Donnerstag, 4. Oktober 2012

October 4 - Buenos Aires

I got up at 8:15 a.m. and from 9:00 a.m. on I was sitting in the lobby and waiting for Christoph. He landed at 7:30 a.m. and I didn't expect him before 9:00 a.m. He finally arrived at 10:00 a.m. by the recommended airport taxi and after taking his luggage to our room we first had breakfast together (the breakfast buffet closed at 10:30 a.m.). Christoph had just flown business class for the first time in his life and was full of enthusiam about it. He told me in detail about the good service and that he had had the chance to take a shower in the British Airways lounge when he was waiting for his connecting flight from London to Buenos Aires. Unfortunately there wasn't enought time for taking a shower but on the way back he planned to try it.
After breakfast Christoph took a shower and at 11:30 a.m. our sightseeing program started. Before we went out of the hotel we booked a Tango Show for the evening. The show was recommended by the hotel and the receptionist booked it for us. We could chose between a candle light dinner plus show or just the show. We decided to book just the show because then we would be picked up later in the evening and would have more time for sightseeing in the city. We paid 120 USD per person (very expensive for Argentine matters. But we were told that the show would be great and worth every Dollar). I also asked the receptionist to clarify the dress code because I didn't have formal clothes with me. Fortunately jeans were ok!

First we walked from our hotel to the Retiro station to buy our South Pass tickets.
We needed our passports, paid by credit card and got a backpack for free because South Pass was celebrating its 1st birthday! Then we were asked if they could take a picture of us with the new backpacks and publish it on facebook. We agreed and now we are "famous":-)
From there we went to the starting point of the recommended Lonely Planet walking tour through the city:

Lonely Planet walking tour
Retiro Station

Monumental Tower

Christoph and a
Canadian Totem Pole at Plaza Salvador Maria del Carril

Kavanagh Building
Kavanagh Building
By the time it was inaugurated in 1936, Kavanagh Building was the highest skyscraper in Latin America and the largest structure made of reinforced concrete in the world. This tower, in Rationalist style with austere lines, is 120m high and houses 105 apartments throughout its 32 floors. It was desiged by architects Gregorio Sanchez, Ernesto Largos and Luis Maria de la Torre, commissioned by Corina Kavanagh, a wealthy lady, resident of the city. The building has received numerous national and international awards.
Marriott Plaza Hotel
Marriott Plaza Hotel
The Marriott Plaza Hotel is one of the most elegant hotels in BS AS. It dates from 1909 and its construction was commissioned by Ernesto Tornquist. Today, it belongs to his descendants. Designed by German architect Alfred Zucker and considered an avantgarde work at the time, the building features a strong influence of German Baroque architecture which has survived throughout its successive refurbishing and extensions. International celebrities from the arts, politics and sports have stayed at this hotel.

Walking along Florida Street

Christoph got his shoes cleaned by a Bolivian guy
he polished them very much (he hadn't had cleaner
shoes before:-) )

Galerias Pacifico

Our lunch from 14:15 to 14:45 we had in the "Galerias Pacifico", a shopping mall that stands out because of its cupola and its frescos.

fountain, cupola and frescos

cupola and frescos
When we came out of the building we listened to some street musicians who played very well using just a few improvised instruments (I really must say that all the artistic talents in Argentina impressed me very much):

Then we continued with our Lonely Planet walking tour:

Avenida 9 de Julio
Obelisk in the background
Avenida 9 de Julio
Avenida 9 de Julio is the widest avenue in the world. It is located in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Its name honors Argentina's Independence Day, July 9, 1816.
The avenue runs roughly 1 kilometre to the west of the Río de la Plata waterfront, from the Retiro district in the north to Constitución station in the south. The avenue has up to seven lanes in each direction and is flanked on either side by parallel streets of two lanes each.

Teatro Cervantes

Templo de la Congregacion Israelita

garbage and/or "houses" of the poor
just in front of the Templo

Teatro Colon
Shows in there were too expensive and formal clothes mandatory
=> we skipped a performance!

El Obelisco = the Obelisk
the symbol of Buenos Aires

one of the 4 inscriptions of the Obelisk
Plaza de Mayo and again a demonstration
(nothing new in BS AS anymore)
At Avenida de Mayo we finished our walking tour. While I was resting on a bench Christoph walked around and took pictures. It was already late and because I hadn't recovered completely from my cold we had to take several breaks and couldn't walk that fast during our tour. Both of us were tired and we decided to continue the next day.
We walked back to our hotel, bought something to drink in a supermarket on the way back and ate dinner in the same restaurant as I had the day before.
At 21:00 we returned to our hotel and then we were picked up for our "Gala Tango" show.
We had only booked the show without dinner, but when we arrived, we were surprised that the drinks were also included. We got an aperitif, one bottle of red wine and sparkling wine at the end. We really liked the show and even bought the DVD.

Christoph wearing formal and I informal:-)

chandeliers at the Tango place

After the show Christoph and I were asked for a dance. We got a free lesson from professionals, lasting one song and I felt a little bit out of place in my jeans:-). Most of the audience declined the free lesson but when you are in Argentina you should dance Tango at least once (=> done!)

Later we were dropped off at our hotel again at 0:15 and bedtime was at 1:00. We were so tired!

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