Today was my first full day in the Argentinian capital, and it turned out to be a rather slow one. After a terrible night's sleep due to a very loud snorer in the hostel, Jonty and I awoke to find there was a power cut in the entire building. Realising there was no reason to hang around, we made our way to our hostel for the next couple of nights in an area called Florida. This hostel is the first large commercial hostel of the trip, and it has a much more professional feel to it when compared to the smaller, traveller-run hostels we have been used to staying in. That said, you also lose the sense of community when staying somewhere with hundreds of travellers, rather than what would sometimes be no more than twenty.
Shortly after arriving, Marc turned up after his flight from Santiago. He and Jonty quickly left in order to see the start of the UK football season in a nearby bar, and I decided to catch up on some of the sleep I’ve lost the last few nights. What was supposed to be a reasonably short nap quickly turned into an afternoon-long sleep, and the sun was setting by the time I got round to checking out some of the nearby sights.
We decided to head to the nearby Plaza De Mayo, which is the main government square of the city. On the way I got to see a bit more of Florida, which is primarily comprised of shops and restaurants, set around a pedestrianized street. The Plaza De Mayo itself is home to the primary political buildings of Argentina, including the Presidential Palace. In front of the palace is a large obelisk, which was erected to commemorate the first anniversary of Argentinian independence in 1811. In the middle of the plaza there are a number of protesters, much like those who camped in parliament square for years, or can be found near the Whitehouse in Washington DC. The protest banners included mention of the Malvinas War and its victims; something which is rather topical back home!
After checking out the plaza we headed to a nearby restaurant for dinner. I had a decent pizza, though have to say the South Americans in general don’t know how to make pizza to European standards. Talking of food here, it seems the Argentinians are obsessed with Burger King and McDonalds, with one block having three McDonalds alone, and huge branches located on major intersections.
This evening we are heading to a large club in the centre of town, which is apparently the place to go on a Saturday night. I expect we will be tired in the morning, but still plan to see some sights in the afternoon tomorrow.
Photos of the day: the Plaza de Mayo at night, and some of the protesters' signs.