Illuminated Block

Here you’ll find travel reports about Illuminated Block. Discover travel destinations in Argentina of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

20 travelers at this place:

  • Day5

    ¡Hasta la vista Buenos Aires!

    March 14, 2017 in Argentina

    Und schon sind die ersten Tage gezählt, die erste Stadt besichtigt und der nächste Flug steht an. Montag Abend sind wir noch eine Runde durch die City gelaufen, waren am Obelisk und sitzen nun im Minibus zum Flughafen. Halb so teuer wie das Taxi und auch relativ unkompliziert. Wenn man sich mit dem Stadtverkehr auskennt. Was bleibt von Buenos Aires? 4 Buchstaben. VIEL. Alles ist viel. Viel Stadt, viel Verkehr, viele Menschen, viele Busse, viele Autos, viel Feinstaub. Viel Lärm, viele Hupen ;), viel Chaos und viel Stau. Aber eben auch viele schöne Ecken, viele Bäume, viel Sonne, viele Palmen und viel zu sehen.Read more

  • Day4

    BA Markets

    May 15, 2017 in Argentina

    Got to explore a market that stretched for almost 2kms today. Lots to see - managed to resist buying nearly everything I wanted haha.
    Also happened to come across some sort of festival. Not sure what it was about but got to see some (presumably) local dancing.
    We are both finding the eating habits very strange. They tend to eat late here both lunch and dinner (10 or 11pm) so we can't find much open when we want to eat. The food is lots and lots of bread, pizza and pasta. They give you a big bread basket at every meal. We still havnt found a supermarket so we are craving something to eat that is not white!Read more

  • Day8

    3 days in Buenos Aires

    January 16, 2017 in Argentina

    I write this a broken woman, lying in my recently won and highly coveted bottom bunk bed with a lukewarm tea.

    (Hangover combined with sleep deprivation over the last 4 nights, I feel like a student again. I've discovered it is basically impossible to get a proper night's sleep in a dorm, partly through fear of plummeting off my top bunk to my death in the night and partly because of all the general shuffling/snoring/toilet going).

    So far in Buenos Aires has been great. The city seems really big (at least compared to Leeds!) and divided up into separate districts. I am staying in the Monserrat/San Telmo district. Buenos Aires has a really European feel with lots of big buildings with Parisian style balconies, because the country used to have something like the 4th biggest economy in the world (its GDP made up half of the whole of south America's GDP) and so lots of money was spent to model BA on one of the most stylish cities of that time- Paris. Interestingly the economy then crashed and the various different subsequent governments stuck modern and ugly houses up willy nilly between all the posh ones. So the architecture is super interesting, with a European style multi balconied building right next to an ultra modern one, for example.

    On my first full day I basically just wandered around BA. I walked up to Recoleta cemetery which is an enormous cemetery in the middle of one of the posh residential areas. It has loads of elaborate memorials to wander between. I love a good cemetery so I spent a while here. When I got back to the hostel Rhys (who works here) was making empanadas with the leftovers from the asado so he taught Andy, Melina, Carmen and I how to fold them. We made about 100000. They were DEELISH.

    The next day I went on a free walking tour with Melina from the centre of the city to the north. It was 3h long! Afterwards we headed back and I failed at a pre night out nap. I can't handle evenings out now without at least 10 hours sleep beforehand as I am a grandma.

    Most of the people in the hostel speak Spanish to a fairly competent level as they are 6 months into their trips and have done quite a few lessons etc. Melina lives in Rio so she is fluent in Portuguese. They were all eager to go to 'Spanglish', kind of like speed dating but in groups. Each table is arranged into half native English speakers (usually gringos) and half locals; you converse in English for 10 minutes and then a bell rings and you switch to Spanish. Then another bell rings and people change tables. It was fun but required Beer For Confidence. I had a long discussion in English with someone about the Argentine opinion towards the English re: the Falkland Islands, and someone said 'juxtaposition'. Then we had a discussion in Spanish that my name is Katy and tengo 26 anos. Excellente.

