Welcome to the Big Decaying City
Trip Start Dec 11, 2004
16Trip End Jan 01, 2005
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We are finally in the big big city. Did I say BIG? We took the metro (clean, nicely tiled Spanish style, but a bit rickety and heavy like New York's) down to the biggest boulevard in the world (9 de Julio) which is actually four streets and 22 something lanes wide (just like in the time-lapse film of _Baraka_). You can't get across in one go; I almost got corked by a taxi-driver on my first try and gave him some lessons in Anglo-Saxon phraseology for his efforts). We went to our hotel right near the big obelisk, which is big and smooth and big, and went in hoping for a great deal, a 3* hotel on the boulevard for $30.
Alas, all is not as a website suggests. Some of the fittings are lovely marble and so forth, but the lobby was tiny and I knew something was off
We did walk around a fair bit and the city is buzzing with activity and all manner of shopping in the northeast business district. We had a fine lunch of sushi which Vicki had been craving desperately (she lasted all of 10 days without Asian food). Now, we're in the city centre south area called San Telmo which is stuffed with antique stores and semi-cobbled streets, a bit like Old Montreal. More to our taste, even despite the obvious presence of Lonely Planeters.
We did see one beautiful thing today, one of the world's great opera houses: Teatro Colon. It is 7 balconies of bronze, marble and red velvet, and has perfect acoustics. We were unable to get tickets to the Nutcracker (seats with no view were on offer..??) but we took a guided tour of the edifice. The workshop rooms go on and on in three basements. They are so good at production that they export costumes and scenery to other opera houses
Our aim tonight is to locate fancier digs (or go with the cheap hostel in San Telmo) and to see Dinner Show Tango. Sounds loopy but since we can't Nutcracker, why not keep the Christmas spirit alive?
Tomorrow's plan is to go to Ricoleta, the nice part of town, to the Museo di Bellas Artes, if it is open, and to the swanky cemetery (where I will promise to blow my nose in the general direction of Evita's crypt.) Then Vicki and I will separate and try to do a little bit of romantic shopping.
Keeping fingers crossed for fab digs,