Sunday, June 1, 2008

Monday, 2 June, 2008 Buenos Aires

Monday, 2 June, 2008
at the Bed & Breakfast

Busy day!

Landed around 6 a.m., arrived by taxi at Solar Soler B & B at 8 a.m.; thankfully dove into bed for a nap when the room was ready at 10 a.m.

Got up after a short but much needed nap, put my hiking boots on (!) and off I went. First I walked around the block, just to get a feel for where I was, and what the area was like.

Having done that, I set off in what I thought was the general direction of the major park here in Buenos Aires ("BA", from now on)... and thanks to all the time I spent playing with the amazing Google Earth mapping software, I was right! Of course, having the sun out made it oh so much easier!

First impressions: Just as Michael said, lots of traffic pollution and noise, lots of litter and dog leavings (yuck) but much that is interesting, too. Quite a mix of styles & eras of architecture.

 I strolled through the (free) botanical gardens; I imagine spending time there on a regular basis, with a book & a snack. Millions of cats* in the gardens, but they look pretty healthy compared to the ones we saw in Greece. Perhaps the goldfish pond has something to do with that?

One in a million*, so to speak...
Millions of Cats, by Wanda Gag

I walked past the apartment building where we will be staying, beginning next Monday. The neighborhood is quite nice, as Michael said.

I stopped for some gelato (helado)... and wished I had studied Spanish a LOT more. Any time I try to think of what to say, all I can think of is French (and very little of that, I might add)

I managed to navigate the ATM at a bank; I got a little worried when I got my cash & my receipt, but not my card. But it was just checking that I was really, really done with making transactions. All's well.

I was quite proud of myself for having asked at the airport for info on public libraries in "our" neighborhood (it apparently was quite a production even for someone at the information desk to get this info) and I found one of them while walking. However, it turns out that I couldn't just look at books; I had to fill out a request form for a particular book. The gentleman and I could not communicate, but I did manage to understand that much.  I'm hoping it was some kind of rare collection, and that all libraries won't be that way! WAH!

**Note from the future**
the only other library I found was (If I interpreted the sign correctly) permanently closed.  After that, I contented myself with a bookstore that had a small stock of English language books.

Finally, I popped in to a nice looking restaurant called "BIO"; it was a vegetarian, organic restaurant that served up a true feast for me. Now, don't laugh: sauteed tofu seasoned with curry, stir-fried vegetables & jasmine rice. I had a delicious fruit drink (fresh) and asked for the spelling of it -- turned out to be PLUM juice. Once I knew that, the taste was unmistakeable -- and very good.

Wandered on "home" to the b&b; tomorrow morning I catch an early flight to Cordoba (north & west) and then a taxi to LaFalda (north again), and find the conference, and find Michael and.... well, we're both looking forward to being together in person! I'm so grateful to be able to communicate with him (and now all of you back home) so easily!

I told a friend of mine that I typically only write travel journals until things get really interesting, so we'll see how that goes. I like being in touch, and if you would let me know what's going on with you & y'alls, I'd appreciate that.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Love, Laura

No comments: