not the best laid out design, but you can see the influence of the 19th Century when the emphasis was on collecting more than on display. At the moment, parts of the museum are being renovated, like many things in Argentina, but it’s a really interesting collection of artifacts from all over the world.
After a full day of wandering the city, the group headed back to the train station for our return to BA.
The following weekend, I went off with some friends for a tour of Tigre, a small city an hour outside of BA. It sits in the delta of the Paraná River, which eventually empties into the Rio de la plata. You can take any number of boat tours along the river. We chose one that took us an hour out and an hour back. We took the train from Retiro station out and the more scenic Tren de la costa back. If I were to go back, I would hire one of the private boat tours that go up the smaller channels. The wooden tourist boats are loud and smelly, but it’s an interesting experience. They stop along the way to drop off and pick up locals, many of whom have summer homes along the river.
You buy your ticket to a given destination and once there, they call out your stop. We got off at a place with no markings and nothing really to distinguish it from any of the other wharves along the way. Undeterred, we followed the stone-lined path until we came to a German Gesthaus with a lovely deck by the river where we stopped for lunch. The food wasn’t great, but the company was. Camila and Belinda are my flatmates and Susi and Nicola are English travellers I’ve met along the way.
After the bustling urban landscape of BA, the trip along the river at Tigre is like being in an entirely different world. The natural beauty of the place is really worth seeing.
Well, my time in BA is winding down, so I must head out to catch a few more sights. Off to the milonga tonight, and then looking forward to a private tango lesson tomorrow!
buena día mis amigos.