Monthly Archives: November 2014

Patagonia – El Chaltén

The first stop of our patagonia trip took us on 18.11. to El Chaltén. To get there we flew from Buenos Aires to El Calafate and from there we went on by bus to El Chaltén. This village has a population of approx. 2000 people. We stayed there in a simple but well-kept hostel. The weather was rougher compared to Buenos Aires. The temperature was below 10 degrees celcius and the wind was freezing and strong. On the 19th we did our first - and backwardlooking the most demanding - hike to mount Fitz Roy. The weather and the views where awesome. See pictures in the gallery. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA At 20.11. We had booked the "Ice Trekking" on Viedma Glacier. Here we were taken by bus and boat to the Viedma Glacier at Lake Viedma. There we got some crampons to walk on the glacier -  a free drink with glacier ice cubes has been served on top :). After the Ice Trekking we went back to El Chaltén. In the Afternoon we went by bus to El Calafate where we let the day end in a cozy evening with a nice dinner. Viedma Glacier

Tango in Buenos Aires

by Dani 
We would like to tell you from our tango experience in Buenos Aires. Actually we wanted to see a tango show, but then we read a lot of negative comments on this and we decided to even try tango by ourselves and to take lessons. We found in Tripadvisor the site of Lucía and Gerry ("Tango Classes with Lucia & Gerry" in Tripadvisor or luciaygerrytango.wordpress.com) and booked a private lesson on the same Saturday, 11/15/14, and the Tango Night Out on 11/16/14, which contained one hour lesson and a night in a real Argentine Milonga (which is a bar where you can dance tango) included. The Tango Lesson on Saturday was very unusual for us, but was a lot of fun. We have been dancing salsa for nearly two years and so, tango consists of different steps, figures and leading, so at the beginning it was quite difficult for us to learn Tango. But Lucía and Gerry, who are both professional dance teachers, were very patient with us and put us in a very short time the most important dance steps and figures at. With the tango that you learn in school dance, Argentine tango, incidentally, not very much have to do. We were after this hour so excited that we got along with the same full program on Sunday, what was 1.5 hours group classes, to which we had been invited for by Lucía and Gerry the day before. In this group danced both Argentines and tourists, who had come only for tango lessons. Lucía and Gerry showed the couples different figures depending on the dance level. It was a great and funny atmosphere. We learned in this lesson again very much for allowing us to once again get to know new figures in the subsequent class. Another couple who were also beginners, also attended and were subsequently also in the milonga with us. After the lesson we all drove together to the Calle Perú 571 to the milonga, where we spent a wonderful evening. In the milonga there was a bar and a large dance floor, at the edge of chairs and tables were. Prior to the dance floor there was a small stage for the 10-piece orchestra, which consisted of a piano, four accordison, three violins, double bass and cello, and was accompanied by a singer. The evening began with a rousing, emotional tango live music. The music was breathtaking, and the dance floor was packed. We had lots of fun while only watching and listening. Eventually we dared then on the dance floor and danced the freshly learned dance steps, while clashine with one or the other pair sometimes, but we didn't care and had incredible fun. Approx. at 2 clock we went home to the hotel, although I would have liked danced all night. The Tango fever has gripped us and it was certainly not the last tango for us ...! And if someone should be in Buenos Aires sometimes, we can only recommend Lucía and Gerry!! Photos are in the gallery!