    Afterwards we got free entry to da club where I got drunk.

    The next day everyone was feeling self pitying. Melina, Carmen and I managed to drag ourselves to the Sunday market where I ate an Evil Burger and we watched a little bit of tango on the plaza. I then began to lie in bed trying not to vom. Pleasingly Andy had been to the pub to watch the football and wanted to continue the English vibes by making everyone tea. Carmen and Melina lay in my bed with me looking at Tinder and spilling tea everywhere. The best thing of the holiday happened when Jared left (not that part) and gave us a sort of travelling business card that he had made up with a photo of himself with a beer and his WhatsApp and Facebook details. Hilarious and I would expect nothing else from someone from LA.

    The Evil Burger showed its true nature when I projectile vomited everywhere at 2am. Yay!

    Pictures: 1) a bookshop in an old theatre, 2) recoleta Cemetery, 3) empanadas, 4) the government asked people in BA to vote for their favorite and also least favourite building- this won both, 5) selfie in front of Congress
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  • Day11

    Graffiti, steak and sweat

    January 19, 2017 in Argentina

    I love it here. I like waking up in the morning in a room of people. I like pottering about the hostel in the morning before everyone's up (although not a voluntary wake up I hasten to add) and all the windows and balcony doors are open and the wind is coming into the living room but it's not cold (!). I like how there are 10000 things to do because someone is always doing something and how easy we are about jumping on each others plans. I love going to my Spanish lessons cos it makes me feel I'm living here, it's a totally different experience to what I've done before when away on holiday and things- except for when I volunteered in Tanzania, but that always still felt like a trip rather than normal life.

    Rayuela hostel is great because it feels like a home with a huge, constantly shifting family. The staff are awesome and cook us food and give us wine, and nobody tries to promote anything.

    Spanish has been quite difficult because I am in a awkward in between level so I have to be in a tricky class. But I've also enjoyed it, it would be good to do more in Chile but money issues. I would definitely have improved a lot more if I had done actual revision after each class but the hostel is too distracting- whenever I sit down to read my Spanish I end up chatting to someone!

    We recently spent an entire evening playing the iPhone game where you have to guess what the word on your forehead is, following a hostel cooked vegetarian meal. It's embarrassing when people whose native language isn't English are better than me. Atsuo from Japan was bossing it and it was nice because he was clearly out of his comfort zone with the game at first. Perhaps they should make a Spanish version.

    After a Spanish lesson I met Andy at the hostel and we went to a graffiti tour by Graffitimundo. This was a contentious one because it cost 30 USD (eek) but everyone had been banging on about how good it is. We managed to be late as we drastically underestimated the slowness of the underground and ended up running in 30+ degree heat to the meeting place. SO SWEATY.

    The tour was great; it looked at the recent history of Buenos Aires in relation to street artists and their motivations. The art was excellent. We saw a mix of street art and two galleries which support the artists working inside if they wish to. I loved how colourful the work was. Six artists had collaborated to create a piece that was largely pastel colours, which I always have associated with being quite yucky, but the artists made them seem really edgy.

    After the tour Andy, Shonagh (from Portsmouth) and I went into Palermo and had a bottle of Merlot and some chips with pizza toppings on them. The chips were counteracted by our recent art tour so that was OK. Palermo is cool, it's an area that reminds me a bit of London (perhaps Hackney/Dalston) but a bit less try hard hipster. Lots of cafes and cool little shops. It was super sunny.

    That evening a group of us went out for steak at a local restaurant where excessive amounts of panic ensued when everyone realised the waiter spoke no English.

    Afterwards we walked past an ice cream shop and genuinely spent 20 minutes arguing over what flavours to get in our kilogram tub of ice cream. I successfully argued mint choc chip away thank god. We had it back at the hostel with some beer.

