Argentina

Where the experts holiday: Omar Beretta, travel writer

Travel writer, Omar Beretta, shares his experiences on the road with JAT readers

What do you like to do on holiday?
I like to go to to places that are not spoilt by Western consumer habits, meet the locals, learn about their music and traditions, and find some quiet space to read and write.

Where did you last go?
I just came back from a month in Lima, Perú where I took notes to write an article about Trans Diversity in Perú. I read books by Peruvian authors that helped me connect with the mood of the city, namely Julio Ramón Ribeyro, probably my all-time favourite writer in the Spanish language, (especially the short stories in La Palabra del Mudo) and Jeremías Gamboa’s Contarlo Todo, destined to be one of the most powerful novels of the twenty firsy century.
I also spent some time in a hamlet called Yarina, near Pucallpa, in the Peruvian Amazon, learning and writing about shamanism. Preparing for Yarina I re-read Castaneda’s Journey to Ixtlan as well as The Yage Letters by Burroughs and Ginsberg. I am writing a series of articles about shamanism in the Peruvian Amazon, the first of them can be found here.

Do you know where you’re going this year?
In 2018 I will travel all year! I will visit Paraguay, Peru, The Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Cambodia and Brazil.

Of all the places you’ve been to, which was your favourite and why?
Asunción del Paraguay, South America’s best kept secret. Expect very friendly people in the middle of majestic nature, namely the mighty Paraguay river. It’s one of the oldest cities in South America with unspoilt colonial architecture, a rich cultural scene, vibrant night life and expats that never ever want to go back home. Last March I taught a creative writing workshop in Asunción and I wrote about this experience here.

Which destination do you wish to travel to, but haven’t yet been?
Myanmar.

In your own country, what would you recommend tourists see that isn’t in the travel guides?
Many years ago, I was hitchhiking in southern Patagonia with a friend and we got stuck in a petrol station in the middle of nowhere, halfway between the towns of Rio Gallegos and Calafate. A truck that was taking goods to a nearby farm took us from Río Gallegos to the petrol station. We had purposefully missed the daily bus from Gallegos because we preferred to hitchhike, and there was no other bus going in that direction until the following day. It was winter. We spent the rest of the day by the road, waiting for a car that never came. There, in the middle of nowhere, we experienced the vast expanse of the Argentine wasteland like never before. We felt the night crawling, a few animals curiously watching us from a distance, and the Milky Way brighter than ever enveloping us. That unknown corner where we spent the night was the most beautiful spot that I have ever seen in Argentina, and yet I could not point it in a map because I do not know exactly where we were. We took the bus to Calafate the next morning. We were going to see the glaciers, the highlight of that trip, but I was sad to leave our petrol station in the middle of nowhere. So I would recommend to take the less known roads and get lost!

How do you plan a holiday?
I still like to own guidebooks whose weight I can feel in my hands, that I can scribble and leave marks on it. I especially like second-hand guidebooks that have notes or drawings from previous travellers. I own a 1925 Baedeker guide to Egypt and the Sudan that belonged to my great Grand Uncle that I enjoy reading from time to time, especially when I come across passages like “travel in Egypt is as safe as in Europe,” advising that “weapons for self-defence are an unnecessary encumbrance.”
I rely very much on advise from other travellers that I know personally, whose blogs I follow, or whose interests I share. Another important source of inspiration are essays and novels. Lost Cosmonaut by Daniel Kalder and most of the work by Colin Thubron encouraged me to travel in Siberia, because they presented the remote in a way that I can relate to. In fact, in our novel Shaman Express, one of the main characters reminisces about a trip he took in Central Asia and says: “Being buried in the anonymity of a remote part of the world proved soothing,” which is a line I wrote in my travelling journal when I was in Kyrgyzstan. The books by Willliam Dalrymple are a mine of information and I brought some of them with me on trips to Western China and India. Bruce Chatwin is always a great source of inspiration for new destinations. The Songlines is probably my favourite because it deals with aboriginal communities, they are my main area of interest now. Claude Lévi-Strauss Tristes Tropiques can be read as an adventure novel and a must read for anyone going to the Amazon. Last but no least, Nicolas Bouvier’s L’Usage du Monde (The Way of the World) is my favourite travel book and a great influence when I hesitate about going away.

How often do you go away?
As often as I can. In 2017 I realised that I had gone away so many times, that I would have saved money on air tickets if I had not came back home to Buenos Aires after each trip. So I sold everything, including my books: I put up my house for sale and I decided to take one long trip during 2018.

