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Argentina 2009

Buenos Aires

We have a nice apartment, close to everything.
We walked over to the Palermo park area and watched the families out together enjoying New Year's Day.
Many people were in groups sharing a gourd of "mate" tea. When we took their picture, they offered us some.   Lots of stands were grilling sausages and beef steaks.
The sandwiches were $1.00.
We went to Campo Dei Fiori and had a fantastic steak with mushrooms and eggplant stuffed ravioli with a proscuitto creme sauce, accompanied by a bottle of Argentine Malbec wine.   We had time to relax in the beautiful Rose Garden
before we headed to. . .
the Palermo Race Track where
Paul studied the racing form.
  We watched a couple of exciting races and we didn't lose any money, because we didn't bet!
The most beautiful bookstore we had ever seen was
El Ateneo. It had formerly been an opera house
and was fully restored.
  The underground metro stops are incredible. Each one has a different scene in tiles showing the history or a cultural scene from the country.
There are outdoor weekend market stalls everywhere. Here Vicki is standing at a stand
selling gaucho (Argentine cowboys) gear.
  Here is the Casa Rosada (the Pink House), their version of our White House. Evita Peron and Madonna both sang to the crowds from the balcony on the left.

Where to eat?

In Buenos Aires:

Campo dei Fiori, Arce 305, (Las Cañitas) - excellent Bife de Chorizo, pastas - high end restaurant

Parrilla Don Julio, Gurruchuga 2107 (Palermo Soho) - excellent soufflé de calabaza y espinacas, steaks - pampas theme restaurant

El Hipopotamo, Brasil 401 (San Telmo)- fun, meats and cheeses served on a board - pub type

Juana M., Carlos Pellegrini 1535 (Recoleta) - wow! wonderful food and service - modern, trendy décor - steak, unlimited salad bar, pasta, hot rolls, bottle of wine and coffee - for two people, under $30US

Plaza del Carmen Café, Av. Santa Fé 3402 (Palermo) - great licuados, delicious media luna sandwiches, assorted free snacks with drinks - nice restrooms

Tolón Café, Av. Santa Fé 3200 (Palermo) - nice traditional confitería atmosphere, free snacks with drinks

Las Cholas, Arce 306 (Las Cañitas) - wonderful chicken quesadillas, mixed grill (48 pesos-$14US-for 5 people), half liter of Malbec wine - 9 pesos ($2.65US)

Las Violetas, Av. Rivadavia 3899 (Almagro) - gorgeous pastries and lunch specials in a beautiful old-style confitería with stained glass, ornate plaster mouldings and dark wood

Cumaná, Rodriguez Peña 1149 (Recoleta) - fun atmophere with northern Argentina specialties - empanadas de humita and lomo picante, salads and pitchers of Pingüino wine

Which Estancia (ranch)?

Cabaña Los Dos Hermanos (Zárate) - http://www.estancialosdoshermanos.com

Which Tango Show?

Obelisco, Carlos Gardel 3200 (Abasto) - www.esquinacarlosgardel.com.ar

Juana M. was a great find. The 15 foot unlimited salad bar had grilled eggplant, marinated mozzarella balls, sweet pickled red onions, warm mushrooms with pecorino cheese, and on and on and on. . .  

The huge 18-ounce sirloin steak and round ham and cheese stuffed raviolis with creamed spinach sauce
with a bottle of Malbec wine were delicious!

We visited the famous Recoleta cemetery and saw the grave of Eva (Evita) Peron.   Near her grave was the grave of a 19 year old girl who they thought had died; but after being buried, came to and tried to scratch her way out. Someone heard her; but when they opened the casket,
she had died of a heart attack.
Now here are a couple of things you wouldn't see at the Galleria Mall in St. Louis - beautiful frescos painted on the ceilings in a central dome and people grilling their own meat at their table in the food court!
The La Boca neighborhood is known for the Boca Junior stadium where Diego Maradona became famous
and for its tango dancers. We're starting lessons soon. . . tango lessons that is, not soccer!
Every Tuesday and Thursday at 3:30 the "Mothers of the Disappeared" march in front of the Casa Rosada to protest their "missing" relatives.   The most famous confitería (like a café) is the 150 year old Confitería Tortoni; where politians, authors and artists have been coming for years.
We took a train north to Tigre on the Paraná River delta, where we boarded a commuter shuttle boat to go out to Tres Bocas Island. We hiked around the island, which was mostly jungle with paths and small homes along the delta canals.
We spent a wonderful day on the Pampa at an Estancia (ranch) about an hour and a half north of Buenos Aires where we were greeted with
a light snack of delicious empanadas (meat pies),
chorizo sausage, cheese and Malbec wine.
  We put on our riding gear and were ready for the trail.
Our guide, Don Juan, was a born Gaucho (Argentine cowboy) from the area.   Paul, the wannabe Gaucho.
We saw a whole flock of owls, green parrots, jack rabbits and hummingbirds.   We both fell into the hammocks after the ride and
took a siesta in the cool shade.
Then the gauchos started bringing out grilled meats to our picnic table to go with the salads, wine and juice. We thought the first girll was the meat course, but after we finished it; they brought out another grill . . . and then ANOTHER! Each with different cuts of meat.   The Estancia had a pool and lovely grounds that we enjoyed after the lunch.
The Carlos Gardel tango dinner show was wonderful. We arrived at 8:30 and left after midnight. The food, dancers, costumes and atmosphere were outstanding.   In one of the Palermo parks a giant metal flower, Floralis Genérica, is open during the day and closes in the evening.
Greens fees were super inexpensive - $4.35 for women, $5.80 for men for 18 holes!   We planned to have a light lunch. I ordered a proveleta (melted goat cheese appetizer). Paul order a steak. We planned to split them. This was the steak with the 13 included sides that we got at La Cabrera!
Now here are a couple of things from times past - men with a horse and cart gathering cardboard for recycling and a subway train with wooden benches, paneling, lamps and windows with leather straps.