|Subject: Trip to Argentina and Uruguay|
We spent June in these two countries taking advantage of a culturally rich Winter life in Buenos Aires, and some relaxing activities in Iguazu Falls ( Argentina and Brazil) and in Carmelo, (Uruguay).
Of course, everything was most affordable thanks to the prevailing exchange of almost 3 pesos for one dollar in Argentina and a similar favorable exchange in Uruguay.
The hotel in Buenos Aires recommended to us by Cintia (our fellow Ziner who lives in Buenos Aires), who also got us a great promotional rate, was the Argenta Tower, a beautiful four stars, recently built hotel, with a great location and excellent hot/cold buffet breakfast for only $70 dollars http://www.argenta-tower.com.ar
We saw and exhibit of Argentina's new enfant terrible Guillermo Kuitca at the fairly new MELBA, the latin American Museum. The building itself is a beautiful exponent of Modern Architecture, lots of light, and exciting spaces.
We also saw a photographic exhibit in the down town Galerias Pacifico sponsored by the French Embassy, featuring the French photographer Robert Doisneau. LIFE magazine inmortalized many of his post WWII photographs. Tickets were two pesos, that is less than one dollar per person. (Galerias Pacifico is a downtown mall, inside a former railway station.)
Next door to MELBA we had lunch at my favorite Argentine restaurant, called Museo Renault,in spite of his name it is not a Museum, instead it is a minimalist design restaurant offering fusion food. There is also sushi as an alternative.
They have a set menu at lunch, including mineral water, wine and expresso coffee for 10 dollars. http://www.mrelnault.com.ar
Patrons are mostly locals, bussiness excecutives and Argentine well known show people. At the Teatro Colon we attended a full rehearsal which are accessible to the public.
We could not resist going back to the Four Seasons in Uruguay where we played golf , and pampered ourselves in their small Oriental oriented spa. It was a relaxing week end, one day we hired horses and went out in the pleasant quiet hilly countryside. Another day we hired a car and drove to the Oldest Uruguayan winery called Cerros de San Juan. Nearby there is a small Casino but that is not our cup of tea.
In Buenos Aires we bought a package, to visit Iguazu, again with Cintia 's help for $440 per person, the hotel deal was three nights at the Sheraton Iguazu, including a huge buffet breakfast. The package also included the usual guided tours and transportation from and to the airport. Of course staying at the Sheraton makes a lot of a difference because this hotel is located inside the Argentine National Park, thus enabling us to do at leisure the walking circuits .
There we met with Susana from Sao Paulo, another Ziner, an old and dear friend. We had a great time!
One day, a Saturday, we went to the Brazilian side, visited a complex of many aviaries, and being Saturday we had a" feijoada lunch "in the beautiful Brazilian Hotel das Cataratas. It is located in the Brazilian Iguazu National Park. Of course we also visited the Falls by foot from the Brazilian side.
It was raining and we were lucky to buy right there some plastic raincoats for 2 dollars each. For those not familiar with "feijoada", it is the National Brazilian dish, in this sophisticated hotel there were an hors d'oeuvres buffet table with all kind of salads and also a buffet dessert table. The" feijoada" which is basically black beans with all kinds of stewed meats and sausages was nicely presented in a third table in more than ten earthenware pots. Each pot had a little sign explaning what was inside. The cost of the full meal was approx. 10-12 dollars per person. The service was very good. This is a first class old hotel , Colonial style and there was live music by a Brazilian trio.
The drink to ask for is "caipirihna". For me the most delicious cocktail. :-) Apparently the secret is in the kind of lemons they use and the way they macerate them.
To finish up we did some shopping at very good prices. I bought a leather hand bag (us 60) and boots (us 45) in Buenos Aires and Gino bought a nice corduroy jacket for 60 dollars in Montevideo. Very nicely cut.
Buenos Aires has great coiffeurs. Prices are real bargains, in one word all services are real bargains, as well as medicines. We had a great time, and of course enjoyed our two daughters who live in these two countries as well as my Mother. We flew American, good flights, they do have more room leg than United going to South America, which is good. At the same time we are happy to be back home. 4 th of July! great day to come back. Graziella , Miami Beach.