Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Buenos Aires

I guess I should jump in and talk about my short time in Buenos Aires on Sunday. We got off the ship around 8:30 on Sunday and easily found our bags and made our way to our tour bus. We disembarked so quickly that many of us did not have a chance to say goodbye. We did a city tour before checking into the hotel. Let me start by saying that BA is huge. It is a city of 3 million people and with the suburbs, about 10 million. Our first stop was the cemetary in Recoleta to see Evita's grave. Sure, it was neat to see her grave, but even more interesting were all the other graves. They were mini homes, almost like mini city blocks. Lots of cool pictures.

Next, we went to the Plaza de Mayo to see the Pink House, or the government house, which most are familiar with since it's the balcony Evita spoke from. From there, we drove thru La Boca, where the stadium for the futbol team is and then to an area within there called Los Caminitos, or little streets. Great area. Very colorful and vibrant, but very touristy. We also met up with the other bus from our group of folks leaving that night.

At this point we checked into our hotel and then had the afternoon for free time. I walked along Florida Avenue for a bit before heading to a leather store recommended by Amazing Journeys. It's owned by a woman who is not only Jewish, but has also traveled with AJ. There I bought myself a beautiful leather coat, which is being custom made for me. I will pick it up tomorrow, or one of my friends will pick it up on Thursday if our flight is delayed tomorrow. From there, I went to the San Telmo flea market in the older part of the city. San Telmo is where tango was born. The market was a lot of fun. That night we had dinner at a parilla near our hotel and then went to see the oldest tango show in BA. They performed tango dances from different time periods, including the beginning of tango. In between dance numbers, there was music and singing. It was a great show.

The next morning (Monday) we were supposed to go to the airport right away, but the flight schedule had changed. Instead, several of us went to the oldest cafe in BA, Tostini's, to kill time. Even when we got to the airport, the flight was delayed another hour or so. The good news is that being friendly to the ticketing agent worked out for me once again. Not only was I not charged for my extremely heavy bags, but my friend and I were given exit row seats without even requesting them! What luck! Once we arrived in Iguazu, we hit the pool and relaxed.

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