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We recently took a tour around Buenos Aires with a historian who explained the roots of tango. We went around the neighbourhoods of San Telmo, La Boca and Abasto. We have written a brief history of what we have learnt on this page. Hope you enjoy reading it.

Recientemente, hemos hecho un tour por Buenos Aires con una historiadora que nos conto los origenes del tango. Visitamos los barrios de San Telmo, La Boca y Abasto y los vimos con nuevos ojos. Hemos escrito un resumen breve de lo que aprendimos en esta pagina. Esperamos que os guste!

DALE DALE BOCA! DALE DALE BOCA!

Last week, we managed to get tickets to a game at the Bombonera to watch Boca in the Copa Libertadores (equivalent to the Champions League in Europe). The stadium was filled to the brim with blue and gold, and you could feel the excitement! Boca needed to have a 5 goal difference at the end of the game to guarantee qualifying for the next round, so we were looking forward an intense and exciting game. They played against Maracaibo, a relatively unknown side from Venezuela, where there isn´t a football tradition, so the fans were ready to see goals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If they didn´t get to score enough goals, they´d be depending on the Colo-Colo vs. Atlas game that was being played at the same time.

On the way to the ground our guide told us a little of the history of Boca and the players to watch out for.
He also told us about the Barras Bravas, a mafia hooliganism organisation (they call themselves La Doce, the 12th man) centered around football and who have a lot of influence at Boca. They were the ones who sang, banged their drums and made most of the noise throughout the whole game.

Our tickets were in different areas of the stadium, but in true South American style that didn´t count for much and you could sit pretty much anywhere, unless some intense scary looking fan would tell you to move! As the first half kicked off a huge flag almost spanning a entire stand descended over the Barras Bravas, and as that one was pulled up, another one (looking a lot more historic and threadbare) replaced it, all the time the fans underneath faithfully singing, playing instruments, setting off fireworks and sending streams of paper to the tiers below. The Venezuelan side mustn´t have had more than 200 fans present, so almost the whole stadium was filled with Boca supporters.

The first goal occurred soon after the kick off and sent the fans crazy, the lower tier fans rushing to the fence separating them from the pitch. The second goal came after a good break and we had to wait for the third (a great goal scored by Riquelme) early in the second half. You can see the goals here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy7FE3o7Xzg&feature=related

Luckily for Boca, Colo-Colo lost in the other game against Atlas, so Boca went through having scored only 3 goals. It was an amazing experience, the noise and atmosphere was intense and even got a glimpse of a small topless Maradonna, the most famous ex Boca player, waving his shirt from his executive box at the end of the match!

Blanca and Jon at the Bombonera

Free kick to Boca

Bombonera

3!!!

DALE DALE BOCA! DALE DALE BOCA!

La semana pasado fuimos a un partido de Boca en la Bombonera. Se jugaba la Copa Libertadores (equivalente a la Liga de Campeones). El estadio estaba lleno y los colores del Boca, azul y oro, relucian por todas partes. Se sentia la emocion, y es que Boca necesitaba una diferencia de 5 goles para pasar a la siguiente fase sin depender de nadie. Asi que estabamos preparados para un partido emocionante! Jugaban contra Maracaibo, un equipo poco conocido de Venezuela, un pais que no tiene mucha tradicion futbolera asi que todos estabamos listos para ver goles!!!!! Si no conseguian meter tantos goles, dependerian del resultado entre Colo-Colo y Atlas, partido que se estaba jugando al mismo tiempo.

Camino del estadio, el guia nos conto algo sobre la historia de Boca, los jugadores mas importantes… y los hinchas extremos y semimafiosos, las Barras Bravas, que se llaman a si mismos La doce (el doceavo jugador). Ellos son los que no pararon de animar al equipo durante todo el partido!

Teniamos tickets para diferentes zonas del estadio, pero como suele suceder en Sudamerica, nos sentamos todos juntos donde quisimos. Podias sentarte donde quisieras a no ser que un hincha con cara agresiva reclamara su lugar! En el extremo donde las Barras Bravas estaban aparecio una bandera gigantesca, que despues fue remplazada por otra que parecia mas antigua. A la vez, los fans no paraban de cantar, tocar instrumentos, arrojar papeles y bengalas… Solo habia como unos 200 fans del lado venezolano y el resto del estadio estaba lleno de fans del Boca.

