Cementerio de la Recoleta entrance
Recoleta Cemetery - , Buenos Aires, Argentina
Recoleta Cemetery (Cementerio de la Recoleta) - Junin 1790, Buenos Aires, Capital Federal District, Argentina
My trip truly began on Thursday at Newark airport. Lauren Sohmer kindly dropped me off, warning me to be early to 1. Beat traffic and 2. Get through security. I am so thankful for her suggestion. After attempting to check in at the carry-on only kiosks, I unfortunately has to jump in the normal line due to the international flight requiring a passport check. Lucky for me I was early because just getting through the ticket line took an hour. I heard all kinds of people in line complaining about all the traffic they had to deal with. While we did hit some slow downs, we still made good time to the airport. I was glad we didn't leave too much later!
Not everyone was so lucky. I overheard the man behind me in line talking on the phone warning someone that he didn't think he'd make it to his flight. He told me his flight departs at 5:40pm. Since it was already 4:30pm and we were at the back end of the ticketing line, the outlook wasn't good for him. Fortunately, he overheard one of the United directing agents mention the kiosks. I had asked he was international, but
Evita Péron's Tomb
Eva Peron's Tomb - Junin 1790, Buenos Aires, Capital Federal District, Argentina
when he asked if he could check in that way - I directed him to the right kiosks ( he tried to go to the wrong ones) in hopes he could jump the line to drop off his bags and make it to his flight. Everything seemed to be working well for him until I made it to the security line and the same guy was just a mere 10 people in front of me! By this point it was 5:10pm ( I managed to get through the ticket line a little quicker since I didn't check a bag), he had about 20 minutes to make it to his gate before doors close without letting anyone else on. Poor man made the mistake of going to the wrong security line. I wished him luck and out of curiosity kept an eye on the time. I made it through security just after 5:30 pm. With any luck he made his flight and his luggage made it there with him.
I, on the other hand, had hours to spare. Unfortunately, unlike Philly, the Newark airport does not have free Wi-Fi. I spent a good hour trying to figure out if my
Evita's Fun Hats
Museo Evita - Lafinur 2988, Buenos Aires, Capital Federal District, Argentina
phone was capable of creating a hotspot for my tablet before giving up and just dealing with the books I had remembered to download on time.
Multiple hours and gate changes later, it hits time for or plane loading and departure for Buenos Aires. However despite our plane and crew all being available some unexplained circumstances delayed our departure. When they finally did start the boarding, they called up group three first (oddly this was my group, and I couldn't help but think what a nice surprise). It turns out, though, they only called certain rows in group three- the exit rows. One poor girl was so confused. The man swiped her ticket but then called her back since she wasn't in the right rows and sent her to the back of the line. Of course that was right next to me, so I had to inquire about the situation. Amanda and I had a nice little chat while waiting for them to continue the boarding process (as expected, they returned to the beginning of the groups so we had time). She was flying to Buenos Aires from Connecticut for a mental health conference. Aspiring to be a psychologist, Amanda
Floralis Generica - Plaza of the United Nations, Avenida Figueroa Alcorta y AustriaBuenos Aires, Capital Federal District, Argentina
Hope this would give her some beneficial contacts for the future. Her addiction to traveling, like me, also drive her to attend. Finally it is our turn to board and, no surprise, she has problems since her ticket already had been swiped once before. The attendant's short term memory seemed to have forgotten he had sent her to the back of the line before. The flight itself was pretty uneventful after all that. It consisted mostly of sleep since it was 10:30pm before my behind hit the seat.
My introduction to Argentina was..... Easy. That was the most painless custom process I've ever been through. They reviewed my passport, asked where I was staying, took my webcam photo/fingerprints and ran my bags through a security scanner. No tricky questions, no pulling me aside, no dogs sniffing around. Easy. Once outside security a guard directed me to a bank to exchange cash. Then on my way out, a taxi stand called me over to get me set up with a ride to my hostel. The diver was friendly and patient with my poor Spanish during the long drive to the hostel, but he gave me some fun facts and info
Hostel Estoril Private Room
Hostel Estoril - Avenida de Mayo 1385 Piso 1er, Buenos Aires, Argentina
for my trip before dropping me off at the hostel door. Easy. I walked into the hostel at 10:30 am and was set right up with everything. Another tenant wanted to stay an extra night so I got upgraded to a private room got the dorm price which was available so I could leave my bags there for the day. The hostess, Wendy, provided me a map, tourist recommendations, and all kinds of helpful suggestions. The hostel had a deal with the buses, so Wendy set me up with my ticket to Iguazu Falls for 20% off as well as helping me find the right place to get a bus ticket from the Falls to Rio De Janeiro.
All set for the day, I headed out into the city to explore.I love it! The city is full of bakeries and ice cream shops. Even though it was 50 degrees and people were all bundled up for winter, nearly every other block had someone walking with an ice cream in hand. I wandered my way over to Recoleta to start the adventure.
Wealthy tombs built above family crypts filled my first view of Recoleta Cemetery. It was like taking the biggest, most expensive family crypts from Philadelphia's Laurel Cemetery and cramming them all right next to each other downtown. It was amazing! The architecture and art that went into some of them was beautiful. I could have spent all day there. Eva Durante de Peron's tomb held the biggest tourist huddle, but I managed to get a good look and picture. From there, I meandered by a couple museums and made my way to the Floralis Generics. This hydraulic flower monument was paid for by Lockheed Martin. Every morning the petals open and every night they close back up. Since it was the middle of the day, I didn't bother to wait for either to happen, but instead wandered over to the Biblioteca Nacional. I love libraries... however since the outside of this one didn't appear to have a fun architectural inside, I kept on walking by.
The city offered numerous museum options for the afternoon. I opted to go to the Eva Péron Museum since her fame is so tied to Buenos Aires and I loved the movie from High School Spanish class (I have to say Madonna really did portray a good Evita). Afterward my feet were sore from all the walking so I went to the Botanical Gardens nearby to sit in the sun and enjoy the cool crisp afternoon. After my rest I returned to the hostel, stopping to get a treat at a bakery on the way back.
The chilly winter night and exhaustion from poor airplane sleep encouraged me to stay in for the evening. This did give me an opportunity to plan the next few days as well as update all you on the start of my trip!
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