    I moved into a luxury three person room as I have officially been here Too Long, and Rhys had to move me into a special area following some string pulling as I had failed to book as I went along. I actually had a good night's sleep :) :)
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  • Day20

    Buenos Aires

    December 16, 2016 in Argentina

    AN: 08:00 – 17:30 (24:00)

    Die Hauptstadt Argentiniens „Buenos Aires“ ist das kulturelle, kommerzielle und industrielle Zentrum des Landes. „Buenos Aires“ ist eine der größten Städte in Südamerika. Im Ballungsgebiet leben etwa 14 Millionen Einwohner, in der Stadt selbst rund 2,8 Millionen. Das ist fast ein Drittel aller Bewohner Argentiniens. Die Millionenmetropole liegt am Río de la Plata, einer trichterförmigen Mündung der Flüsse Río Uruguay und Río Paraná in den Atlantischen Ozean an der Ostküste Südamerikas. Westlich und südlich von Buenos Aires beginnt die „Pampa“, das fruchtbarste Gebiet in Argentinien. Auffallend ist die schiere Anzahl der Restaurants, von denen es mehr als 3.500 Restaurants in Buenos Aires geben soll.

    Auf der Plaza de Mayo sticht einem außerdem sofort die Casa Rosada ins Auge, der Sitz des/der Präsidenten/Präsidentin. Das rosafarbene Gebäude – daher auch der Name – spielte auch in der Geschichte des Landes eine wichtige Rolle. Auf der Westseite der Plaza de Mayo (gegenüber der Casa Rosada) finden Sie das Cabildo (ehemalige Rathaus Buenos Aires). Heute befindet sich darin das Museo del Cabildo y la Revolución de Mayo mit Ausstellungsstücken aus der Kolonialzeit. Direkt neben der Nationalbank (Banco de la Nación) beeindruckt die Kirche Catedral Metropolitana, die Ende des 18. Jahrhunderts errichtet wurde. In dem nationalen Monument befindet sich auch das Grabmal des Nationalhelden José San Martín. Die Prachtstraße Avenida 9 de Julio mit 140 Metern Breite und 10 Fahrspuren in jede Richtung ist die breiteste Straße der Welt. Dort ist auch der Obelisk, der im Jahr 1936 zur Erinnerung an das 400. Gründungsjahr der Stadt errichtet wurde.

    Vor dem Kongressgebäude liegt die Plaza del Congreso, die am späten Nachmittag zu einem viel besuchten Treffpunkt wird. Interessant ist der sich dort befindliche Monolith (Nullpunkt), von dem aus alle Entfernungen im Land gemessen werden. Viele prominente Bewohner der Stadt – darunter auch Evita Perón – fanden ihre letzte Ruhestätte am Cementerio de la Recoleta, die schmalen Gassen sind von prächtigen Mausoleen gesäumt und die Grabsteine reich verziert. Kulturinteressierte sollten sich keinesfalls den "Broadway von Buenos Aires" – die Avenida Corrientes – entgehen lassen. Die bedeutendste Opernbühne von Lateinamerika ist das Teatro Colón, das 1908 eröffnet wurde und vor allem auf Grund seiner Akustik Weltbekanntheit erreichte. Eines der ältesten Stadtviertel ist La Boca – das berühmte Hafenviertel. Hier befindet sich auch der El Caminito, eine Straße, deren Häuser bunte Wellblechfassaden haben und auf der unzählige Straßenkünstler und Tangotänzer unterwegs sind. Ein absolutes Szeneviertel ist Palermo, wo sich vor einigen Jahren sehr viele Designer niedergelassen haben. Hier kann man zahlreiche Galerien besuchen oder in einem der gemütlichen Restaurants und Cafés entspannen.

    Die Skyline von Buenos Aires ist schon gut zu erkennen.

    Wir laufen jetzt in den Hafen ein.

    Ausschiffung hat immer noch nicht begonnen. Aber offensichtlich stauen sich die Massen bereits in dem vorderen Treppenhaus. Ich schließe aus den permanenten Lautsprecherdurchsagen, das das alles dauern kann. Mittlerweile habe ich meine Lektionen gelernt und warte an Oberdeck ab, bis sich auf der Pier die Massen bewegen.

