Buenos Aires Week II
Carmel and Richard joined us in an a wander through Buenos Aires--through the Plaza de Mayo--by the Theatro Colon, the Casa Rosada, down Florida street to look for the Tourist Information booth. The Tourist Info seems to be MIA.
In a near miss, Carmel was almost skewered by a bayonet while taking a photo of the guards. Later we headed off to have lunch at a neighbourhood parilliada (perhaps revisiting Richard later). Tonight was chicken and salads night--mmmmm!
Richard didn't fare very well last night and was quite ill all day today. Undeterred, Carmel, Tony and I headed off for Recoletta Cemetary, leaving Richard to recuperate. Tony discovered through talking (in Spanish) to Eva (the apartment`s owner), that Mr. Phantom of the Opera`` aka our next door neighbour is the son of a very famous Argentinian composer`, Ariel Ramirez. No wonder his piano practice sounds sooo good! On the way to the cemetery, Carmel booked their flights to Salta and Puerto Iguazu (a stellar sub-holiday...moral to the story go into the Aerolineas in person and save $600US over the online fares!) ....we were crossing our fingers that Richard is on the mend. There are dog walkers everywhere, with sometimes up to 15 dogs all seemingly well behaved though some have muzzles.Recoleta Cemetary....what an experience!
What an absolutely amazing place. Although the rain bucketed down on us as we were leaving the cemetery, we now have photos of just about every mausoleum.
Things cleared up on the evening, so we were off to pick up a few medicines for Richard and head off to dinner at the San Juan Cafe a few blocks away. It had lots of great reviews and lived up to the hype an amazing dinner started with Rabbit Pate then onto three separate entrees equally sumptuous. We will return here with Richard before they leave.
Carmel and Richard took it slow today while we headed off to Abasto and wandered through Rividavia on the hunt for the most amazing Panetone (know as Pan Dulce here). Thoroughly drenched, but undaunted, we finally found it and headed back. Carmel ventured out to explore the neighbourhood solo, and managed to find a hair salon to get her hair cut...she did not recommend her stylist, but expects her hair to grow quickly. Luckily Richard was feeling well enough to try the fresh pasta (ravioli with ricotta) and sauce and we were in high spirits to think that he would be recovered enough to actually climb on the plane by himself.
|Casa Minima, the narrowest house in BA..whole story about a freed slave being given the property.|
With Carmel and Richard winging their way to Salta, we decided to hunt down the Jardin Japonese. However a slight diversion first...Elaine ventured down a few streets and found a hair salon that took her in right away...one that Carmel did recommend. Off to the garden...the largest formal garden in South America. Very nice stroll.
Again, with the rain peltiing us, we alternately took photos and huddled under overhangs. After a brief foray into the streets of Palermo Viejo, we slid down into the subte and headed home.
Apparently Tony has decided that I have graduated to the second level of BA street "Frogger" (standing in the middle of the intersection as buses pass on both sides feels more like "human target" to me!).
Today was all about Puerto Madero, the newly renovated old port...pretty upscale and modern. Our first mission was to locate a few geochaches to drop off some travel bugs; although we were never able to locate the geocaches we were searching for (despite all the subterfuge of the three stooges), it gave us a good excuse to wander the area extensively.
We had a wonderful time clambering all over the tall ship (Fragata Presidente Sarmiento). This beautiful vessel is now a floating museum after making almost 40 voyages with Cadets to the Med, around SA and circumnavigating the world.
|The faithful mascot from one of the round the world voyages they deemed to preserve.|
Right next to the Sarmiento is a picturesque modern bridge--which carries you over to the modern side of Argentina (Puerto Madero's heartland). After quite a long day wandering around, we made it back to the Plaza Dorego and home.
We made it all the way to the Mercado del Progresso on the bus! Feeling pretty pleased with ourselves we looked for goodies for Christmas dinner.` The market is a great place to wander, great smells and sights. We didn`t find any peacock though it is one of the traditional meals, but the other favorite, suckling pig, was a definite available.
Afterwards we take the A train to Cathedral station to go to the Casa Rosada for a tour. This amazing building is not the home of the President, but only the president`s office. The building houses some great art, sculptures, history and architecture.
|The perfect Xmas Photo Op!|
Almost 3/4 of the way into the tour, one of the tourists had to be taken off to the medic and the tour redirected. Yes, he makes number 1 on my short list of "things not to do in Buenos Aires". #1, do not sit on glass furniture in the Casa Rosada--glass breaks!". Blood, glass and more than a few shaken tourists. We did get to wander through the balcony area where Juan Peron addressed the masses, but didn't step a foot onto Evita's balcony (need to the pull that Madonna has).
On the way back out for groceries, we stumbled (okay ran toward) a Candombe practice. The bands were out in full force--full dress--fires in the street and all. This continued until long after we had gone to bed. No wonder Reinaldo said, "not everyone in Rio likes Carnival!"
Another banner bus day with Mario Andretti..the no.126 Omnibus driver--in the case of pedestrians it is ``he who hesitates is dead``. Luckily, we made it out to Barrio Mataderos (on the outskirts of town) in one piece for the Feria. It turns out that this was the last day of the fair until late January so all the stops had been pulled out.
We watched as a sweet miniature pony followed his master through the crowd and gave rides to youngsters.
What a great place to spend the afternoon--drooling over the parrilla, artesanal cheeses, olives, and breads; buying gaucho-related crafts and eating fresh local delicacies.
|anyone for Armadillo|
And...after that...the music and dancing started. What a fabulous day and a real treat to hang out with the local crowds.