Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Day 2 November 29, 2011

There are over 90 museums listed in my Moon travel book for Buenos Aires. So much to see and do in this city. But today we chose to spend several hours at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Admission was free and we were able to view paintings by Renoir, Monet, Manet, Rembrandt, Toulouse Lautrec, Van Gogh, Degas, El Greco and many Argentinian masters. There were sculptures by Rodin and huge ancient tapestries from Belgium on display. At the turn of the century, several wealthy families donated their European art and furniture collections to the museum that filled entire rooms for display.  Chinese vases, silver mate cups, porcellain and objets d'art from the middle east and asia.  A world class museum full of wonder.  I especially liked the Sisely and the Monet.
   After completing several hours walking around the museum we walked in the park and encountered some school girls who were celebrating their graduation from high school. Who ever heard of a last day of school in November, but we are on the other side of the globe and everything here is a bit upside down. They asked us to take their picture. They were so happy, singing and dancing around with the joy only 18 year old graduates have.    After a long walk in the park, passing by young lovers oblivious to the surrounding joggers and the local football game, we rested at the 150 year old La Biela near our hotel. The cafe has a terrace with outdoor seating under the shade of an enormous 100 year old rubber tree. Once again, it felt like a day in Paris....the museum, the park,
the side walk cafe. One big difference is that in Paris we look for a patch of sun in the cafe and in Buenos Aires we sit under the shade of the old rubber tree as it is 88 degrees. But we are not complaining. 

Welcome to Buenos Aires

Day 1 Nov 28, 2011

Buenos Aires is a city of over 12 million organized by barrios or neighborhoods. This visit we are staying in upscale Recoleta. It is probably one of the most popular areas for tourists because of the famous Recoleta Cemetary where Evita (Eva Peron) is buried. We like it because of the beautiful parks, tree lined streets, nearby National Fine Arts museum, fabulous French architecture and cute side walk cafes. One often hears that Buenos Aires is the Paris of South America. Sort of true, but the weather is much, much better. Monday evening after our 20 hour flight via Lima, we were anxious to take a stroll and enjoy the neighborhood. We walked across the street to a craft fair setup next to the Iglesia de Nuestro Senora del Pilar (a gorgeous baroque colonial church built in 1724). After craft
shopping, watching people eat huge sausages, and a quick visit inside the church we walked in the park to enjoy the 75 degree evening. Finally, we chose a snazzy sidewalk cafe near our hotel. We enjoyed a oje de bife (Argentinian rib eye) and dined under the stars. It was a perfect evening. The Etoile Recoleta hotel was recommended by the actor Robert Duval in the Wall St Journal a couple weeks ago and so we decided to stay there.  A bit worn, but clean and nice, great location. As he said, it is close to La Biela, one of the most famous cafes in Latin America.  Now, at last - Sleep.  Good night.