Friday, March 7, 2014

Buenos Aries March 6, 2014

We awake and we are docked and our meeting time is 9.  We had arranged a private tour thru discover Uruguay who can be found at and ask for Diego Kraidelman (make sure you tell him Vickie sent you).  I know I know Buenos Aries is in Argentina and not Uruguay but we had originally booked a tour for Montevideo with Diego and he had asked about tours for our other stops and that he could coordinate those stops too. You can find Sebastian's Facebook page at

We had been to Buenos Aries two years ago and we loved it and the tour we had done but for today we really wanted to visit other areas and see the city.  We also just wanted a tour for the tour of us and Diego worked really well with us to coordinate this.

We got off the ship and took the shuttle to the port building.  1,000 passengers are getting off today and so we dance around suitcases and slow moving people to get to the shuttle but once on we quickly left and arrived at the port building a few minutes later.  The pier is a working pier and you are not allowed to go around on foot.

The building has lots of little stores, currency conversion desks, washrooms and travel information.  Tour operators can be met right at the entrance of the building but there are also a variety of bus bays that you can meet at outside the building and to the right. 

La Boca
Our guide was there and we boarded a bus to the center of town and with another group that was thru Diego too.  From there we caught a local transit bus.  Now I should note that when we coordinated the tour via Diego thru email we specifically said we wanted tours to places we had not seen before, we wanted a tour for just the two of us, we wanted to take local transit buses, subway, and taxis and lots of walking.  And this is exactly what we got.  We crossed the big street 9 of July avenue and caught the bus to La Boca.
It is still early but it is perfect, we can wander and see the sights and there are not many tourist out yet.  The restaurants are just setting up and shops are just opening.  

Sebastian is able to give us a true local’s view of the city.  His knowledge of the sights and history is impressive.

He then takes us into a store that sells Rodocrosita stones and I splurge and buy a necklace with pendant and earrings with the lovely stone.  For your information Rhodochrosite is a natural stone that derives its name from the greek words “rhodos” meaning rose and “chrosis” for color, in allusion to its warm and vivid pink hue.  A most valuable and scares semi-precious stone.  Each piece is carefully hand cut to accent its distinct crystal formations. The main mine of this stone is in Andalgala Catamarca Argentina and has a beautiful intense pink stone. 

From La Boca we took a taxi to the old Port - Puerto Madero, that has been rejuvenated.  This area is full of new condos, business, walkways and hotels.  There is a stunning pedestrian swing bridge called the Bridge of the Woman.  This whole area is dedicated to the woman of Argentina and what they have done for it’s history and since so many areas have men’s names this area is named after women.  Stunning.

From here we walk into the center of town and stop for a quick coffee and pastry at a local shop.  I have my submarine drink which is hot milk with a stick of chocolate that you stir to make hot chocolate and Bernie has a cappuchino.  When they serve the drinks here every drink comes with a small glass of fresh squeezed orange juice and water.  We also get a few pastries to much on too. 

We take the local bus to the Palermo and see a famous bookstore El Ateno that use to be a theater from 1912 and has been a book store for ten years.  As we enter Sebastian says to us keep your eyes of me and only look at me until I tell you different…. Hmmm  what is up!  As we enter he takes us to the middle of the store and looks at us and says “look at me”  “now look up” oh my how stunning.  A beautiful mural on the ceiling representing peace and the art all over is stunning.  He takes us to different viewing spots and explains that the bookstore has a huge selection and you can even take a book and read it and then return it without buying as long as you stay in the store. 

me and Sebastian

 We catch another bus to the zoo but we are not visiting the zoo we are walking to the rose garden and along the way we stop and take pictures of the statue on Av. Del Libertador, gee can’t recall the name but the statue of the guy on the horse use to own all this land but he gave it to the city and they made it into a park called 3 of February Park.  It is huge and beautiful and lots of locals come here for picnics on the weekend.  We walk around the lake, look at the flowers and take lots of pictures.

I am loosing steam but Sebastian promises us if we walk a little further we can see the Planetarium and it is an interesting looking building.  But I am tired and he gets a taxi for us to Palermo Soho so we can get a bite to eat.

We stop at a restaurant grab a cold drink and we order three dishes and share them and it was so good.  We talk about the local food and we mention the dolce de leche and Sebastian promises us a great place to get crepes with the dolce de leche and we walk a few blocks to it and oh my god!!!  

Sweet doesn’t cover it enough.  They serve us the crepe filled with the dolce de leche and our coffee and a small spoon with more dolce de leche.  Bernie is on a sugar high and I can’t even finish my crepes cause it is too sweet. 

We walk a few blocks to catch the subway back to the main square where we will catch a taxi to the pier.  Thankfully we are going against the rush hour traffic cause the trains going the other way are packed.  Sebastian recommends we get off at the main square (Plaza de Mayo) but I am not sure I thought we should of transferred to the blue line and taken it a few stops that gets us close to the pier but well I am not from here so I don’t say anything.

We get off at the main square but the taxis are full and any that are available are scooped up right away.  We decide to start walking towards the pier and he leads us towards the old pier but I know that we need to go towards the new pier but it isn’t on his map.  He asks a few people and they direct us, but surprisingly many don’t know where it is.  So we walk.

We walk and walk and walk, still no taxis are available.  We know we are going in the right direction and I finally pull out my map that I got at the pier and show Sebastian and show him where it is and he learned something new that day he says.  We are not too far from the pier and we are all so tired we are giddy.  We see a fenced yard with a bunch of green parrots on the grass and I take some pictures and Sebastian says “see I meant to take you this way so you would see the parrots”.  Funny guy.

We arrive at the port around 6:30 pm.  Oh I forgot to mention that originally our departure from the port was to be at 6 pm and then for some reason it was changed to 8.  This means too that our arrival in Montevideo is moved to 10 instead of 8, which also means I need to reach Diego to inform him of a time change for our tour tomorrow.

We take a look at our fitbit and it shows over 30,000 steps!  No wonder we are tired.  We drop our stuff and head to the Elite lounge to say hit to Barb/Craig and our friends Jan/Michael who just boarded today.  It is nice to see them again.  We tell them we are just too tired to head to dinner and are going to crash in the cabin.  Barb/Craig also had a tour with Diego’s company but they were disappointed that four people were added to the tour without their knowledge.

Departure is delayed even longer and we don’t pull out till well into darkness but it sure is a pretty city and do want to come back here sometime and see more of it.  But for tonight we need to rest.  Bernie heads up to soak in the hot tub and I shower and crawl into bed and read.  Another great day.

Some information about Buenos Aries you may find helpful.
Taxi from port to downtown is about a 10 minute ride away and cost around $7 - $10.

There is a hop on hop off bus that you can get a short distance from the port or there is a different line that comes closer to the port but doesn’t operate as often.  The cost is around 140 Pesos.  

1 comment:

  1. Please pass on a big hug to Jan& Michael & wish them happy cruising with all of you. At least I'm with you all in my day dreams, wading through boxes here, unpacking!!!