Buenos Aires was first established as Ciudad de Nuestra Senora Santa Maria del Buen Ayre (literally "City of Our Lady Saint Mag of the Fair Winds") on February 2, 1536 by a Spanish expedition under Pedro de Mendoza.
11.24.2007 - 11.24.2007
We arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at about 9:30 a.m. We zipped through Customs and went to get our checked bags — and they were there! Yeah, we don't have to wear the same undies for a month! After that we found a cab and took the long ride into this huge city. We drove past lots and lots of poverty stricken high rise tenements; on the other hand, it is green and beautiful with spring foliage. Many trees are not the varieties seen where we live.
Our hotel let us check in at 11, so we got to have a nice hot shower and change clothes. Mid 60 degree F. and just beautiful. And Susie's preferred members card got us an upgrade to a room with a view of the harbor!
Speaking of the harbor, we headed over to get ferry tickets so we can go to Uruguay on Monday...but after a 1 hour wait in line, we were surprised that we needed our passports which were safely stashed in our hotel room safe a few blocks away. So to make a long story short (and it would be long story...), we headed out on our first walking tour of the city. The Plaza San Martin was our destination. First we had lunch in the Plaza Grill, where politicians and presidents go to eat and talk politics. We may have been a tad underdressed, but so were the other 3 people in the place. (Saturday afternoon is apparently a slow day there.)
Then we viewed the statues and monuments in the Plaza; there is an impressive memorial to the soldiers who died in the Falklands War in the 1980's.
Time for refreshments, so we stopped in Cafe Retiro in the old train station. John had an interesting experience at the men's room; apparently one pays for toilet paper here in public restrooms and someone has to unlock the stall for you.
Next, we went back and got our ferry tickets (end of the long untold story...). That was cause for celebration, so we headed to Cafe Madeleine for some empanadas and glass of Argentinean wine.
After that, we freshened up at our room and headed for dinner. We found a delightful Thai place called Empire. Stuffed, we returned for an early tuck in!