Monday, September 28, 2009

Can I get there from here?

Getting to and from - as well as around - Buenos Aires is easier than most Americans might imagine.

Argentina is about as accessible as Europe, especially if you're in a major city in the southeast U.S. since there are non-stops from D.C., Atlanta, Miami, Houston and Dallas. From Seattle we took a five hour flight to D.C. followed by a ten hour overnight flight to BA.

There's no need for a car in Buenos Aires - BA has taxis all over the place, as well as a great mass transit system that includes hundreds of bus lines and a 6 line, 74 station subway system that carries nearly two million passengers every workday.Although the average fare for a trip on these systems is amazingly low by American standards (AR$0.80 = about US 20 cents!), we decided to use a transportation method that's shockingly primitive...

We walked!

Yes - in a densely-populated metropolitan area of 12 million people we managed to get around entirely on foot, except for our transfers between the airport and hotel.

How the heck did we manage that?

First, we're in pretty good shape. We routinely spend our weekends hiking or bicycling, and managed to put in hours of hoof-time every day during our vacation. The only exception was on our travel days between cities and the two days we were on wine-tours in Mendoza - and even then, we took long walks in the evening to and from dinner.

Second, even though traffic is pretty crazy in BA, almost every street is one-way - crossing them is so much easier and safer than dodging two-way traffic.

Walking really helped us to get a feel for the flow of the city, and exposed us to sights, sounds and smells that we'd never experience if we were driving around.

Check them out...

Is that a fire in the middle of the street???

No - it's Lunch!!!

1 comment:

Carla said...

haha I saw that too! Apparently, "asados" are so great that workers do whatever to eat them any day of the week. They even have some "parrillas" in their workplaces. Like, offices have a breakroom where there is a parrilla to have lunch and relax. I love that lifestyle, so unstructured. I rented buenos aires apartments there and I could see the unstressed faces of the real estate employees. There is something latino in those European streets!