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By gleebeck
Joined: May 10, 2007
Posts: 11

Posted on: October 10, 2008 at 4:39PM

Got a lonely birthday, dwindling FF miles and hotel points, and a week or so? Hop on the 11 hour flight out of DFW into EZE(mention the occasion and hope for the upgrade)and check into the Club Floor at your favorite Starwood property overlooking the Victoria Monument. From the 22nd floor you can see a good part of BA while your concierge contacts the South American Explorers Club for you which is having a walking tour within 30 minutes of your check-in. She finds the location for you, makes the call, the taxi drops you right when the group sets off. The afternoon is devoted to Evita Peron and your bilingual guide(thankfully)spends the next three hours showing and telling us about her tragic few years for which the nation still memorializes her some 55 years after her passing. Included is a discussion of the theft of her remains to Italy for 18 years and later on your own you make it to Cemetario Ricolleta to view the grand monuments(but don't look for it under the name "Peron"). Whew, what an introduction to BA, all in the first four hours after check-in. The dedicated concierge staff on the Club Floor, duly alerted to the occasion, places the Chandon and chocolate mouse cake in your suite and while you sip and nibble only one thought comes to your mind:TANGO! Time to trouble the kind concierge again you find yourself in line outside the Gran Cafe Tortoni, still standing elegantly as ever after 150 years! It looks dicey at the last minute getting into the first show on a Friday night but soon enough you find yourself seated with very nice ladies from Brazil to enjoy the sweet, sensual movements and music of a very intimate, non-touristy tango performance. Later, the rhythm still in your head you contemplate heading to a "milango," a kind of tango parlor where you, yourself are performing. But, it is only the first day in BA, you say, and still some Chandon and mouse await you as you decide to turn in for your first night in Argentina. When dawn beckons too few hours later you realize you have only a few hours until your in-country flight on the national airline departs for Iguazu Falls(IGA). Upon arrival a driver from your, again, favorite Starwood property(the only one in Parc Iguazu)is there to greet you. Soon enough you find yourself almost embarrassed to be accepting another suite upgrade and after a cursory one-hour "get acquainted" hike around the nearest falls, more so to find another Chandon(but a large snack and cheese plate this time)placed in your suite. How did they know? And, technically, it was the day after your birthday, anyhow. Well, most fortunate that among the few English-speaking voices heard on the short trail were those of a mother&daughter from London on a wine tour of Argentina-proper English, at that! So kind, then, to join you on your balcony to view the sunset with the roaring falls(the Brazilian ones you can see, those on the Paraguay side, no)close enough to hear, also to assist the the task of the champagne and snacks. Concierge time, again, as this night,a full moon, is one of the very few nights when guests are permitted to venture out after the 6:00pm closing. Lucky again, I snag the of the last seats of this most sought after opportunity and, round midnight, I find myself standing on top of the "Devils Canyon." Lit only by moonlight and without a flashlight I try to adjust both my eyes and camera lens to capture these spectacular moments. One second at f3.5. Aha! Ghostly and ethereal the images appear in my viewfinder. Too soon the next day I am back in BA after tryng to extend my stay(please, two nights must be the minimum here, and, even these concierges cannot do everything!). Three more nights in in BA-just time enough to engorge myself at a "parrilla(I like the Cafe Acapulco)," where one savors all five parts of the cow. No, it is not a bull so not that part on my plate anyhow. And time enough to hook up with many and varied traveling. Buenos Viajes!!! report a problem

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