Boca metio el primer gol casi al principio y el estadio enloquecio! El segundo ocurrio poco antes del medio tiempo y el tercero, en la segunda parte. Podeis ver los goles aqui: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy7FE3o7Xzg&feature=related

Por suerte para Boca, Colo-Colo perdio contra Atlas, asi que pasaron a la siguiente fase con solo tres goles. Fue un partido apasionante, el ruido y el ambiente eran intensos e incluso vimos al ex-jugador del Boca mas famoso del mundo, Maradonna, celebrando desde su tribuna despues del partido.

… the photo of the old car! The doorway in Colonia came in second.
… la foto del coche antiguo! La foto de la puerta en ruinas de Colonia quedo segunda.

And the winning photo was taken by …
Y la foto ganadora la tomo…

Jon

who also took the photos of the boxes and the last photo of the street in Colonia.
quien ademas tomo las fotos de las cajas, y la ultima foto, en una calle de Colonia.

The loser took the photos of the school bus, the doorway in Colonia, and the brickwall with kite:
El perdedor (o finalista, segun lo mires) tomo las fotos del autobus, de la puerta en ruinas y de la pared de ladrillos con la cometa:

Blanca

Pobrecita!

Jon is hiding in one of the photos on the blog, find him and win a prize that will come all the way from Buenos Aires! The first person who correctly describes the photo of where he is, by placing a comment on this post, will win the prize. Get hunting and good luck to you all!!!

Congratulations to Belen who found Jonny hiding behind the pyramid in Recoleta Cemetery.

Jon esta escondido en una de las fotos de este blog. Si lo encuentras, ganaras un premio que llegara a ti desde Buenos Aires! La primera persona que describa en este post la foto en que se esconde gana. Buena suerte a todos!

Strolling through the centre of Buenos Aires, we stumbled upon a long sprawling funnel of people in the largest avenue of the city. We had forgotten that the next leg of the torch was in Buenos Aires and we rushed (like the rest of the whole of the city) towards the centre to catch a glimpse of the torch, hopefully in the ¨hand of god¨ (aka. Maradona!) We found a spot amongst jostling, pushy journalists and reporters. A few coaches of famous argentinians rolled past, protected on either side by nervous police. There were a lot of chinese and olympic flags, but no sign of Tibet protestors other than a couple holding up ¨Free Tibet¨scibbled on some paper. As the torch was nearing, someone shouted that it had changed course so we rushed to one side, only for the police to tell us that it was actually heading back in the original direction so we ran back to where we were! Jon picked up Blanca to try and take some good photos over the heads of the crowd. We got pushed as people were keen to take a look, Blanca precarious in Jon´s arms, but we saw it! Unfortunately it wasn´t Maradona holding the torch! All the same, it was quite exhilirating being amongst the crazy crowds and very good fun!!!

La gente

Flag waving crowd

The Olympic Torch

Free Tibet ... protest

Andando por el centro de Buenos Aires, nos encontramos con una concentracion de gente en la principal avenida de la ciudad. Que pasaba? Habiamos olvidado que la antorcha olimpica pasaba por Buenos Aires ese dia, pero enseguida nos unimos a la multitud para intentar verla (con algo de suerte, veriamos como Maradonna la llevaba). Encontramos un sitio para verla bien alrededor de los reporteros y fotografos, no sin tener que dar muchos codazos. Vimos pasar varios autobuses con deportistas argentinos famosos, protegidos en todo momento por policias visiblimente nerviosos. Habia en la multitud muchas banderas chinas y muy pocos protestantes, solo vimos una pareja con dos trozos de papel que decian ¨Free Tibet¨. Cuando ya veiamos la antorcha a lo lejos, la gente empezo a gritar que habia cambiado su curso y no venia hacia nosotros, sino que giraba hacia la izquierda. Para la izquierda que se fue todo el mundo (y nosotros detras), hasta que los policias nos dijeron que no, que venia hacia nosotros, y todos volvimos a correr hacia donde estabamos. Despues de tanto movimiento, finalmente, la vimos, aunque Blanca tuvo que subirse a los hombros de Jon. No era Maradona quien la llevaba, pero igualmente nos hizo ilusion ver la antorcha y pasamos un muy buen rato luchando con la multitud… y los policias.