Who do you travel with?
Alone, almost always alone. Traveling alone gives me all the room I need to read and write. However, I have friends in most of the destinations I travel to. For example, as I write these answers, I am sitting at the terrace of the house of an old friend in Catania, Sicily with fresh coffee and a fantastic view of the Etna volcano. We just came back from nearby Noto, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where we spent the weekend with friends. He will join me in the evening when he finishes work and, together with other friends, we will go a Pink Floyd event with live music in a nearby country house. Early next month another friend that plays in the band Gabacho Maroc has invited me to go on tour with them in the South of Spain, where I plan to write an article about fusion of Western and Middle-Eastern music, a topic that I am very interested into. So I travel alone, but I get to spend a lot of time in excellent company.

Where do you see tourism in your country, in 10 years?
Thriving. Argentina has fantastic travel potential and it is a safe and friendly place to be: I can see a large increase of visitors in the next ten years. So pack your backpack and come visit soon, before it gets too crowded!

Omar Beretta is the co-author with Bénédicte Rousseau of Shaman Express . A former lawyer, yoga instructor and publishing company owner who – after a near-death experience – left his corporate career to practice yoga and shamanism, Beretta is now a full-time world traveller. He learns from people living in countries not yet fully spoilt by Western capitalism as well as indigenous communities.Beretta teaches creative writing workshops in Asunción del Paraguay. For more information, see www.yacarevolador.com

About Shaman Express by Bénédicte Rousseau and Omar Beretta (31 May 2018; paperback £9.99; I eBook £3.99; Amazon)
Although they barely know each other, a depressed divorcee and a recovering addict – both at a crossroads in their lives – decide to embark together on a journey with the intention of writing a book on experiential shamanism. But spiritual retreats and self-help books haven’t prepared them for what lies ahead.  Moving between pastoral Italy, the rugged steppes of Siberia, and the crowded streets of Thailand, the story alternates between ordinary reality and shamanic non-ordinary reality, the borders of which become blurred along the way.  They may not find what they thought they sought, but they will be forever transformed. 

Talking travel: Buenos Aires

In the first episode of Talking Travel - Women Radio Station’s new weekly show for travel news from around the world, fascinating guests and answers to your burning travel questions - we’re shining the spotlight on Buenos Aires.

Until recently Buenos Aires was starved of direct, affordable flights from the UK but - happily, listeners - change is on the horizon.

From Valentine’s Day, budget airline Norwegian Airlines will be showing its love for Argentina’s charismatic capital with the launch of the longest-ever nonstop route from Gatwick to Buenos Aires.

And the good news is that regardless of whether you’re down to your last dollar or have oodles of cash to splash, there’s plenty to do in the Paris of the South - as BA is affectionately known.


So let’s start with those who are suffering from that January skint feeling….

BA ON A BUDGET

Recoleta Cemetery
By far and away, Buenos Aires’ number one tourist attraction is Recoleta Cemetery which is open from 8am-6pm. This city of the dead is where generations of Argentina’s great and good – including Evita – were buried.
Even better? It’s absolutely free to see Evita’s final resting place.  And don’t worry about missing Eva Duarte’s mausoleum – simply follow the crowds or join a complimentary tour that’s offered in English at 11am every Tuesday and Thursday.

San Telmo market
The barrio - which means neighbourhood - of San Telmo is famous for its narrow cobbled streets and crumbling villas  – and the Feria de San Telmo (from 10am) – an unmissable Sunday market selling some of BA’s best arts, crafts and souvenirs including bombilla, the metal straw used to drink Argentina’s beloved Mate (a bitter herb drink). Even if shopping isn’t your bag, the San Telmo street market is worth visiting for the atmosphere alone: expect to see colourful street performances plus vendors loudly peddling freshly squeezed orange juice and empanadas (super South American pies).

