Saturday, June 27, 2009

Buenos Aires - Day 3

We spent today exploring the city by foot. Still having a blast. One observation: we continue to be amazed at how large the language barrier is here.

Consider when I approached the guards at the Falklands Islands war memorial - though young, they didn't speak any English. Or consider that the La Casa Rosada (the Pink House, or Presidential Palace) doesn't offer English language tours, only Spanish. While many of the restaurants have English versions of their menus, most of the wait staff we've had hasn't spoken English. None of this is a bad thing - and I certainly don't expect them to speak English, it's not their language. But still, compared to other places we've traveled it's been a surprise. It just makes it all the more adventurous.

Some highlights from today:

  • Touring La Casa Rosada - We took the Spanish tour, so we really don't know any details about this building other than that it looks pretty. Oh, and they don't heat all of it for some reason. For being an important Government building, I was surprised how lax the security was.
  • Exploring the Frigate President Sarmiento - This was a fun ship to poke around in. They let you descend fairly deep into the belly of the ship, which seems like it would have normally been off limits in the US.
  • Walking around the Ecological Reserve - this was actually an accidental creation. What started as a dumping ground for construction debris turned into a neat place to get away from the city.
  • Stuffed my face with meat from one of the Kosher restaurants in town. I ordered two main dishes (steak and sausage), Shira got a burger, and we split fries and hummos and got two cokes. The total: $20 USD. Try that at a local Kosher restaurant.


  1. It looks like you guys are having a great time! I had no idea that the weather there was so mild this time of year. I'm looking at these photos of you guys in jackets and thinking, "Huh?". According to wikipedia the average high in July is 59 °F.

  2. Well, some of them are being cheeky and pretending not to speak English. Also, major faux pas calling it the Falkland Islands. It's the Islas Malvinas, despite the fact that [whisper] Britain won the war.[/whisper]

    When I took the tour, the guide said reason the Casa Rosada is pink is because the stucco was thickened with ox blood. It wasn't done for aesthetics, just a side effect of the construction process.

    Ok, enough backseat tourguiding from me!

  3. Helmy -

    Yeah, the weather took us off guard a bit too. We figured, 60 degrees - that should be refreshingly cool. Instead, it was about 10 degrees too cold for Shira.

    No matter, we bought hat and gloves and did just fine.

    Next time - we don't go anywhere colder than in the 70's ;-).

    Jeserygirl77 - Yeah, the guidebook made it clear that we shouldn't call it the Falkland islands. It's just easier for me to remember than Islas Malvians :-).

    Hmmm...too bad I don't know the spanish for Ox Blood, or I could tell you if our tour guide said the same thing. ;-)