As porteños do, we decided to go to Uruguay for the weekend (How cool is it to say that!). Colonia del Sacramento is a short boat ride across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires. Colonia is a picturesque place on the coast, that has cobbled streets, craft shops and beautiful old cars adorning the streets, one converted into a dinning table of a restaurant we ate at. It was a beautiful place, especially strolling along the promenade at night.

Unfortunately it´s also full of bad restaurants and home to the worst hostel we´ve stayed at so far! That night was the worst we had, as wave after wave of mosquitos attacked us all night! The hostel was infested with them, and we hadn´t brought our mosquito net as we didn´t expect to need it in Uruguay! Jon must have killed at least 30, but we woke up after 3 hours sleep, under a customed made net, bitten all over! We weren´t happy!

However, the day improved, as we spent the morning on the beach and after a bit of sunbathing, we made our way to Montevideo … for more relaxation on the beach!

We really liked Montevideo, there is beautiful colonial architecture throughout the city and the coastal areas are beautiful. There is a large wide promenade lined with lush grass where the locals relax drinking mate, or exercising in the sunshine jogging along the promenade. It´s a beautiful and relaxed city. We spent most of the day sunbathing on the beach and strolling around the city. Although many compare Montevideo with Buenos Aires and find it´s not as exciting, we loved the atmosphere and the is definitely worth a week exploring the city.

Photography competition! Competicion de fotografia

So we both bought a disposable camera for Uruguay and decided to have a competition, where the winner would recieve eternal kudos for their photograpic eye from the loser. Below we have each chosen our best so it´s now your turn to judge them! Choose your favourite photo and let us know by commenting on this post!

Montevideo School Bus

Shadows and doorways in Colonia

Vegetable boxes in Montevideo

Flower bed car

Kite flying in Colonia

Old Street in Colonia

Como hacen los porteños, decidimos ir de viaje de fin de semana a Uruguay (Como mola poder decir eso!) Colonia del Sacramento esta a solo una hora en barco de Buenos Aires por el Rio de la Plata. Colonia es una ciudad de costa encantadora, con calles de adoquines, tiendas de artesania y espectaculares coches antiguos adornando las calles. Uno de ellos ha sido convertido en el reservado de un restaurante, de manera que puedes cenar en la terraza dentro de un coche antiguo! Colonia es un lugar precioso, especialmente para pasear por la costa al anochecer.

Por desgracia, tambien es un lugar lleno de restaurantes que, no solo son malos, sino tambien caros, y donde se encuentra el peor hostal en el que hemos dormido hasta ahora! Pasamos una noche horrible, intentando evitar que los mosquitos, que estaban por todo lados, nos picaran! No habiamos llevado nuestra mosquitera porque no esperabamos necesitarla en Uruguay! Jon debe haber matado como unos 30 y aun asi nos despertamos despues de solo 3 horas de sueño debajo de una improvisdada mosquitera con picaduras por todas partes!

El dia mejoro, sin embargo, ya que pasamos la mañana relajandonos en la playa y despues, tomamos el bus a Montevideo… para seguir disfrutando de la playa.

Montevideo nos encanto, hay muchos edificios de arquitectura colonial por toda la ciudad y la zona de la costa es preciosa. El paseo maritimo esta rodeado de zonas verdes donde la gente pasea, toma mate con sus amigos o familias, o hacen un poco de footing. Es una ciudad agradable y muy tranquila. Aunque mucha gente compara Montevideo con Buenos AIres, y deciden que Montevideo no es tan vibrante y animada, a nosotros nos encanto la atmosfera de la ciudad que merece la pena explorar por mas tiempo.

Competicion de fotografia

Para nuestro viaje a Uruguay, compramos una camara desechable cada uno y decidimos hacer una competicion de fotografia, en la que el ganador se ganara la admiracion del humillado perdedor para siempre! Nuestras mejores fotos estan mas arriba y vosotros sois los jueces! Decidnos cual es vuestra favorita en un comentario en este blog!