La Casa Rosada
The Presidential palace – whose pretty pink hue demonstrates what happens when pigs blood is mixed with white paint – is home to the balcony where Argentina’s most famous son, Diego Maradona (a footballing god who made an enormous amount noise both on and off the pitch) greeted crowds from the balcony after winning the 1986 World Cup for Argentina. The pink palace is also where Evita – the country’s beloved First Lady – used to address her legion of fans often called the descamisados (shirtless ones) owing to their impoverished status.
You can tour the building for free on a Saturday or Sunday upon presentation of your passport.
www.casarosada.gob.ar

Reserva Ecologica
When the hustle and bustle of BA gets too much – as it will  – escape to the Reserva Ecologica. Compromising 360 hectares of wetlands, the Reserva Ecologica Costanera Sur – to give it it’s full name – is a popular place for hikers, picnickers, bird watchers (expect to see 300 species), bikers, nature lovers – river turtles, iguanas and nutria are all present and correct – alike. For the best views of the Rio Plata’s muddy waters, head to the eastern shoreline of the reserve.
www.buenosaires.gob.ar/ambienteyespaciopublico/mantenimiento/espaciosverdes/reservaecologica

La Boca
Working class La Boca is loaded with charm and colourful corrugated metal buildings (the ones that you see on the cover of every guidebook). It doesn’t cost a penny to stroll El Caminito – the barrio’s most famous street and browse the crafts and watch the tango dancers strut their stuff.

Feria de Mataderos
BA’s best kept secret, the Feria de Mataderos is held every Sunday in the working class barrio of Materados. Admittedly Materados is a bit of a schlep to reach (you’ll need to take bus 126, 155 or 180 from downtown for around 90 minutes) but it’s worth it to watch gauchos (Argentine cowboys) and folk singers entertain the crowds. The highlight however is the La sortija show: gauchos gallop at their fastest along a corridor of sand before rising up out of their saddle– leaving just their feet in the stirrups – in an attempt to spear a small ring, all the while cheered on by rowdy locals.
www.feriademataderos.ar

Milonga madness
One essential is to experience a milonga (traditional tango dance night.) Argentina is synonymous with sultry tango – a passionate dance that has seduced the world – and nowhere more so than Buenos Aires, where the spirit of tango oozes on every street corner. Confiteria Ideal (the grand dame of BA’s tango scene) and La Cathedral (quite possibly Baires’ coolest tango club) are mentioned in every guide book and for good reason.
However if you’re on a budget, look to La Glorieta – a free outdoor milonga which takes place every Saturday and Sunday evening at the Barrancas de Belgrano bandstand.


BLOW THE BUDGET
Now if you’re feeling flush, you’re in luck for while BA can be a bargain destination, it’s also a great place to blow the budget.
And if you start feeling a little guilty, consider this: life is short, you work hard and you deserve it…
 

The Clubhouse
Co-working in Argentina is on the rise but, as remote offices go, The Clubhouse stands head and shoulders above the competition.
By day this Palermo Soho destination for all things cool serves as a much needed work sanctuary for the creative industries, in a metropolis plagued by poor WiFi.
By night it’s a lively scene straight out of a magazine: model-esque staff serve top notch cocktails around the prettiest of pools, while other ‘after work’ events include art exhibits, tastings, talks by opinion leaders, theme parties, fashion shows and private dinners.


Floreria Atlantico
Floreria Atlantico – a secret, basement speakeasy – is arguably the best bar in BA right now. And that’s saying something in a city with no end of trendy places to go…. Upon entering the rather charming flower shop, look for the industrial freezer door and then descend the stairs to this decadent drinking den – the brainchild of renowned Argentine mixologist Renato ‘Tato’ Giovannoni.
Thanks to its modernist lighting and decent drinks mixed by cool staff, this long and narrow bar is great place to meet both hip locals and expats. Not hip? It doesn’t matter. The whole point of travelling is that you don’t have to be yourself.

Hotel Classico
Hotel Classico – the second project from Argentine born, Los Angeles based restaurateur and television personality, Adolfo Suaya – is without a doubt the hottest address in town, something its occupancy rates bear testimony to. This place is permanently full.
Guests can look forward to luxurious leather headboards, marble bed frames, walk-in rainfall showers, organic toiletries, chandeliers and classic images of the Paris of the South. Further draws include a seventh floor sun-deck, mezzanine level bar and basement cabaret club due to open next year.

Elena, Four Seasons Buenos Aires
For a sophisticated dinner, try Elena at the Four Seasons Hotel –  the BA bolt hole of choice for stars ranging from Sex and the City’s Kim Cattrall to U2 and Madonna. I’m not usually one for staying to the confines of a hotel but Elena – a stunning two storey courtyard restaurant – is worth making an exception for.
Rich interior furnishings – including a marble butcher’s table manned by an expert chef and locally-sourced antiques – seamlessly blend South American and European cultures in true Buenos Aires fashion, with hand-crafted finishes by local artisans adding a unique character. It’s the perfect place to throw yourself into a feast of local cuisine: think a selection of meats loved by locals, from precision-cut dry aged steaks to  Argentinian kobe beef expertly prepared on the rotisserie.

