Buenos Aires, Argentina

Trip Start Jan 26, 2009
Trip End Mar 27, 2009

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Where I stayed
Carnival Splendor

Flag of Argentina  , Capital Federal District,
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

We were met at the airport by and transported in comfort to our waiting ship.  This was a new leg so there were about 1500 passengers getting off and an equal number being processed to board.  We were very much in need of an afternoon siesta after our journey from Iguazu and were expecting a quick boarding because all of our necessary documentation had been processed before we left the ship in Rio de Janairo.  Mr Murphy, unfortunately, was very much in evidence within the cruise terminal and we were having a great deal of difficulty making the corporate minions understand that we were re-boarding to an existing stateroom and that at the very least we should be given priority processing because of our VIP status.  At one point they directed us to board immediately, only to be turned back by another Carnival employee beside a guard with a large gun.  While I was considering our options, a lady named Lynne took charge, grabbed the left and right hands of Carnival and laid down the law.  Result, we were on-board quite literally within minutes.  Lesson learned:  don't get on the wrong side of a cranky nurse!
Home at last.  Gosh, who knew we would actually come to consider our comfortable stateroom as home?  We had a very relaxing afternoon to rebuild our energies for an evening at the Gala Tango Show.  The tango show provided chauffeured service to and from the tango show so we did not have to worry about a designated driver.  A delightful couple we met on the cruise, Alta and Paul Nickle, joined us at the tango show.  It was evident from the get-go that this tango show was perhaps a cut above the rest.  We received a personal greeting upon arrival and were treated to Champaign with fresh peach juice by tuxedoed waiters.  The service was impeccable, the food perfectly prepared and elegantly presented.  The wines were from a well known Argentine winery and were a delight to the palate.  Jim the steak lover naturally selected a fillet mignon for his main course (could have cut it with a fork).  Argentine portions, at 800 grams, are somewhat more generous than those we expect at home. 
The tango show itself began while desert and a clarifying Champaign were being served.  While the show in Iguazu was very well done, the Gala Tango show was clearly a significant cut above average.  The gaucho performance was truly chin-dropping.  My photos do not do the show justice so we purchased a CD to review when we get home.  The grand finale was a special rendition of Don't Cry for Me Argentine.  Needless to say our four hours at Gala Tango were over in a flash, ending a truly memorable evening in Buenos Aires.
On the morrow we elected to partake of a guided shopping tour.  We had a driver and personal guide to take us wherever we wished but we elected to have Laura (our English speaking guide) take us to her favourite spots.  It was very hot in Buenos Aires but quite comfortable without the oppressive humidity of Iguazu.  We went first to a small leather store where Laura was able to secure permission for us to visit the upstairs factory where leather garments are made to order.  Lynne then tried on a few leather jackets and I watched, and worried about our budget, as I had not particular interest in anything "leather".  The problem, of course, is that they insisted I slip on at least one jacket to get a feel for the fine leather and, poof, I was hooked.  We left the store with two leather jackets, two gaucho ponchos and several pashmina ...... oh, and an empty wallet.
Jim was all shopped out so the gals went on to several more stores while Jim, ever the genealogist, visited a local cemetery where Evita Perron was buried.
Next on our places to see and to be seen were the famous Florida street pedestrian mall and our final stop, for lunch and more shopping, the Pacifico Mall.  All good things must come to an end and it was home to Splendor with an hour to spare before departing for Montevideo.
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