Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Buenos Aires

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Ah, Buenos Aires. What a wonderful place to end our journey. I absolutely love this city! Here's a shot taken from the cruise ship.

Our visit there started off a little shaky though. Good friends had invited us to share a lovely apartment (high ceilings, lots of molding, wood floors) they had rented in a very nice area of town. Late afternoon on the first day water started pouring through the light fixture in the breakfast area. YIKES!!

We quickly grabbed every bucket and pot we could find. I rushed up to the roof the building and it was immediately evident that two big holding tanks were for some reason overflowing. We knocked on the doors of neighbors we haven't even met, asking them to please call anyone they knew who might help. Amazingly some guy showed up (no idea who he was) and stopped the leaking. There was no water upstairs and no hot water in the whole apartment but what a relief! A plumber arrived the next morning, corrected whatever the problem was, and disaster was averted.

Buenos Aires is so big that we decided our best strategy, since we were going to be there a week, was to explore one neighborhood (barrio) at a time. The first day a guide gave us a general overview. We started on the south side in La Boca, a rundown but colorful touristy area known for the tango.

We stopped for coffee in San Telmo, the best-known barrio for antiques, then drove through Puerto Madero, a formerly rundown riverfront area transformed into an upscale mecca.

Since we weren't in the market for antiques and can see modern architecture lots of places in the world this brief visit was sufficient.

Palermo SoHo is a terrific neighborhood to spend the day in. The shops had amazing European design

and we loved the restaurants, tree-lined streets, and cool architecture.

Teatro Colon is an amazing structure.

It was built in the late 19th century by wealthy Argentines who wanted to convince the bigwigs in Europe that BA could hang with them. And they succeeded because Buenos Aires is still known as the "Paris of South America." Check out the interior of this place.

Plaza de Mayo is home to many of BA's most important historical buildings.

It was so much fun to wander around and run into views like these.

Or this

A visit to the Recoleta cemetery is a must. What a wild place--literally a city for dead people!

We checked out the Japanese Gardens,

and several museums with modern art

fine art

and highly questionable "art."

We shopped in a mall that had us imagining we were back in Las Vegas!

And of course we went to a tango show. We had high expectations and were absolutely blown away.

Am I conveying the impression we enjoyed ourselves in Buenos Aires? We--had--a--blast!!

Let me also mention the food and drink. As opposed to Santiago, prices were quite reasonable here. Wines we pay $10 for in Cuenca were like $2.50-3.00US, so we continued to pay $10 and were opening some very nice Malbecs.

We ate at a highly recommended Argentine steakhouse. How could we not, right? Cynthia and I split the house specialty--800 grams (1 3/4 pounds) of bovine heaven. When the waiter presented it to us, he split it down the middle with the side of a spoon to demonstrate the tenderness. What?!?!? The bill, with wine and tip, was less than $60US. Try getting out for that price at Morton's or Ruth's Chris. Our only regret is that we didn't dine at several of these establishments.

So our once in a lifetime journey draws to a close with a tattered map of Buenos Aires.

I hope you've had fun tagging along, and that great adventures like this are in all of our futures!

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