La Bombonera
You can’t leave Argentina without watching a live football match. To say that the Argentines adore football is arguably the understatement of the century. Football isn’t just a game in this country – it’s a religion.
And if you’re visiting Buenos Aires in particular, there’s absolutely no getting away from it (there are around two dozen professional teams in Argentina’s charismatic capital alone).
The country’s favourite team is Buenos Aires based Boca Juniors who play at the legendary La Bombonera stadium in working class La Boca.
Boca was also the first club of one Diego Armando Maradona – the street kid with a gift from God who succeeded in escaping the Argentine shanty town of Villa Fiorito, where he shared a room with seven siblings, to become the only footballer to set world-record for contract fees twice.
But bagging tickets to a Boca game isn’t cheap: you’ll have to part with a crazy amount of pesos through a ticket agency.

Casa Felix
My final suggestion, would be check out a puertas cerrada - aka closed-door restaurant. This underground dining concept has swept BA and basically sees talented chefs serve private dinners in their own homes.
Dining with what are, in essence, complete strangers may not be everyone’s cup of Mate (Argentina’s beloved herb tea) but – for me at least – this was a big part of the attraction. I loved breaking bread (both bitterly and metaphorically) with fellow foodies who, after a glass of Malbec, soon felt like old friends at a private dinner party. I felt a sense of community, together with a frisson of excitement throughout the evening – although the fact that most puertas cerradas are illegal may have had something to do with it.
If you’re listening/reading this and wondering how the (ever resourceful) Argentines are able to get away with running closed door restaurants that violate the law, all I can say is: this is Argentina. Laws there are rarely enforced.
If you’re going to a closed door restaurant, just don’t forget to bring cash (it’s a cash only world in Argentina) and book ahead: most closed-door restaurants are only open in the evenings from Wednesday to Saturday and, the buzz surrounding them is so big, that they tend to fill up fast

 

So there you have it! The low-down on BA…

Certainly the city can frustrate with its weekly power cuts and corruption, all of which means Buenos Aires can’t be described as an effortless destination.

But the rewards are immense: make no mistake this is one of Latin America’s most exhilarating cities where it’s still possible to bag tickets to a big gig only a few days beforehand and where dinner reservations don’t need to be made a month in advance.

It’s one of those places that makes you feel better, just by being there.
 

Little Black Book to Buenos Aires

Want to know where to eat, stay and play in Argentina’s charismatic capital? JAT has the answers…

 

Until recently the Paris of the South was starved of direct, affordable flights from the UK but - happily - change is on the horizon.

From Valentine’s Day, budget airline Norwegian Airlines will be showing its love for the South American giant with the launch of the longest-ever nonstop route from Gatwick to Buenos Aires.

On arrival, spend the money you have saved on fantastic food (Argentina’s steakhouses are legendary), Malbec (Argentina’s signature grape which is responsible for the lush, dark red wines we all know and love) and futbol games, before tangoing up a storm.

TNT’s Argentine aficionado, Kaye Holland, opens her address book and shares some of her favourite spots in her beloved Buenos Aires.
 

Eating out: Peron Peron restaurant
For a politically charged dinner, pop into Peron Peron - a Palermo hotspot where food and fun are always on the menu.
The heart of Humboldt Street (a popular haunt of Buenos Aires’ middle classes) isn’t where you would expect to find a restaurant paying homage to Evita and her husband General Juan Peron but regardless of the fact that Mauricio Macri - Argentina’s first non Peronist president in over a decade - is in power, this place is always packed.
The menu is packed full of Peron’s favourite foods - think Pastel de papas (shepherd’s pie) and loco (pork and red chorizo stew), while Evita memorabilia and graffiti adorns the walls.
Expect your meal to be punctuated by Evita's passionate speeches to the Peronist masses, which play every so often from loud speakers - as does the Peronist march, with diners rising to sing along while slapping the table.

www.facebook.com/ElPeronPeron/


The Office: The Clubhouse

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Looking for somewhere to work? You’re in luck: co-working in Argentina is on the rise but, as remote offices go, The Clubhouse stands head and shoulders above the competition.
By day this Palermo Soho destination for all things cool serves as a much needed work sanctuary for the creative industries, in a metropolis plagued by poor WiFi.
By night it’s a lively scene straight out of a magazine: model-esque staff serve top notch cocktails around the prettiest of pools, while other ‘after work’ events include art exhibits, tastings, talks by opinion leaders, theme parties, fashion shows and private dinners.
The Clubhouse also features four distinctive rooms (like the guests, no two rooms are the same) for those who are keen to make their ‘commute’ to the ‘office’ as short and sweet as possible.

