I landed in Buenos Aires after my overnight flight around 11am, met my friend Julie at the airport, and we caught a taxi to our hotel - the Sheraton Conference Center. It was Christmas Eve, so the town was basically shut down. But we managed to find a nice place for lunch - Las Nazarenas. From there we walked around town, going up and down some of the more populated streets, such as Florida St. For a break from the heat we stepped into the Galeries Pacifico for a bit and walked around the mall. That evening we walked over to the Catedral Metropolitana for the 9pm Christmas Eve service. It was very pretty, and the choir / organ at the beginning was great, but after 45 minutes of not being able to understanding anything in Spanish we decided we were in the Christmas spirit enough and moved onto dinner. We had made a reservation at Filo, as we were told Christmas Eve dinners are very hard to book and very expensive. Thankfully we found a cheap one that ended up being a great meal. We made it back to our hotel room, on the 18th floor, just minutes before the Midnight Fireworks show started. What an amazing sight! Fireworks going off around the entire city, for over an hour. Neat tradition!
Christmas day was very relaxed. We slept in, had some brunch at the hotel lounge, and went to lay out by the pool for a while. Now that's a Christmas first for me! In the afternoon we took a 30 minute walk over to the Cemetery La Recoleta - one of the few things that doesn't close on Christmas day. The cemetery was actually really neat…better than I was expecting. Rows and rows of huge mausoleums. We walked around for almost an hour, very fascinated by all the unique tombs. Just before 5 we started our walk back to the hotel and got ready for dinner at Cabana Las Lilas. We were really looking forward to this dinner and it definitely lived up to expectations. The spread of starters they brought out alone was amazing, followed by a great steak and a great glass of Argentina wine.
This morning we got up early and caught a cab over to the Teatro Colon. We wanted to catch the 9am tour, but unfortunately it was in Spanish so we decided to come back later. We walked a few blocks over to the Lima subway station and took the train a few stops over to Plaza de Mayo. This was the same area as the cathedral we were in the first night, but in the daylight it was so different. We walked around the plaza, and admired the Casa Rosada. We walked back to the Teatro Colon and bought tickets for the noon tour. The tour of the theater was really amazing. We got to see the lower and upper lobby, the gold room and finally the theater. So beautiful! When it was over at 1pm, it was raining outside so we caught a taxi back to our hotel to finish packing up for the next part of our journey. At 2pm we took a taxi to the airport, checked in and then caught our 4pm flight to Ushuaia!
Heading back to Buenos Aires after our unbelievable trip to Antarctica is a bit of a blur! I was so exhausted and ready to be home, that I just kind of wandered around for a couple days counting down the hours until I could hop on a plane home. We stayed in a nice little place in Palermo, called L'Hotel Palermo. It was a great part of town to walk around in, get lost and just explore the streets. Only downside was the unbelievable heat! Especially after being in the cold the past 2 weeks. We landed on the evening of January 9th after our flight from Ushuaia. Checked into the hotel and about all we had energy for was to find a great meal at La Cabrera - and then go to bed early.
Check out more photos from this trip here - Buenos Aires Photos
This trip has been a long-time coming. The biggest question I get asked, is "why Antarctica"? It's actually hard to explain, but the closest I can come is a two-fold answer. 1) A 7 continental goal. (This is #5 in my quest). 2) Why not! I love going to places off the beaten path, to experience something completely new and so far removed from anything I know or have ever seen. I wasn't a huge wildlife lover to begin with, but it was really the ice that drew me in and made me want to get there so badly. The thought of being right next to those beautiful icebergs was so exciting. And seriously...how much more off the beaten path can you get than Antarctica! [.....]
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