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Happy Holidays from BA!

December has been filled with a ton of new adventures for us including somethings going better than planned and some things going desperately off the rails. I suppose we should have expected that from Buenos Aires by now, but it still takes the planner in me by surprise. Here are our favorite highlights on December so far!

World Cup 2022

So first a few facts:

1. Argentina hasn't won the World Cup in 36 years (until now)

2. We had no idea the world cup would be playing while we were here, in our infinite planning it just never came up!

3. We moved less than a mile away from the Obelisco (monument everyone gathered at) the day before the final.

4. I, Alysha, knew of one footballer and one only before this world cup: Messi. Turns out that's all I needed to know.

I didn't even realize Messi was an Argentine player until Hans mentioned it if you can believe it. Soon, as the game got closer and closer we started to see decorations in every shop and people cheering through the city during the qualifying games. As someone deeply uninterested in sports let me tell you this: you will never steal these people's joy about football and you WILL participate. At one point I was in a work meeting and Argentina scored a goal. I had to pause the meeting before I could talk because the cheering was so loud from both outside and the other room where Hans was joining in. It's really not to join in if I'm being honest!

We got Messi jerseys for the last few games and seven experienced the game at a local pub with a sea of folks in jerseys. We were set to take a ferry to Uruguay the day before the final and then travel back the day of the final and while Hans getting sick wasn't on the preplanned agenda, it was definitely for the best that we cancel the Uruguay trip. From the 17th-20th EVERYTHING in Argentina was shut down, they declared a national holiday on Tuesday and people flooded the streets for days cheering and screaming about how happy they were for the win. Possibly the largest gathering of people in Argentine history, 5-6 million people, all cheering on this underdog win for Argentina. We still can't believe we got to be here.

Visa Renewal

Well since we missed that trip to Uruguay our tourist visa was set to expire on December 30th. However, if this ever happens to you in Argentina, just know you can renew your visa at the Argentine migration office, and follow these instructions: (shoutout to Tango Lounge for the instructions, they were very accurate!)

To obtain the 90 day extension:

  1. Go to Av. Antártida Argentina 1355. The office opens at 8:00 am and it’s best to arrive early before 8:30 am as lines get longer the later you start the process. Bring your passport, mask and 4,000 pesos.

  2. Look for the sign "Citas Turnos" and get in this line. Show them your entry stamp in your passport, and say “quiero extender mi visa de turista”, and they’ll let you through.

  3. Follow the steps in the process - you will be told where to go and what to do next through various stations and queues. There are employees at every step in the process guiding you, and you’ll have to tell each of them “quiero extender mi visa de turista” so that they send you to the correct place for the next step in the process.

  4. At the first station, someone will ask for your passport. They hold onto it and ask you to take a seat. They call you back and give you back your passport and a paper ticket, and on it is printed your name, purpose of visit (visa extension), and a queue number. When your turn is up, they call you by name.

  5. You present your passport and the paper ticket at the counter. They take your picture, fingerprint both hands, and may ask some questions like what you do for work and if you are married. They will give you a piece of paper and tell to go pay at the cashier’s counter, which is at the opposite corner of the large room, labeled "Cash Desk" in english.

  6. At the cashier’s counter, you hand the person behind the cashier’s window the paper and cash, and they give you a receipt. You take the receipt back to the person who told you to pay for the visa and will tell you to take a seat in the waiting area.

  7. Wait for your name to be called and receive a piece of paper to finalize the extension online. They give you instructions on where to go online to complete the process, but currently you navigate to then to the "Autogestion" section then to "residencias".

The fee is 4,000 pesos. Bring your passport and a mask! Expect this process to take 1-4 hours, depending on how early you get there. It’s best to arrive before 8am before the lines for each step become longer. The extension is automatically set for an additional 90 days and they can only do it once so for the next set of 90 days they recommended we leave the country and return like we were planning to do with Uruguay.

December Restaurants

Some of our favorite spots this month have been:

  • Mishuguene - On the 50 best list, review coming soon

  • Don Julio - 2nd best restaurant in LatAm, review coming soon

  • Trattoria Olivetti - The pasta was AMAZING

  • Extrawurst - A German-owned bratwurst restaurant with amazing beer and even better brats

  • Ol' Days Cafe - Best chai latte we've ever had, but also very refreshingly veggie-forward menu

  • Fabric Sushi - Really cool atmosphere and top tier sush

  • Roux - Fabulous flavors and well portioned. This was our Christmas eve dinner!

  • La Cabrera (al Paso) - Great steak, very cheaply priced.

  • La Garage - Lovely bakery, amazing cinnamon rolls!!

  • La Mar - Located in Miami as well, great seafood and desserts, but a little pricey

  • Juan Pedro Caballero - BEST mexican tacos in BA

  • Perro Verde Cantina - Delicious, highly recommend the provoleta here

Spa day in Buenos Aires

We decided to have ourselves a little spa day this month and found Tedelupulo online. First of all our masseuse didn't speak English as her first language, but tried for Hans' sake, that is ALWAYS appreciated. Second, if you enjoy a nice beer, a soak in a hot tub and/or a hot sauna this is the experience for you. Our experience lasted for about 3 hours and in that time we each had probably 2-3 pints of beer, a spread of falafel, cheese, cheesecake bites and a sweet dark beer and mead to wash it all down. This might not have had a huge effect except we were also sitting in the hot tub, receiving a scrubdown or sitting in the hot sauna through this as well so we left feeling a bit tipsy. We will definitely be doing this again, it was a ton of fun!!

Coming up in a week or so we have a trip to Tigre Delta for some kayaking and a rooftop asado party to ring in the new year.

Stay tuned for more of our adventures in BA and have a happy holiday season!!

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