A smooth three hour flight from El Calafate north to warm and sunny Buenos Aires — the “Paris of the South”, our last stop on this special journey.
The domestic airport is only 20 minutes from downtown and the very upscale Recoleta neighborhood and the Hotel Loi Suites Recoleta. The BA hedge and obelisk, one of the many monuments in this city of European heritage and Latin soul is one of the premiere photo spots – there was a long line off camera, just to the left. The Rio de la Plata, the city’s main waterway was a bit scary as we passed, being brown/gray and dingy, especially as compared to the clean, bright, modern look of the city itself. It turns out that the water is pure and clean, just loaded with sediment from the rivers off the pampas that feed it.
As we pulled into our hotel in late-afternoon, our guide pointed out the huge “craft fair” on the large green square just a block or so away. That’s all Marsha (and a few other fellow travelers) had to hear. Hurry to get settled and, “Let’s go, Joel”. It’s was pretty neat, with the usual meh, meh stuff, plus a lot of very neat local craft and art. We eventually did buy a small painting from a local artist – show you later.
Churches, monuments abound in the charming Recoleta area, and in Buenos Aires in general. The church that is our landmark as we wander from the hotel. The huge steel tulip that opens and closes depending on the time of day at the Parque de la Flor. The statue of the emaciated Evita, not far away.
The Herculean figure helping hold up on of the enormously long limbs on one of the largest ficus trees in the world near our hotel.
That’s Marsha way in the distance on the left, behind Sr. Hercules, and the tree itself even further away showing off its gigantic girth. Quite amazing!
It was getting late and we crossed the street to check out the modern, upscale mall – felt like home. But, from the third floor we were able to look down and see the walls and a few of the memorials in the really special city cemetery that we would explore the next day on our morning City Tour.
It was a long day of travel and a nice, quick intro to the City, but it was time for a quiet dinner with a couple of our new friends, Alan and Pat from New Jersey via the UK. Great people and a great dinner at a touted local restaurant near the hotel. Not much English, so we let the outgoing waiter pretty much order for us (he nixed two of my first choices). We ended up sharing huge filets and what Argentinians call rib steaks (actually cross cut short ribs of beef, resembling pork baby back ribs), a surprise, but really tasty. Great potatoes, veggies and scrumptious wine rounded it out. Fortunately, maybe unfortunately, a short walk back to the hotel to rest for a busy, busy next to last day.