What we have done so far in Buenos Aires…

by Dani
... today, the fifth day of our trip around the world is almost over and we now want to tell you what we have done in the last few days: Once in advance: We are overwhelmed from the city of Buenos Aires!! We have previously often heard that the city should not be so nice, but we definitely see just the opposite! Of course, the city is very contradictory, no question, and there is also a lot of poverty in all parts of the city. But the city has so many different and charming neighbourhoods, many cafes and outdoor restaurants, a lot of green spaces and parks in the city and a great nature reserve directly next to the modern district Puerto Madero. Furthermore, all people are very friendly and we have - until now - not felt unsafe at any time here in the city. We are carrying our cameras and all the stuff just as normally with us as we do at home. Monday, 11/10/2014: On Monday morning, our first official date was set on the calendar, namely the meeting with the correspondence colleagues of Moeller IP Advisors. We went there by taxi and had got by the way the first impressions of the city, because we had to go to another quarter, to Palermo. The meeting was very nice, we were welcomed by four lawyers and I have received many interesting and important information in terms of trademark law developments in South America, about which I will report in our next newsletter on www.webvocat.de. In addition, we also got some great tips for our stay in Buenos Aires. The first tip we made instantly use of was seeing "China town", which was situated nearby, and where Michael bravely tried marinated chicken feet ... he only managed to eat a toe and toenail ... then he wasn't hungry any more ;-)! Then we took a bus back towards the hotel ... luckily I had correctly understood the bus number and we arrived where we wanted to go. A bus ride of about 20 minutes costs 8 pesos per person (about 80 Euro cents)! In the evening we went from our hotel, which is perfectly situated nearby all main places in the district of San Telmo, to Puerto Madero, another, very modern district on the river, where we enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere with the many lighted buildings and bars and outdoor restaurants - of course with a cold "chopp" (a draft beer). Tuesday, 11/11/2014: On Tuesday, I was still not in best condition (I have also still taken antibiotics), which is why we have opted for a city tour with a hop-on-hop-off bus, so that we could get a rough overview of the city. Here we have seen the districts of La Boca, one of the oldest parts of the city, Caminito, Puerto Madero, Retiro, Palermo, Recoleta and San Telmo and have got many beautiful impressions of the city. Since we had been walking a lot all day, I felt not so good in the evening, so we once again made a "Picnic" at the hotel and went to bed early. Wednesday, 11/12/2014: On Wednesday we went back to Puerto Madero and have found a huge and beautiful nature reserve just next to the modern buildings where we hiked for hours, sat on the Rio de la Plata beach, which unfortunately is so contaminated that you cannot swim in it , and have seen lots of animals, including a snake ... we are just barely escaped death ;-)! In the evening we had just around the corner a nice dinner, when each one ate 450 gr of true, insanely good Argentinian steak in a really great steak restaurant "Gran Parrilla del Plata", i. e., I have eaten about 250 gr and Michael has eaten 650 gr steak :-). The whole dinner (about 40 EUR) cost with supplements, water and a bottle of wine about 400 pesos, that is not expensive. Thursday, 11/13/2014: Yesterday we wanted to take the ferry to Colonia, Uruguay. But since we were too late at the counter, they've run out of tickets. So brief change of plans: let's go to the Tigre Delta! Tigre is a suburb of Buenos Aires, located in a large delta and is extended over hundreds of small waterways and islands in the delta. We therefore took a taxi from the ferry terminal to the Retiro train station, where we (for only 75 Euro cents!!) bought a round trip ticket per person for 7.50 pesos and had been within an hour by train in Tigre. Once in Tigre we have first made a boat trip through the delta and discovered the whole weekend houses which are built on stilts on the banks of the Tigre and all have a private dock and a boat that is the main means of transportation here. After that we then looked at the town of Tigre, in which there is a small amusement park, a huge casino and a large market with many furniture stores. However, all shops and cafes close as from 6 pm in Tigre during the week, so we went back home - 🙂 ... so back to Buenos Aires. Arrived in Buenos Aires again and as our feet were gone flat again, we have set ourselves pretty lazy in the subway ("Subte") and drove back towards the hotel. The subway system is very convenient and easy to understand and does not cost too much money, a ticket per person no matter how far the distance, costs 5 pesos (about 50 Euro cents). We have therefore decided to use the subway very often from now on. By chance we have then discovered a great bar district just a few blocks from our hotel, where we unfortunately had a bad meal, but good beer. Friday, 14/11/2014: Today we took the subway towards Recoleta and Palermo, where we first went to a shopping mall, but have fortunately found nothing ;-)! But anyway we wouldn't get nothing more in our backpacks ... Our lunch (sandwiches) we have enjoyed in the sun in the grass of the park at the Plaza San Martín. Then we went to the parks in Palermo and stayed there for the afternoon, surrounded by rose gardens and a beautiful park - in the middle of the city. Shortly thereafter, we were almost run over by cars, because we had decided too late to cross one of the 6 lane roads here in the city as the traffic lights had already turned red. So we got up once in the middle of the road, but neither could return, since the cars from one direction already headed in a high speed on us, nor had the time to run to the other side, since there already approached the cars. After a short panic attack, we were simply going straight ahead running to the other side in the hope that we will not be run over by the cars ... what has worked well! After our feet are still flatter today than the day before, we decided to once again have a picnic with delicious empanadas and a beer tasting in our hotel: tested and approved were Quilmes Cristal, Quilmes 1890 and Patagonia Amber Lager :-)! Tomorrow we have so far only one plan: a private tango-dancing lesson so we can dance along in a milonga on Sunday evening, juhhu!! Apart from that we will probably be laying at the small pool and enjoy the sun and wish you a nice, hopefully not too cold Saturday! Photos will follow in the gallery ...