www.clubhouseba.com


Shop to it: Feria de Mataderos
An excellent market - and one of BA's best kept secrets - is the Feria de Mataderos, which is held every Sunday in the working class barrio of Materados.
Admittedly Materados is a bit of a schlep to reach (you’ll need to take bus 126, 155 or 180 from downtown for around 90 minutes) but it’s worth it to watch gauchos (Argentine cowboys) and folk singers entertain the crowds, while chewing down on hearty dishes such as humitas (corn cakes).
However the standout of La Feria de Matadero is without a doubt the La sortija show: gauchos gallop at their fastest along a corridor of sand, before rising up out of their saddle – leaving just their feet in the stirrups – in an attempt to spear a small ring, all the while cheered on by rowdy locals.
www.feriademataderos.ar
 

Sleepover: 133 Libertad

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Most people will tell you to stay in a hotel in Palermo but personalIy I’d advise avoiding the pre packaged path and checking into Airbnb abode, where you’ll get character and local charm rather than inflated prices. 
There are lasting memories to be gained from staying at 133 Libertad – a gorgeous courtyard apartment that will have you checking house prices before you leave. Many of the rooms boast patios and all are tastefully furnished – proof sophistication is possible on a shoestring budget.
The atmosphere is instantly relaxing and the hosts, Matias and Cande – a friendly and unfeasibly good looking young Porteno couple – will go out of their way to make sure you fall under the spell of their city. T
he central location can’t be bettered either, enabling you to hastily tick of the sights and then lose yourself in the street life. 
http://life.www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/2087059


After dark: La Bompa del Tiempo
Buenos Aires may be famous for its sultry tango – a passionate dance that has seduced the world – but La Bompa del Tiempo is out to change this.
Every Monday from 7-10pm in Abasto’s Konex Cultural Centre, this hugely talented percussion group takes to the stage to blend Argentine rhythms with Central American and African beats to enraptured gringoes and locals alike. It’s fast becoming one of Buenos Aires’ biggest and best parties and is an experience not to be missed.
Two tips: unless you like a queue arrive early (by 7pm the queue snakes half way around the block) and leave your iPhone et al at home. Argentina has banned the sale of iPhones meaning shiny Apple products are irresistible to the city’s pickpockets, something I can, sadly, attest to.

www.labombadetiempo.com


Coffee break: Las Violetas

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Buenos Aires has a great and enduring obsession with coffee. Caffeine runs in the blood of Portenos, bringing them out of their homes and onto the streets, in search of a coffee house like Las Violetas - a French style 1884 patisserie and cafe that’s located over in Buenos Aires’ Almagro neighbourhood and was declared a Heritage Site back in 1998.
Here the cortado (a shot of espresso, with an equal amount of steamed milk) is served on silver platters by waiters in white jackets, in stunning surroundings: think black and white floors, stained glass windows and marble columns. This special spot offers more than merely a cup of Joe: it guarantees a thick slice of middle class Porteno life. 

www.lasvioletas.com/

 


Tango time: La Viruta

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Only a philistine would leave Buenos Aires without taking in some tango (arguably Argentina’s greatest contribution to the world). One caveat: skip the overpriced tango shows (the preserve of tourists) and make for a milonga (tango club). Even if you’ve got two left feet, milongas like La Viruta are worth visiting for the atmosphere and phenomenal people watching alone. Just don’t forget to factor in a power nap before you head out: Buenos Aires is all about the night and, as such, if you leave a milling much before 4am (when it comes to partying, Portenos don’t do things by half), you’ll be labelled an amateur.
www.lavirutatango.com

 

Culture vulture: Buenos Aires Street Art

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The Argentine capital is one of the world’s best cities for street art. Graffiti artists have quite literally made BA their canvas, helped by the fact that there are almost no restrictions as to where they can paint in the city: all that spray-paint Picassos require is the permission of the home-owner. As such, expect to see inspiring murals brightening up every barrio from Villa Crespo to Colegiales.

