Today we decided to take a day trip to Tigre. It is a large delta on the end of the Rio de la Plata and is a 1 hr train ride from Buenos Aires. Our girls were born in the year of the tiger, hence the title.
There are two different trains you can take- the main Mitre line or the tren de la costa. The Train de la Costa, as named, runs along the coast but starts quite a ways outside BA. My wife and I spent an hour the night before the trip working logistics of bus vs train swapping to get to the costa line. We finally decided to take the main train line to Tigre for the easier access and take the costa train back for a leisurely scenic ride. Good thing. After arriving in Tigre we discovered the tren de la costa was not running that day anyway.
This morning we rolled out of bed, got the girls up, alternated feeding and readying the girls with readying ourselves. We grabbed empanadas to go and a cab then hit the road.
We decided to go to a small train stop and not the main Retiro station. Despite the promising forecast, the raindrops started falling as we pulled into the ‘station.’ We left all rain gear at home so we crowded under the small mini-roof of the rotting wood that made up this tiny building. There was no one selling boletos- just a hand written sign on cardboard that said in Spanish that the worker had gone to the restroom. They let us into Tigre station without tickets. Can’t make stories like this up. The rain let up shortly thereafter and we had a great day.
Tigre is a peaceful little town on the river. We strolled along the riverfront while the girls caught up on their missed nap. Only intermittent boat traffic broke the silence of the gentle, cool breezes. We toured the little Tigre art museum. The art was forgettable but the house was brilliant- aged, but brilliant as are many large houses in and around the area. There are also a number of decaying buildings along the river. It appeared as if Tigre might face extinction if it can’t find a way to stay relevant. Despite that, there absolutely was a charm to the placid serenity of the area.
The biggest surprise in Tigre was the mercado de frutos. It was fantastic. Tons of small cafes and stalls selling local food and drinks around the perimeter of the market led us to believe it was like most other flea markets selling the usual knick knacks. Inside the market we found very interesting locally produced items. There were also a number of shops selling upscale, modern furniture and clothing. The whole area was very clean and new. It appears this is the direction Tigre has chosen to reinvent itself. This area must be very popular with the Portenos on the weekends. I think Tigre is on the right track.
We missed our chance to take a river cruise. This was our top priority when we set out in the morning but we arrived just as the last boat of the day was leaving the dock. Still, we were very happy with the trip. We had a great time strolling the area and, if anything, wished we had more time to peruse the market wares. Tranquility was the reward of the day.