I was nominated by Ruth from Tanama Tales to participate in the “My 7 Links” project. I’ll be honest and say that I’d never heard of that project until Ruth included me in her list, but upon reading her post I got excited to participate. It all began when the folks at TripBase set the ball rolling and created a wonderful chain reaction of travel-related posts.
The rules state that oneblogger is nominated to take part, then he or she publishes his/her 7 links on his/her blog and nominates up to five other bloggers.
I’m not sure this post can be called controversial but it did elicit a lot of responses. I’d like to thank everyone for sharing their experiences and thoughts. You’re From Where!? is about how some people’s prejudices affected their perception of my ethnicity and nationality.
MOST HELPFUL POST
I’d like to think that all my travel tips are helpful but since I have to choose one, I’d say that this one about the seaside resort of Mar del Plata, Argentina, provided some useful information for visitors.
A POST WHOSE SUCCESS SURPRISED YOU
A while ago, some fellow bloggers and I took part in a group post about weddings in different countries. I was surprised to see that my Argentinean wedding aroused so much interest!
A POST YOU FEEL DIDN’T GET THE ATTENTION IT DESERVED
The waiter brings a steaming cup of café con leche and three plump medialunas. I’ve been looking forward to this moment for months. Although I know it’s not done in public, I can’t resist the temptation to dunk that sweet goodness into the coffee. The alchemy is perfect.
My table at Confitería Boston is strategically positioned outside so I can watch people jog by and walk their dogs along the sea front, enjoy the blue green sea and breathe the invigorating salty air.
I take the 511 bus to the Banquina de Pescadores, the picturesque wharf where local fishermen unload the day’s catch from their orange boats. It is also the official residence of the city’s mascots, the sea lions. I walk past the shops selling tourist tat on my way to the quay. There are quite a few tourists there already. I take a few pictures of the sea lions lounging on the pier.
Maybe I should do just that: lounge in the sun. But first, lunch. I take the south-bound 511 bus and get off at Mirador Waikiki in Punta Cantera. I pray there’s a table available on the deck over the rocks and sea. There is one. I sigh with relief. The view of the beach, the sea and Mar del Plata’s skyline from that deck is mesmerizing.
I spend a leisurely hour or two sprawled on a hammock by the pool in the company of a good book and a refreshing drink. I strike up a conversation with fellow loungers. I then take a bracing walk along the beach.
So much sun and fresh air makes me a little tired. This time, I take a taxi back to the hotel. I book a relaxing massage session at the spa in readiness for the night’s revelries.
I go to Pehuén, a parrilla –steakhouse- in the trendy Barrio Los Troncos area. I meet up with the people I met earlier at the beach and have great steak, entertaining conversation and good wine. After dinner, we head to Avenida Constitución, where most of the clubs are . We choose Sobremonte and party to Latin rhythms until all hours.
At breakfast, I’m faced with a difficult decision. Should I go back to Confitería Boston and its delicious medialunas or try the famous churros at Manolo? Manolo wins and I head to their best location, the one on Boulevard Marítimo and Castelli Street. I’m regaled with mouth-watering dulce de leche-filled churros, coffee and views of the shimmering sea.
I stroll around, admiring the turn-of-the-century mansions and wondering where to go next. My motto is “when in doubt, go shopping”, so I head to Avenida Juan B. Justo. It’s known as the “avenida de los puloveres”, the avenue of sweaters, because the textile industry used to be very important and almost as big as the fishing industry, Mar del Plata’s bread and butter. Nowadays, Juan B. Justo is lined chock-a-block with clothes shops.
By the time I visit a few shops and score a few bargains, it’s already lunchtime. I take a taxi to Centro Comercial Puerto, the commercial area near the port, for some fish and seafood. The fish is as fresh as it gets, caught that day from the same sea I admired at breakfast. There are many options. I go to Chichilo and have a cazuela de mariscos – a fish and seafood stew in a tomato broth.
Now is a good time to take a stroll along Güemes Street and slowly make my way back to the hotel and real life.
Confitería Boston, often referred to simply as “la Boston”, has been “the” place to go for the classic Argentinean combo of “café con leche y medialunas” (coffee and croissants) since 1958. There are four branches around the city: Diagonal Pueyrredón 3050, Buenos Aires 1927, Boulevard Marítimo 3887, Rivadavia 3050 and Av. Constitución 4694. My personal favourite is Boulevard Marítimo because it’s on the sea front.
Public transport – buses: Mar del Plata’s bus network is really good; it covers the whole of the city and the outskirts and connects it with the neighbouring towns of Santa Clara, Sierra de los Padres, Chapadmalal and Miramar. Since bus drivers don’t accept cash, you need to purchase a prepaid bus card at any of these locations. You can always hail a cab if buses are not your preferred means of transport.
Mirador Waikiki’s address is Avenida Martinez de Hoz 4320. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and are open all year round. Waikiki has a swimming pool and private beach area and there are cabanas and umbrellas for rent.
This photo was taken at Banquina de los Pescadores, a pier in the Port of Mar del Plata where the traditional yellow fishing boats come to unload the day’s catch. It is home to a bunch of sea lions, the city’s mascots.