Monday, 25 October 2004

Capital Federal

The flight to Buenos Aires was a breeze although I had the feeling the pilot wanted to see how high his Boeing 737 could go as I had never been that high up for a 1:30 hour domestic flight. One thing that was also striking is the perfect organisation of Aerolineas Argentinas: all passengers were on board 10 minutes before scheduled time and the plane actually pulled out 5 minutes early. On arrival at Aeroparque, the domestic airport in Buenos Aires, we got our luggage virtually as soon as we got off the plane. Then the minibus to the centre was spot on time. I had been told the Argentineans were the Swiss of South America and I started to believe it. I had to reconsider when I went out of the hotel for a walk: Buenos Aires is way too friendly and attractive to be Swiss. The cafes, bars, restaurants, shops of all descriptions that make the centre feel more like a mix of France and Italy. I was told it was the most European of South American cities and I am convinced it is now. I think I am going to enjoy my stay here. This is good because the hotel I found via hotels.com is not very good and the description on the web site is a bit misleading.

Since I arrived earlier today, I discovered some of the wonders of this city, starting with the gelaterias, ice-cream shops. You choose the size of cone you want and the flavours you want on top (that's the difficult part, there are lots); then watch the guy pile up an amount of ice-cream on your small cone you never thought could fit; and finally enjoy it thoroughly because this is the type of ice-cream that would make the Italians jealous. If this applies to you, make sure your Weight Watchers point calculation table is nowhere to be found. Then I tried another of Buenos Aires delights, the media luna, a small croissant eaten at tea time or breakfast or whenever you feel like it. This is real full fat butter croissant that would make a Frenchman proud. All this should keep me going until dinner time, i.e. 10pm or so, at which time I might have an Argentinean steak, the size of which is at least 500 grams. Smaller sizes are on the child menu. Then around midnight, it should be time to have a few beers and go out. There might be some Argentinean wine involved as well. Ok, I haven't done all of this yet, some of it is speculation, speaking from my 2 day experience in Puerto IguazĂș.

I think I really like this place already. Why was it I had to go back to London on Saturday again?

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