Sunday, June 21, 2009

Feria de los Matadores

Dear Chicago,

I write in a Havana cafe on Cabildo street, warmed by a submarino hot chocolate and tired after a long weekend! The original plan for this Sunday was to spend it meandering an area of the city known as "La Boca", a touristy strip full of things to see and a famous part of the city. Because the Boca's Junior futbol team was playing, we were advised to stay far away from the area! Instead, the girls and I roused ourselves after a late night out (I got home at 5:30) and met in the subway tunnels to head north. With help from an information booth we figured out the local bus we needed to take to get to the 'Feria de los Matadores'. An hour's ride seemed very long to head to a Sunday market, but I was up for something different and the weather was mild. The girl who put this together had no idea where to get off the bus - not a very relaxing way to travel! As Grandma Terry would have said, "you're never lost if you have a tongue in your mouth" so I enlisted a local to help us find our way.

The first bit of the market we saw was a pathetic little stretch of tarps and used clothing... but when we finally found the market it was awesome! Hundreds of stalls radiated out from a center stage where tango singers played milonga songs and gauchos sang cowboy songs from the pampas. It was so much fun! There were crowds of local families out for Father's Day. I dove right in and enjoyed a 'lomopan' - giant slices of steak on bread. We doused them in chimichurry sauce and ate standing around in the sun with locals speaking spanish. It felt refreshingly authentic.


After a few hours of strolling, we had worked up room for dessert - freshly made crepes slathered in an inch of dulce de leche. Carrie and I split one, because even MY sweet tooth couldn't handle that much pure sugar. The picture acurately captures the gooey, sticky goodness we ate al fresca:

Another successful Sunday. It was great to get out of the city again and see a new part of the province. Successful shopping for K and J, too! They will be happy to see what I picked up today. I wish you were here, pookies! Today would have been a lot of fun with you both (everything else, too, of course).

Planning a busy week with

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