Days 18-19; Jan. 23-24
South America is like a bejeweled sleeping giant that somehow is sometimes overlooked by many Americans. Among the giant’s gems are Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas; Iguazu Falls and world-class cities such as Buenos Aires, where our World Cruise stopped for two days. The weather forecast called for rain, but when the Amsterdam navigated the River Plate and docked at the Buenos Aires pier, it was gloriously sunny and in the low 80s. A great start to our visit to the “Paris of South America.” Since the ship was in Buenos Aires for two days, we booked a room at the Four Seasons Buenos Aires hotel in the posh La Recoleta neighborhood, in the heart of the city, to enjoy walks from a convenient base to points of interest, like the 12-lane July 9 Avenue, two blocks from the hotel, and one of the world’s widest thoroughfares that has been likened to the Champs Elysees in Paris.
It has sidewalk cafes, tango clubs, and Teatro Colon, one of South America’s best opera houses, with excellent acoustics. The July 9 Avenue is also adorned with an obelisk that reminded us of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., although it is not as high. We walked the length of the avenue and crossed it using the tunnel for that purpose to do so safely – it has a variety of shops and snack bars along the way under the avenue. Other highlights of the city we enjoyed on our walks included the Casa Rosada (Argentina’s equivalent of our White House) from whose balcony, Evita and Juan Peron addressed their followers. We visited the Cathedral, with the mausoleum for General San Martin, Argentina’s Great Liberator. And continuing with the Evita theme, we stopped at her mausoleum – in black marble — at the Recoleta Cemetery. Between one walk and another, we relaxed at the Four Seasons Buenos Aires, with its fine pool and spa, Belle Epoque Mansion and modern hotel rooms tower, and Le Mistral Restaurant where the Sunday brunch is a Buenos Aires institution.
Freelance travel writer Georgina Cruz and her husband Humberto are currently sailing on Amsterdam’s 112-day Grand World Voyage and will be sending in cruise diaries throughout their time on board. She has logged 174 voyages to all seven continents and visited more than 100 countries.