Tours and Activities:
Night and Day: Shows and ShoppingMónica PonsEduardo Epifanio
Who can resist a neat shop-window, a coffee-house in vogue and tasting all the delicacies made in a tourist destination?
An old advertisement invited people to travel without any luggage, as once they reached their destination, they could find everything they wished for. That is exactly how we felt when we arrived in the commercial center of Carlos Paz. We discovered that we could find all kinds of items, trademarks while walking down its main commercial streets and be delighted by samples of excellent cuisine before we could make up our minds to buy something.
After this summer village developed, Sarmiento Avenue, between the Cuckoo clock and the Central Bridge became a part of the old commercial center. This is the typical neighborhood main street: all kinds of stores one next to the other.
Supermarkets, drugstores and bakeries co-exist with alfajores factories, shops selling regional products and footwear and apparel stores. It may be said that prices are quite inexpensive at Sarmiento Avenue. We considered this an excellent excuse to taste the alfajores and the beers we came across on our window-shopping tour before choosing the ones we would actually take home.
Our itinerary started at 9 de Julio Avenue, where several stores offer a wide range of products. At Paseo de las Farolas everything became even more beautiful, as a short while ago, in addition to the lights, some balconies were added in the sidewalk over the pavement, containing plants, flowers and low palm trees.
Over the Central Bridge, the oldest and lowest in the city, and along 9 de Julio Avenue first and General Paz later, the stores are more modern, more stunning and elegant: commercial galleries, well-known designer clothes, leather and shoes. Coffee-shops and restaurants invade part of the sidewalks with their tables.
Once General Paz Avenue joins Libertad Avenue and along the next five blocks, cuisine boasts its most important representatives. Visitors may choose among fast lunch or dinner options (tapas, takeaway, pizza, sandwiches, pamplonas, Mexican, Basque) or impressive steak houses. This is the right place to be tempted by many cooking techniques and presentations.
We had already tasted all the brands of delicious local alfajores and grilled goat dishes. We literally put on everything we had been offered as we visited each one of the steak houses.
Every night, we returned to the same spaces we had covered during the day and the shiny lights, the crowds wandering around, the intense traffic and shops open until late hours captivated us again, just like the first time.
The marquees announcing the theater and cinema shows make up a world of their own. Their sidewalks blocked by people queuing in search for tickets are a key element during the high season nights.
Our wallets were empty but we were glad to have indulged ourselves. They could never take that away from us. We were satisfied to have visited a great metropolis where nothing is missing. In the meantime, we left behind the aromas and flavors that make this city famous.