|Subject: Re: Buenos Aires---must sees?|
Pat and Bill-
I was there at the opposite end of the season (October/November) so maybe you will encounter similar weather.
Packing-I recommend a layer of light long underwear for the south. In Ushuaia, we encountered beautiful sunshine with a little wind and temperatures in the 40's to snow, temperatures in the high 20's and wind and rain. I understand that is typical. We brought turtlenecks, one heavy wool sweater, and you cannot get by without something made of Gore-tex to break the wind. I wore the same pants for several days, just changing the layers from socks to tights to silk long underwear to all of the above. You should have something short sleeved, too, for the cities since you could encounter warm weather. A skirt, if you wear them, will do well for you in the cities. In the areas of Patagonia, the wind is unbelievable. Skip gloves and bring mittens! Santiago is a really nice city. I recommend seeing the Palacio Cousino Macul. The family owns vineyards and mines, and donated the house to the city as a museum. It is representative of the way they lived in the late 19th to early 20th century. Furnishings, stone and woodwork are magnificent. The tour takes at least an hour. In another part of town, but easily accessible by subway or by taxi, is the Pre-Colombian Art museum that has an excellent collection. Depending on how much time you like to spend in museums, you could spend an hour to half a day there. On that side of the city are also all of the government buildings (although the capital is Valparaiso, there are still several buildings in use). Unfortunately, that would probably require some walking. In generally the same vicinity as the museum is the market with lots of restaurants serving wonderful seafood. It is a tourist attraction, but locals do shop there. We ate at Donde Augusto and were very well pleased. If you have limited time, skip the top of the hill. Views of the city and the Andes are nice, but it takes a bit of a drive and more time that it is worth on a limited schedule.
Buenos Aires--probably you will need to see what the political situation is before you decide where to go. The area where the presidential palace is located is compact and near San Telmo, and is interesting. The cathedral is right there, too. If there is unrest, however, it will be centered there. Also, the shopping area, Florida, has been shown in almost all of the photos in the newspapers.
If you decide to stay away from the center, there are still some very nice places. First on my list would be Recoleta. One could spend hours wandering in the cemetery. The Pilar Church is beautiful, and is near the cemetery entrance. Just a couple of blocks away, on the other side of the park that is in front of the entrance, is a series of restaurants with outdoor cafes. They all have their menus out, so you can decide what you want. We ate at two, but I cannot remember the names. Food was pretty good at both places. It is hard to go wrong with Italian food in Buenos Aires.
Not far from Recoleta is an area with several museums. We visited the Fine Arts Museum on Libertador (a main drag). It had a very good collection of Rodin, who was a sort of patron of Buenos Aires. It had a reasonably good representation of paintings of several periods. The only disconcerting thing was that they do not have much in the way of climate control, and I kept worrying about how the art would survive.
If you are in BA on Sunday, try to go to San Telmo Plaza Dorrego where there is a big flea market. I was not so interested in the market as the street actors who perform the tango at the cafes around the plaza.
The area of Palermo has wonderful parks and gardens. We visited the Japanese garden which is incredibly well done. There is a rose garden several blocks away, but we could not get in on Sunday because it was closed for some reason. If you are up to a slow walk, I recommend the parks in Palermo.
If you have any specific questions, let me know.
Lisa in Chicago