If you want to go and check out the historic sites of Buenos Aires town centre, Christmas Eve is the perfect day to do so. Ninety five percent of the shops are closed. The roads are quiet. The only people out and are people like us – tourists. There’s no scrambling to hold a place on the path. No restaurant hawkers trying to coax us inside. Street sellers area few in the centre. We are pretty much free to roam and check out The Presidential Palace, the main square, the thin streets with European looking buildings, the main parade … And well, that’s it really.
The appeal of city centres loses it’s appeal after you have been to a few. Take me to a wide open expanse when nature dominates, now that gets me (and the boys) more excited.
Hailing a taxi we make our way to St Elmo where there promises to be a market. The market set on the cobblestone streets does not dissapoint. It stretches in many directions for block after block. There is an antique section, lots of hand made arts and crafts. Knick knacks for tourists as well as clothes, belts, plants and food.
Along one of the market streets we find an Italian Restaurant which is more like an establishment which has clearly been operating for years. The waiters are all over fifty, they seat us with thick Argentinean accents and talk amongst themselves just like they are family.
The Buenos Airen’s are a lively bunch. Even though no shops are open (not even for a Helado) They party late into the night to sleep well into the morning. Christmas Eve toppled itself right into the wee hours of Christmas morning with singing, laughter, barking dogs and delight.