Christmas day began with a mighty big sleep in. Most pleasant indeed. We walked to the restaurant, ‘Oviedo,’ for lunch, armed with our little presents for our very tiny ‘Secret Santa’ circle (which is hardly secret with 3 people!). During our shopping sprees earlier in the week, we had the tasks of buying a present for one of our group for less than 50 pesos (about $12) that began with either ‘B’ or ‘A.’ Formidable task, I know! So, we sat at our lovely restaurant and swapped presents – Sam got a black wooden fan (an Air-manipulator!), John got a mug with Argentina on it, and Nic got a ‘silver’ snowflake on a braided, leather, neck-thing (a ‘mere Bauble!’). The meal and wine were perfect, which was no surprise, as not only was the place recommended in a couple of our guide books, but our friend, the chef Federico, also told us it was a good choice (he knows the chef there, too). We had the most amazing tuna, cooked to perfection, and some more, simply stunning Argentinian wine (we are becoming huge fans of the wines of Argentina!). Afterwards, we staggered back to the flat (too much food…again!), and decided not to venture forth again that day. Dinner was catered for at home – we watched television and pigged out on chips, cheese, crackers and wine. Like most people’s Christmas, I am sure!
The next morning, after the previous 2 or 3 days of unfulfilled intentions, we finally made it to Recoleta Cemetery. John had done a little reconnaissance trip on a previous day, which helped in him being able to lead us straight to Eva Peron’s tomb – as the main entrance is being refurbished, there were no maps available, and so we just wandered, occasionally approaching workmen with our DK Top 10 book in hand and pointing saying, ‘donde esta…?’ Nic kept remarking that the architecture of the catacombs made it look like a toy town city! There were ones that looked like a tiny bank, ones that looked like a tiny city hall, ones that looked like the tiny town bandstand! After a while, it got too hot (as with every other day in BA!), and we moved on.
|Lovely detail on one of the tombs|
|Fabulous shadow/statue shot, by John|
Went to Centro del Cuendo (the leather district, which was really only 2 blocks of one street) and Nic found a fabulous bag for school. It’s a bit of a stunner, with the top flap of leather being a big flash of furry cowhide! Wouldn’t get that in Sydney! From there, we jumped in another cab (in BA they are so convenient, so cheap, so time-efficient, and perfect when it’s too warm for lengthy strolls) and went to the second best bookshop in the world (according to The Guardian). It is truly beautiful, located in a converted old theatre, with some of the theatre boxes still used as reading nooks. We had lunch in the café located on what was once the old stage. Great view from there into the body of the bookshop. We thought we were ordering an avocado and tomato salad, and got guacamole and corn chips. But we got wine, so who cares? Found no books in English that we wanted to buy, so we moved on.
|Sam and Nic with their leather purchases|
|Theatre bookshop from the ‘dress circle’|
|View from the cafe/stage into the body of the bookshop/theatre|
|Vasalissa chocolatier…just like a Disney one!|
Walked back to the apartment via ‘Havanna’ (kind of like ‘Gloria Jeans’), where we indulged in alfajordes…and bought a box of 12 to bring home! As if the cookies weren’t enough, Nic went to ‘Vasalissa Chocolatier,’ and spent a small fortune on handmade mouthfuls of heaven.
|Beautiful wrought iron is just everywhere|