Our next to last day in Buenos Aires was a bit more relaxed than the previous days. Also, I finally dared take a picture of a homeless person. It was so clear that the economy had hit people hard, and it was not unusual for us to see people sleeping on a corner here and there, asking for money, and even entering restaurants to beg for food or money. Really sad. A sobering reminder to count your blessings and to think how things beyond your control can bring your life tumbling down.
For breakfast that day, I had been dying to try a traditional place near our place, called Bar Varela - Varelita. I think it's been there for 80 years or so! And, unlike every other single day, instead of medialunas (croissants) I ordered tostados (toasted bread with cheese and ham). Nothing out of this world, but so many people had them for breakfast, and I simply had to try! Well, and I did finish with a medialuna from my habib's plate, LOL.
Also, since we were in a "gotta try stuff soon, 'cause we're leaving soon" mood, right after breakfast we stopped at a place that sold empanadas and got a couple of their famous empanadas de Tucumán. Made right there (we had to wait 10-15 minutes), and packed with such a juicy filling! That caught us a bit by surprise, leading to a huge stain on my habib's shirt! Oh well...
Since I wanted to see the Río de la Plata from the ground, we headed to Puerto Madero, a new part of the city with fancy buildings, modern architecture, and a nice and slender bridge by Calatrava called "The women's bridge". Now, do note that the water you see there is not the Río de la Plata, it's a tiny parallel river called Río Dársena Sur.
We walked quite a bit around the area, all the way to the beginning of a natural reserve (reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur). The river itself was across and beyond the reserve and, frankly, it was one damn sunny and warm day... There was no way we were going to walk all that so, instead, we sat for a bit enjoying the views of the reserve and its birds, then had a leisurely walk along the waterfront, and we finally stopped for a bite of something I was dying to try - choripán! Basically, Argentinean chorizo (which has nothing to do with Mexican or Spanish varieties, being way, way less spicy) on a bun and whatever condiments you want to add (usually pesto). And you know what? It was absolutely delicious!
Like on previous days, we decided to have a nap home, especially since the hot weather and all the walking had really drained us. But night-time was meal-time again! So we went for a very Argentinean pizza first: fugazza, which is kind of like focaccia, but with lots of cheese and onion (a Ligurian-Genovese-Argentinean thing). And we had it at the place that claimed to have started the tradition in Buenos Aires - Banchero. Of course, I had to "pair" that with a muzzarella pizza as well. And some funny grapefruit soda. Not bad at all.
And then dessert had to follow, at one of Buenos Aires's most famous ice-cream parlours - Cadore. There I had a lime ice-cream, which was unsurprisingly good. But I also had a dark chocolate one. Wow, it was literally like having melted dark chocolate turned ice-cream! So rich! So creamy! So cacao-full!
And to finish with something more cultural and soothe the guilt of eating so much food, we went book-shopping! There are so many amazing bookshops around Avenida Corrientes, both second-hand and new prints. We spent way more at the second-hand ones, of course, and we left with a number of items, including a very curious encyclopedia of the Jewish world (in Spanish) and a book on the myth of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (which I am currently reading). So, success! On all fronts!
The next day was going to be our last, and we had quite a few plans to make that day count...