Big Day in B.A.
We hit the ground running at 10 am after about 36 hours of travel for my wife, Kathy, myself (Ken), and our friend, Alberta. We arrive a day ahead for our Adventure Life tour of Buenos Aires, and easily find our hotel, the Reino Del Plata. Since it is still early, we grab a city map and start off down Florida street to the San Martin Plaza to enjoy the blossoming trees and a rest on a parkbench. Guards in colorful uniforms parade periodically through the walkways and enjoy the sunny 75 degree day right along with us. After awhile we walk to Puerto Madero, a shipping and warehouse area for the city until 1940. A new port replaces the function of the four old docks, and the area is now a rejuvenated upscale residential neighborhood with a private yacht basin along the canal. We eat lunch at an outdoor restaurant and watch sailboats pass in and out to the Rio Plata. Afterwards we walk along the waterfront and view the modernistic "Womens' Bridge", as well as two late 19th century sailing ships moored there as museums. One is the Fragata Sarmiento, named after an Argentine President; it was actively involved in early Antarctic exploration and naval training until 1961, and the polished brass fittings still gleam brightly. From there we walk to the Plaza de Mayo and the Casa Rosada, which houses the President's offices and is similar to our White House. We arrive just in time for a guided tour of Casa Rosada, where Eva Peron made her famous speeches to the "shirtless ones" (workers) of Argentina. At the other end of the Plaza is the city's main Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana), and we are impressed with it's beauty. After walking back to our hotel we go to the Cafe Cabilda for a late evening dinner and then to bed for a much needed rest!