    Die ersten Passagiere steigen in den Shuttle Bus. Obwohl wir auch über Nacht bleiben (Endgültiges Ende und Ausschiffung ist morgen Vormittag), müssen alle Passagiere heute spätestens um 17:30 wieder an Bord sein. Das liegt daran, weil dann der letzte Hafen Bus fährt und zu Fuß gehen im Hafengebiet nicht erlaubt ist. Wir sind zwar relativ nah an der Innenstadt, aber ein Cruising Terminal ist das hier nicht - wir liegen in einem hässlichen Containerhafen. Ärgerlich, für alle die nur eine Nacht für diese Stadt haben. Ich habe da deutlich mehr Zeit, um Buenos Aires später auch bei Nacht zu erleben. Ich freue mich jetzt auf meine Zeit ohne die vielen Reglementierungen auf der Fähre. Ich kann dann endlich selbst entscheiden WAS ich WANN und WIE mache.

    Na toll! Ich habe meine erste Erfahrung mit einem Argentinischen Bankautomat: Ich musste 9,6 % Gebühren (auf 1.000 Peso) akzeptieren. Wo doch meine DKB Visa Card angeblich weltweit keine Gebühren verursachen soll. Das war die Santanderbank. Morgen versuche ich es bei einer anderen Bank mit 2.000 Peso (1 € = 17 Peso).

    Bin durch die Fußgängerzone „Florida“ geschlendert und dann zur „Playa de Mayo“ gegangen. Das ist alles schon beeindruckend.
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  • Day18

    Buenos Aires

    October 3, 2016 in Argentina

    Wir landeten auf dem internationalen Flughafen von Buenos Aires, was bedeutete, dass wir ziemlich weit weg von der Stadt waren. Doch der Shuttle-Service funktionierte reibungslos und wir wurden direkt vor unser Hostel im San Telmo-Quartier gefahren.
    Die vorerst zwei Tage in der Hauptstadt vergingen, ohne dass wir viel gesehen oder gemacht hätten. Doch wir verliessen sie mit gemischten Gefühlen; einerseits gefielen uns das U-Bahn-System und die vielen 'anständigen' Geschäfte, anderseits erschracken wir über die Preise in den Restaurants (falls eines geöffnet hatte, denn irgendwie schloss alles immer sehr früh) und auch die Gegend um den Busbahnhof wirkte eher wie die Hauptstadt von Honduras (wir stellen sie uns so vor): heruntergekommen, schmutzig und voller Obdachlose.

    Wir besuchten am Montagabend ein als Geheimtipp gehandeltes Konzert ('La Bomba') einer Perkussionsband, welche jeden Montag ihr Können zum Besten gibt. Wir fühlten uns ein wenig wie in der Berner Reithalle: viele Kiffer, noch mehr Raucher und einige, die weiss nicht was eingeworfen hatten - zumindest schien es so... Und auch die Band fanden wir mit der Zeit etwas eintönig.

    Somit sind wir auf unseren nächsten Besuch in Buenos Aires gespannt, doch vorher gehts noch in den kalten Süden runter.
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  • Day3

    Descubriendo Buenos Aires

    August 16 in Argentina

    De la mano de nuestro guía empezamos en los parques y palacios de estilo francés de Palermo Chico, hoy la mayoría embajadas, el instituto José Sanmartín y la impresionante fuente Flor Genérica. Cerca vimos el monumento a Eva Perón, sito en el solar de la Residencia Presidencial donde murió y de allí paseamos hasta la Iglesia de la Recoleta y el imposante cementerio a su lado. Luego al centro en colectivo para descansar y recuperar fuerzas en el famoso Café Tortoni, lleno de fotos y recuerdos de las celebridades que lo frecuentaron en el siglo pasado. Tras el refrigerio seguimos por la avenida de mayo con parada en la librería de las luces, cuyo librero con su pasión nos evocó al protagonista de La sombra del viento. Toda una experiencia. La avenida nos condujo a la Catedral y a la Casa Rosada en la plaza de Mayo y de allí continuamos a Puerto Madero, el nuevo barrio de la ciudad sobre los diques de los antiguos muelles de carga, antes de disfrutar de nuestro concierto de la Filarmonica de Buenos Aires, en el Teatro Colón, con el que completamos un maravilloso día.Read more

