Feria de San Telmo

The San Telmo Sunday market is a huge draw for both locals and tourists, so it gets packed, especially on weekends, and on a 25-degree Spring Sunday afternoon like today. Wonderfully warmed by the sunshine you’re shuffling along at a snail’s pace, so plenty of time to peer and poke around in the jammed curio stalls and food stands. If it’s old glass soda siphons, hoards of silver and jewellery, vintage gaucho-wear, pressed leather wallets and purses, hand carved horn mate cups or gourds, vintage Argentine packaging – tins and jars – and a multitude of flea market bric-a-brac, then you’ve come to the right place. The market is here on Plaza Dorrego, a gorgeous shady cobbled square surrounded by elegant balconied 19thCentury buildings and loads of small restaurants, bars and late-night tango clubs. In the centre of the square are trees sporting avocado-like pods which explode into large fluffy cotton balls along and at the ends of their branches – we had no idea what these were but when the breeze picks up they lift from the branch and fly around in the air (the tree trunks, like some we saw in Mexico, are covered with large rose-like thorns – Ant). Home to google we now know these to be palos borrachos (drunken poles). Apparently the cotton explosions give way to purple flowers. Hopefully we get to see some. But for today everything, as always in the square, was accompanied by sliding Tango music. It’s quite magical.

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