Thursday, September 13, 2012

Buenos Aries - Part 1

Falklands war veterans protesting
The first backdrop to this trip was that South Africa had been the victim of an alleged move done by bankers at Deutche Bank around 2002 that caused the value of the South African Rand to drop substantially. Read more here. Long haul holidays were out of reach for most of us.
Waldorf Hotel

Although South Africa had recovered somewhat at the time we went to Argentina, the problems over there were far worse. They were at the mercy of  bank loans they were unable to replay.

The Peso had devalued even more than our currency and Argentina became an affordable destination. Argentina is the same latitude as South Africa - and just across the ocean - so many South Africans jumped at the chance to be able to afford to travel.
Rose Palace

It's always interesting to look back. At that time, no-one seemed particularly concerned that these two countries had been so hard hit by greedy bankers - and loans that created massive debt. However, now that rogue banking practices are affecting first world countries and the European Union is in crisis - suddenly there are calls for investigations and criminal charges to be laid against bankers. Debt is handled with kid gloves to ensure the survival of indebted countries.

The other background theme to this week long break was mass protests. Unions and various groups took to the streets banging - pots and pans - making a noise - against unemployment. Read more here. While we were in Argentina it was the turn of Argentine soldiers from the - Falklands War - who were protesting. They had tents in the central square and wanted people to know they felt betrayed by their government. 



Waterfront
I'm in the UK right now where they have been commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Falklands war. It doesn't seem right to commemorate a war. A mourning for losses on both sides is more appropriate. I felt for these Falklands soldiers when I was there.


Flea market in Recoletta area
However, on a lighter note, and moving on to our holiday in Argentina. We flew - Malaysia Airlines. I have to say the flight and service were excellent. Our deal was a week at the - Waldorf Hotel - including airport shuttle service. The Waldorf was having an upgrade at the time we stayed and somehow a pipe burst and we ended up having to move rooms. But the hotel was central and comfortable. Meals were good. To be honest I just wanted to set foot in South America. Anywhere would have been fine.

Once there, we knew we wanted to do our usual walkabout the city, take in the popular attractions and get a sense of who the locals were, how they lived, what they ate . . .  that sort of thing. Here are a few handy links to help decide what you want to do - Trip AdvisorLonely Planeteasy BA and wiki travel.


Avenue 9th July - the widest road I have ever seen
Part 2 - of this blog series deals with what to do and in - Part 3 - I give ideas for day trips, eating and a link to safety tips.

For more on other parts of the world go to the Greenie Travel Archive Page - here.