Tag Archives: Jardin Zoologico

Don’t Pet the Cats


Photo Credit: Andshewas

In my Top Ten Things post, I mentioned that it’s worth your time to visit the cats in Parque Carlos Thays in Palermo.

It’s surprising how tame the cats are. They are used to cat lovers who arrive daily to set out little dishes of food at set locations. They are also used to Argentines willing to sit on a park bench and pet them. Some of them used to be in loving homes, so it’s natural that they enjoy human company.

Despite my best intentions, I could not walk past the park on Friday night without petting one. Despite the large sign that says, “Do not pet the feral cats.” I admit to having a weakness–combined with bad cat allergies.

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Top Ten Things to Do in Buenos Aires

Tango Dancers at Confiteria Ideal

Photo Credit: Gerrysan

Have a week to spend in Buenos Aires? Here are my top ten things to do here.

  • Enjoy cafe con leche with a medialuna outside a cafe and people watch.
  • Walk alongside Puerto Madero.
  • Watch tango at a milonga such as Confiteria Ideal. (Request a table in the back to respect the dancers.)
  • Go downtown: Visit the Plaza San Martin, Obelisk, Plaza de Mayo, and the Casa Rosada. This is a perfect walking day.
  • See Evita’s grave and beautiful mausoleums at Recoleta Cemetary.
  • Visit la Boca neighborhood. (Stick to the main tourist streets.)
  • Peruse the San Telmo Street Fair on a Sunday morning.
  • Take a colectivo to Feria de Mataderos on a Sunday afternoon.
  • Visit the cats in Parque Carlos Thays near the Jardin Zoologico.
  • Shop at the boutiques in Palermo Viejo and stop by Plaza Serrano on a weekend.

If you have time to leave Buenos Aires for a day during your visit, take the Buquebus to Colonia, Uruguay, or day trip to the town of Tigre using a commuter train from Retiro. Both trips are an hour away and worth the time.

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Elephant at the Jardin Zoológico

Elephant at the Jardin Zoológico

E. took this picture back in March. There must be a fountain inside the gargoyle’s head.

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Red Pandas at the Coming of Fall

Red Panda_BA Zoo

I used to have a children’s book that had pictures of red pandas. I have had a fondness for them ever since, but I never get to see them since they are nocturnal. Lucky for E. and me, this one woke up just as we came by to visit. (Photo courtesy of E.)

We visited the Buenos Aires zoo on Friday. It isn’t a particularly well known zoo. Some of the enclosures were too small. The bears seemed very depressed–one kept walking in dazed circles around her water pool. The elephants seemed happy, though, as did other animals. We enjoyed one of the last few warm days we’ll have. Fall is here.

One of my favorite parts of the zoo was the agoutis. Agoutis are a large guinea pig-like animal that roams around foraging, much like a rat. They’ve obviously been indulged by the visitors. There were only two agoutis in the agouti enclosure because all of the rest were trailing small children and easy targets like me. I gave one a few kernels of sweet popcorn.

I have recently corresponded with an expatriate from the U.S. who lives in a close neighborhood to mine. Her name is Deby from http://www.tangospam.typepad.com. She’s a well known tango dancer at the clubs. I’m hoping to visit a club with her and see the true tango life. She also corrected me on the instrument used for tango music. It’s not the accordion; tango musicians use the bandoneon.

Today I graded papers all day, but tomorrow I hope to see some new neighborhoods such as San Telmo and La Boca. La Boca appears in a lot of photographs of Argentina. The buildings are painted in crazy, vivid colors. It’s not the best tourist location, though, as some areas are seedy.

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