One of the best ways to see Buenos Aires’ spectacular street art scene is by signing up-to a walking tour with Buenos Aires Street Art. Founded by Matt Fox- Tucker, a Brit who co-authored the book Textura Dos – Buenos Aires Street, the tour takes guests through the grime and glamour of the ‘Paris of the South’ via the streets of number of different neighbourhoods in the northwestern part of the city.

www,buenosairesstreetart.com/


Read all about it: El Ateneo Grand Splendid bookstore

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Book lovers rejoice! Book shops may be shutting down left, right and centre in every other city, but Buenos Aires is brimming with brilliant bookshops including  El Ateneo Grand Splendid – voted the world’s second best bookshop by The Guardian

El Ateneo Grand Splendid was once a theatre – as the balconies, white and gold-leaf boxes, crimson stage curtains and high painted ceilings bear testimony to. 

Subsequently El Ateneo attracts as many photographers - and gourmands (the stage has been turned into a majestic cafe) - as it does book-worms.It’s a must see see.

www.yenny-elateneo.com

 

Bar chick: Floreria Atlantico
Floreria Atlantico – a secret, basement speakeasy – is arguably the hottest bar in BA right now. And that’s saying something in a city with no end of trendy places to go….
Upon entering the rather charming flower shop, look for the industrial freezer door and then descend the stairs to this decadent drinking den – the brainchild of renowned Argentine mixologist Renato ‘Tato’ Giovannoni.

Thanks to its modernist lighting and decent drinks mixed (plump for the Principe de los Apóstoles, aka gin mixed with yerba mate, Argentina’s iconic herbal tea) by cool staff, this long and narrow bar is great place to meet both hip locals, expats and a perhaps a few celebs: Mexican actor and director, Gael Garcia Bernal, is a fan. 

www.floreriaatlantico.com.ar


Vegging out: Vita
Argentina’s meat obsession is intense, but veggies are far from neglected either.
If you’re looking to go meatless in the metropolis, venture to Vita which serves as refuge from the madness of nearby Plaza de Mayo – an always lively square. Choose from an array of homemade vegetarian and vegan salads, sandwiches, soups and hearty hot dishes like lasagne. Desserts don’t disappoint either: the coconut tart is definitely worth the calories.
The complimentary and reliable (a rare thing in Buenos Aires) WiFi is a further treat.

Hipolito Yrigoyen 583,Buenos Aires, Argentina (43420788)


Tea time: Queen of Tarts

Queen of Tarts.jpg

 

A British tea room serving the daintiest of sandwiches, fluffy freshly-baked scones and a selection of cakes, is the one thing you almost certainly wouldn’t expect to find in Argentina’s capital.

Think again. Queen of Tarts - a traditional British tea room - was opened 18months ago by Brits, Emily Farmer and Claire Griffiths, and business has been better than either expected.

Homesick expats, curious locals and inquisitive travellers, in need of a break from beef, who are looking to experience BA’s secret world of dining (the exact address of the tea room is revealed, once a reservation has been made) are flocking to Queen of Tarts in their droves.
They come for the classic afternoon tea but also for the antique-style furniture, that’s aimed at transporting guests to olde England.
www.queenoftarts.com.ar/

View the post here: http://www.justabouttravel.net/2018/04/09/little-black-book-to-buenos-aires-2/

Travel tips for 2018

Buenos Aires
Until recently Argentina’s charismatic capital was starved of direct, affordable flights from the UK but change is on the horizon. From Valentine’s Day, budget airline Norwegian Airlines will be showing its love for the South American giant with the launch of the longest-ever nonstop route from Gatwick — to Buenos Aires.
On arrival, spend the money you have saved on fantastic food (Argentina’s steakhouses are legendary but you’ll also, thanks to Italian immigration in the past, find excellent pizza and pasta all washed down with copious amounts of Malbec), futbol games(football is a religion) and first class tango (arguably Argentina’s greatest contribution to the world)  shows.

Rwanda
Rwanda – a tiny East African country whose name will always be tinged with tragedy – may not have previously figured on your bucket list but it should.
It has some of the world’s most wonderful wildlife (Rwanda is one of only three countries in the world where you can still find mountain gorillas in the wild, and is the leader when it comes to their conservation) and a particularly progressive capital in Kigali. Make no mistake: Rwanda’s capital city is safe (violent crime is near non-existent, and the terrorist threats that have plagued other East African destinations have not affected Rwanda) and spotless thanks to Umuganda, a monthly street clean-up).
What’s more, now that RwandAir flies direct from London Gatwick to Kigali three times a week, reaching Rwanda has never been more accessible or affordable.