Day 1 - Our flights were delayed due to the volcanic ash in BA. I was due to arrive at 8 AM but finally landed about 5 PM, the shortly before my husband arrived. There is little information about the exact times of the arriving flights because of all the delays so we had no way of finding each other in the airport. We pulled up at almost the same time in front of the apartment located at 2050 Las Heras #11-B (ApartmentsBA AM-17) in the Recoleta area. I had taken the Manuel Tienda Leon bus to a terminal then they transported me directly to the apartment by private car. My husband just had knee surgery so he opted for VIP Transport private car directly from the airport to the apartment. The ApartmentBA representative greeted us and showed us all around the apartment and answered all our questions. We hurriedly unpacked and headed for the nearest ATM to get Pesos. We quickly learned that not all ATM machines accepted VISA but were successful at Banco Francais. We had passed a restaurant along the sidewalk that appeared to be crowded with locals (a good sign!) so we went back to the corner of Las Heras and Azcuenaga and got a delicious dinner at a very reasonable price. Milanesa with papas for hubby and Lomo with mushrooms for me with a shared dulce leche panqueque for dessert. We then headed to the grocery store across the street to pick up necessary items for the apartment including delicious pear juice, Malbec and Bimbos con dulce leche.
Day 2 – It was Sunday morning so we downed some fruit, Bimbos and juice before heading to the Recoleta market. It was great shopping. We did most of our gift shopping and enjoyed the wonderful people of BA. I must say that I was about to buy a pretty pricy necklace at one booth and was trying to decide which one to buy of if I should get a second one for a gift when the merchant turned to his partner and made a rude comment in Spanish. I understand more than I speak. I gave him “The Look”, smiled and put everything down and left his booth. After a full morning of shopping we stopped in at the beautiful church. They had a small booth out front for a fundraiser. We walked through the park and admired all the local dogs dressed in their winter sweaters and coats. It was time for coffee, hot Spanish chocolate and a dulce leche panqueque at La Biela. Across the street was Freddos tempting us but it was cold and we wanted a place to sit. We returned to our apartment to freshen us and to drop off all our purchases. We popped into a parrilla, between Vicinte Lopez and Guido across from the cemetery, for lunch during a football game and over ordered. We did not understand that we were ordering enough food for 4 -6 people! We stopped into the Luis XV bakery next door to our apartment so we would have dessert and something for breakfast. The Luis XV was incredible! We returned every evening for a box of pastries and everything was delicious!
Day 3 – Arranged for a city tour through the apartment manager. We met the tour guide at the Alvear Palace Hotel and were able to see all the highlights of the city in a short time period including Puerto Madero, Plaza de Mayo, Avenue 9 de Julio, San Telmo, La Boca, Plaza Congreso, Palermo, and of course the Recoleta Cemetery with a stop at Evita’s tomb. Afterwards, we did more shopping then stopped into a restaurant on the corner of Las Heras and Junin, for lunch. We ordered a fixed priced lunch special of salad, lomo and a wonderful torte with dulce leche and chocolate ganache. Very good! We did more shopping and stopped for coffee along the way. That evening, we opted to go to La Rota, corner of Ayacucho and Vte. Lopez for dinner. Homemade pasta and homemade sauces! Delicious! They had a large diverse menu with daily specials.
Day 4 – Rode the bus to the Botanical Gardens and Zoo. Since it was winter the gardens were not at their peak but it is a nice park. The zoo was fun and very nice. We could not find the Bella Italia for lunch and were tired so we rode the bus back and returned to La Rota for a wonderful lunch. It was packed with local businessmen. Afterwards, we found time for more shopping before dinner.
Day 5 – We walked over to Sante Fe Street for more shopping then caught the Subte over to the Oblisk. We walked along Corrientas then over to the Plaza Congreso. My husband wanted pizza for lunch so we stopped into a small place that advertized pizza. It was very good. We were wishing that we had waited and eaten at La Americana when we saw them being made in the window as we passed the restaurant. We rode the Subte all over town before heading back to the apartment for a much needed rest. The Subte was very affordable and easy to ride but the maps were not posted as they are in most cities. We did not feel unsafe but alert and cautious as we are in subways in any other large city. That evening, my husband wanted “anything close” so we went back to the restaurant from day 1.
Day 6 – We were headed for the airport so we popped into the Tea Connection for a light lunch. Upon arrival at the airport we found that our flights were canceled due to the volcanic ash. We did not have the emergency number for the apartment management company. I recalled seeing the Loi Suites, so we called them and got a room.
Great trip and wonderful people in a beautiful city! We missed going to a tango show and I am still sorry that I did not buy a certain cowhide rug I saw in a shop…maybe another trip!