We arrived at the Buenos Aires International Airport on Sat. around 11:30 am, after our overnight non-stop flight from NYC. By the time we arrived at the Reino Del Plata Hotel by taxi, we had traveled for 18 hours. The Reino Del Plata a small, European style, basic hotel, very close to the Presidential Palace, Florida Street pedestrian shopping area, downtown attractions and many restaurants. Nina and I booked the standard 'Awesome Argentina' tour, with guided tours, transfers, lodging, internal flights and some meals. We were the only ones booked on this tour, since a party of 3 had canceled. We were on our own the first day. It was a beautiful late summer day, around 85°F. We spent this afternoon exploring the downtown area on foot, starting on Florida Street with many shops, street vendors, street dancers and musicians. The Buenos Aires boulevards may be wider than those in Paris, but some sidewalks here are in a state of disrepair. We bought some leather goods at OK prices. We stopped at the Cathedral D line subway station for pictures. (I grew up riding the NYC D train.) We enjoyed our first meal of Argentine beef at Burger King This BK restaurant, in a 110 year old mansion, made the Travel Channel Top 10 Fast Food list, world-wide. It's worth climbing grand stairs and taking pictures of the incredible carved ceilings and stained glass. We walked to the Obelisk monument. We didn't realize you can walk up this structure, similar to the Washington Monument. We walked past the famous150 year old Cafe Tortoni a few blocks away from the hotel. Our last stop was a small grocery store near the hotel for some juice, fruit and snacks. We then rested for a few hours at the hotel. We ventured out for an early dinner at the well known El Palacio de la Papa Frita on Lavelle, a couple of blocks off Florida St. (Restaurants in Argentina are empty at 8, and start filling up at 9 and later.) We ordered the price fixed steak dinner with wine, bottled water, salad, famous puffy fries and pear in wine sauce dessert for $25 for two!
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