Arrival in Buenos Aires

by Dani
Our arrival here on Sunday was very nice. We got off the plane and it was sunny and warm, gorgeous! At customs, we had a "mug shot" and left a fingerprint and then we were allowed to officially enter Argentina. At the exit among hundreds of people waving papers with different names, fortunately, also a man with a shield, on which our names were written, was waiting for us. So, now we needed Argentinean pesos. Michael, however, was unsuccessful on the first ATM, so we just followed the guide to our driver, hoping, that we might pay the taxi with Visa. But the driver told me in Spanish - by the way, no one speaks or is willing to speak English, why I have taken over the communication here in Buenos Aires - that he only takes cash. I then asked him to stop at an ATM in town, but neither Michael nor I could withdraw money there, too. The driver was then slightly nervous and was getting a little bit angry and asked if we had no money. I promised then to change money at the hotel, which fortunately worked, because I had a few Euros left. Since our room should be ready only by 2 pm, we went into the city ... just straight on without any maps and to see what comes up. The first impressions we saw were really beautiful. We walked around the city and laid back down on the grass in a park, gorgeous! Later we finally arrived in our room and could further discover the hotel Patios de San Telmo (www.patiosdesantelmo.com.ar) which is very beautiful and like an open building, just as a patio as the name promises, with a very cozy room and even a small pool on the roof terrace, which we instantly took use of. In the evening we made ourselves a little picnic on the gallery outside our room and the first Argentinean beer and eventually fell at 8.30 pm totally exhausted, but happy in bed! Pics are in the gallery!

The Flight

By Michael The two and a half hour flight from Frankfurt am Main to Madrid as well as the 12.5 hour flight to Buenos Aires proceed without any issues. The main job was eating, drinking and sleeping. By the way, Dani seems to have got over her fear of flying *happy*. More pics in the gallery. image image

Day of Departure

by Michael Now, it's time! Today we'll depart. It's really strange, I would have expected that the anticipation is grabbing me already. But this is not the case. After the last breakfast with bun of our regular baker the anticipation begins. Do we have all the things we need? Are we still managing it to pack our back packs in time? Roughly estimated I've already stowed most of my stuff in my back pack.  But Dani is far away from that. Everything is spread on the floor of the guest room. Application for the marriage license is still to be printed out etc. I started to run scared! Palpitation and shortage of breath arise. Dani instead stayed cool. Usually at least one week before a flight her nerves are at a breaking point. Somehow this time the roles seems to be changed. Half a valium brings me back to a more or less reasonable level. Now Dani comes up with the idea of being able to pack the wedding dress for the beach ceremony in the back pack!!? But with help of the vakuum bags she even makes it! Incredible! Nothing can surprise me anymore! The door is ringing. It's half past three and Dani's parents already arrived to fetch us to the airport. My mother is going directly to the airport to wish us farewell. Half an hour later we're sitting in the car on our way to our world trip. image    image

Only 6 days!

by Dani
So, today is the last weekend at home before we finally start our trip next weekend! The excitement is huge, although it still seems unreal and we will probably believe it only when we sit on the plane. Next week we will work on the last files and orders at the office and make the final preparations. As of Thursday, we are officially on vacation ... until the end of February 2015 ... incredible! We will keep you updated! Have fun reading!