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Trip Report Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls Trip report

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Hi we just got back yesterday from a 15 day trip.. started with BA for a few days then went to the Falls. We were supposed to then go to Cordoba but were side tracked with the volcanic cloud.Bummer! So ended up back in BA. Spent 9 days there total which was too long. Had we had other options we should have gone somewhere else(Colonia etc) but after the hassles of all flights cancelled etc and just being glad to be back in BA we stayed put.
Ok so here are our first thoughts/tips on BA..the sidewalks are torn up ,have trash and dog poop. wear sensible shoes! There is so much car exhaust and cigarette smoke it can be very irritating to your senses.They do not smoke inside,which is a great plus. We never did find really a cocktail bar that was busy at our usual 5 or 6pm. They are really on the 8pm schedule.. perhaps in Palermo Soho. We were the only ones in a bar sometimes..It really is winter in July! it was cold!! Had one day where we sat outside without a coat,otherwise had full on coats,scarves,gloves etc.
The thing we didnt get at all are the so many comments on Fodors and Chowhounds how "this was the best steak ever". We eat alot of steak and found that a Flemmings, Ruth Chris or Harris Ranch are quite a bit better. The steaks are a great value however.. and still tasty. We had rib eyes,salad, and paps frites almost every other day at lunch with a glass of wine(huge pours always!) for about $50.00 us . That was total! These were at Don Julio and Gran Parrilla Del Plata which are both very nice restaurants. We found the steak just tasted different..

Took the BA free walking tour both the 11am one and the 5pm.We liked both,however the am one he does gone on ALOT about his own opinions and politics etc. On both you dont walk too much.They stop and chat alot. On the am tour we found out two things which were great. We did the Palacio de Congress tour at 11am one day. The walking guy said you have to call..but you just show up with your passport..
We also went on the tour of the Palacio Barolo which was very nice.Its right on the Ave De Mayo. We also did the Theatre Colon tour which was great. You have to buy tickets at least two days ahead.. maybe more as we went in winter..
Favorites...The San Telmo Fair.. NOT to be missed..but if you start in the Plaza De Mayo it will take a few blocks to get to the good stuff. At first we thought Yuck! By the Plaza Dorrego is the best .. there is tango and music there.. there is also a great Italian restaurant on the second level right on Defensa across from the plaza..(I must admit I was happy not to have steak for lunch!)We did try cafe San Juan which I thought they were rude.. (see Chowhounds for all the raves)they just opened the door and said 'No"..but there was a nice looking place across from the cafe..couldnt get in there either though. They say 8000 people go to the fair. This is really a 5-6 hour event.
The Recolleta cemetary was also a favorite. We had Carlo give us a tour for 50 pesos which was SOO worth it..The guides are right outside.. he is a burly looking guy..I did chat with someone else who had had a guide,not Carlo, and liked them too. Palermo Soho was fun.. had a great lunch at Cluny..a bit more French and contemporary.. The shopping is really geared for a20/ 30-40 hip person.. I didnt buy a thing there.. AND I tried!! Had a great lunch at Don Julio. so nice and classic.(steak,salad and paps frites). It is a few streets off the beaten path. At night take a cab there.. Hollywood Palermo is just restaurants ,no real shopping.. A few here and there. Thats it for today.. Then we were off to the Falls. Amazing!!

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