The boys acompanied us on the train ride to Schiphol. This is much safer then taking the car. The flight departed at 19:10 so there was enough time.
The flight from Amsterdam via London to Buenos Aires was long (15:10 hrs) and tiring. It felt like British Airways selects old planes for this route. It was a Boeing 777. Not the modern types we are used to when flying to the east.Buenos Aires welcomed us with a rainstorm. Wet but warmer than the ones we just left behind in Holland. Via 2 buses we arrived from the airport at our small hotel “Diplomat”, close to the Plaza San Martin in the center of town. Once we were connected to the internet again, we could see that the cargo boat with our camper was further delayed to at least 15/1 (originally 6/1). To make good use of our time we decided to book ourselves some Spanish lessons. These started on Monday 8/1. In the meantime we decided to explore the city on foot.
The weather had cleared up and the sun was shining. We strolled along the long and narrow shopping promenade, Florida, down to the Plaza de Mayo where we booked a tour of the Casa Rosada (precedential palace) for next week Saturday. The palace is built on the location of the original Spanish fort from 1538. The remains of this fort have been dug up to form a modern historical museum.
The shops along the Florida were primarily up market, but we did manage to find a telecom shop to buy a SIM card. We only got it working after several days when we topped it up at a local kiosk.
On Sunday (7/1) we worked out the bus system and took the bus to the Museo National de Bellas Artes. Beside the super modern Argentinean arts, it also has a significant collection of European impressionist (such as Van Gogh) as well as the odd Rembrandt and a section dedicated to Rodin.
Outside the museum are some sculptures. The most impressive is the Floralis Generica (a giant flower which opens and closes).
Close by is the crowded walled in Cementario de la Recoleta. Row upon row of large grave mausoleums. You can easily get lost. Since 1830 all Argentina’s rich and famous have been buried here in a family crypt. Eva Duarte Peron’s one is small but decorated with flowers. We could not find the cemetery of her husband El Presidente Peron.
Since we got the hang of using the local bus system we took the bus to Plaza Dorrego. This is the place where locals show off their tango skills. Also the area is full with small market stalls selling all types of brick a brack.
Today we had our first local private Spanish lesson. Milton taught us Grammar and with Judith we have each an hour of one to one conversation. I hope all this effort brings us further. In the afternoon we walked down to the ship agent and handed in all the requested papers and dollars. If the boat arrives on the 15th, it will only clear customs on the 17th. Pablo suggested that we move to Zarate (90 km North West), where the boat arrives, on the 16th. In the mean time it is Spanish lessons and sightseeing.