  • Day3

    A quick Buenis Aries experience

    December 2, 2017 in Argentina

    I woke to all my devices flat - oh no no phone no time no contact with the outside world. I have to admit that was a little daunting. Norma, by Bnb host, was homw this morning so she quickly got me hooked up to power to recharge.

    First job is to find out about baggage Norma will ring them if we here nothing by 11.
    I head out to explore first the "Oblisque" then breakfast.The architecture of the building is beautiful very old well preserved. The streets are clean I feel very safe.

    Foe $20 i get coffee juice fried eggs and bacon and a very generous serve. Next is an ATM i find 5 sex shops before i find a working ATM lol. I eventually get some more money.

    its after 11 and no word on luggage, after filling put more online forms Norma finally is told my luggage will be on 330pm flight they will ring around 530 to confirm - Im not convinced but will wait patiently.

    After wandering the streets for a few hours its time to sit with the locals and enjoy a glass of wine - Malbec seems to be the go here.

    an update at 6pm they still do not know if the bags have arrived next update 9pm. I want to go to bed, who knows if I’ll be up when it arrives.

    On my way back to room I’ve worked out why there are so many sex shops they are only 5 meters sq little tiny holes on the wall really - ha ha
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  • Day9

    Spanish lessons and drums

    January 17, 2017 in Argentina

    Today I started my Spanish lessons. Kind of intimidating as it was basically a conversation class and my knowledge of vocabulary is limited. The teacher would ask us in turn an open question and we would monologue for a bit. Very different from my lessons in Leeds.

    The other three people in my class are two Portuguese speakers from Brazil and a girl from Denmark who has moved here to work for 6m. She is freaking out as she has two weeks to relearn Spanish.

    Safe to say my monologues were a little shorter than those of the people from Brazil! All my accounts centered round one of the only verbs I could remember, 'pasear' or to walk. I have come to Argentina to walk. After class I will walk to the hostel. I like Leeds because it has countryside in which I can walk. (I have since found out that I used this wrongly at least twice)

    Afterwards I devoured my pasta at the hostel then ran in melty heat to the second free walking tour that BA offers, meeting Andy (who actually lives in Leeds, small world) and Australian James(?) who just arrived today. The tour was a bit manic and centered mainly around the Argentinian economy which tbf was interesting but the tour guide was speaking so fast it looked like he might have some kind of seizure.

    Things I learned (not fact checked): in the last year the Argentinian peso has suffered 40% inflation. In recent history the government told banks not to let people take out their savings. The government also forbid Argentinians from exchanging their money for US dollars which they used to do to save their money as the peso was such a disaster, leading to a huge love of the dollar and a large black market (for some reason called a blue market).

    Followed by another sweaty walk back and a local Argentinian delicacy called 'Subway Sandwich'. Then we all headed off to our entertainment for the evening, La Bomba Tiempo. This is a super cool outside drum show slash fiesta, with around 15 drummers improvising in an amazing way following a drum conductor who uses hand symbols to direct the music. It was so good! Much insane dancing was had, my insane dancing accentuated by the two tallest of our group next to me merely head bobbing. Afterwards the party continued on the street (also with drumming and random men selling beer) and a parade to a club where we decided pizza was a preferable option. We discovered that we had two doctors, a medical student and a nurse in our gang! The hostel is in safe hands.

    I finished this post the day after the bomba tiempo sitting on the hostel sofa in the afternoon having just successfully booked my Torres Del Paine trek (I hope... complicated booking system) YAYYYY

    Turns out it was possible! someone plays Avicii's 'Wake me up' on the guitar. Who knew that was even possible!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Manzana de las Luces, Illuminated Block, Illa de les Llums

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