Cruise Diva's CRUISE
~ Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires ~
Aires, Sunday ~ December 1, 2002
Don't Cry For Me,
Argentina—from the words and music of
Andrew Lloyd Weber to a movie starring Madonna,
artists have been inspired by the history of Argentina's capital city.
Vibrant and pulsating with energy, I couldn't wait to
experience the city that stage and film only hint at.
The tour of Buenos
Aires' contemporary sights began with a drive along wide, tree lined
boulevards punctuated by elegant parks. From military heroes to the
ubiquitous Eva Peron, statues and monuments in the many squares trace
the city's tumultuous historic events.
Our first stop was in La
Recoleta, one of the city's most fashionable neighborhoods, where
we strolled through the impressive cemetery. Small plots of land are
adorned by mausoleums, ranging from dignified to gaudy, in a high-rent
"city" for the dead. Recoleta's most famous
inhabitant is Eva Duarte Peron, wife of Argentine general and dictator
Juan Peron and the adopted saint of the working class. After a
mysterious 'world tour' her body found repose in the Duarte family
Continuing our drive
through the "Paris of the Southern Hemisphere," I was struck
by the architectural contrasts and wide, wide avenues—the
Avenue 9th of July is the widest in South America and possibly the
world. We wound through streets lined with modern high-rise condos and
stately colonial style mansions (once the homes of wealthy Argentines,
most now house foreign embassies). The city has so much public art on
display that it seems to be an open-air museum for the enjoyment of
tour through the magnificent Opera House, we crossed to the Plaza
de Mayo, site of Casa Rosada. The pink palace is the home
of the President of Argentina, made famous for its balcony where Juan
and Eva Peron appeared to address cheering throngs of supporters.
Shops exhibit high end merchandise
at bargain prices for visitors and the pedestrian street, Avenida
Florida, thrills avid shoppers with designer clothing, jewelry,
shoes, and leather goods.
Aires is so huge, I felt overwhelmed by just a taste of the city. Some
day I would like to return to spend more time in La Boca, one
of the most colorful neighborhoods where a chic artist colony has been
established in the midst of the brothels that are said to be the
birthplace of the tango.
of tango, it universally defines the passion of Buenos Aires and no
visit would be complete without seeing a performance in one of the
many clubs devoted to tango music and dance. I enjoyed a delicious
dinner of Argentinean beef at the club named for Carlos Gardel, the
recording star who elevated tango from the streets to respectability.
Sensuous and spectacular, the costumes, music, and performers drew not
only tourists, but parties of local residents as well.
the cruise portion of my journey was at an end and it was time to
pack. My larger suitcases would be waiting for me on Tuesday at the
Park Tower Hotel and I carried a small tote bag for the overnight
post-cruise excursion to Iguazu Falls.
Iguazu Falls, Monday & Tuesday ~ December 2-3, 2002
Debarking Silver Shadow
was a seamless process and our small group was escorted by our guide
Cali to the nearby domestic airport for the two-hour flight to the
falls. Timing was critical and Cali made it seem effortless,
sheperding us through airports, our hotel, and finally, the falls
themselves. Joined by Nani, our local guide, we checked into rooms at
the Hotel Internacional overlooking the falls and immediately set out
through the rain forest on the open-air train for Devil's Throat. A
series of pathways and catwalks snake through the National Park,
making all areas of the falls accessible on the Argentine side. I was
amazed at how close we were—the force of the
water exhilarated us as we literally ventured over and under
many of the 275 waterfalls.
color of the rainbow is represented in park—lush
green vegetation studded with tropical flowers, brilliantly hued
birds, and everywhere the water ranges from frothy clear to cafe au
lait and chocolate. In spots, the falls reminded me of a root beer
float. To say it was the most breathtaking site I've seen in my
travels, would be an understatement. Tucans flew overhead and
butterflies fluttered at our sides while lizards and ring tailed
coati skurried past our feet. Thankfully, we weren't confronted by the
jaguars and pumas that also inhabit the park.
the next day, we entered Brazil to explore the falls from their
National Park on the opposite side. The views are more panoramic and,
depending on the wind, the walkways are even wetter. It was surreal to
don a plastic poncho and stand over the surging water as spray and
rainbows enveloped us.
sure how many miles we walked, but by the time I was ensconced in a
plush suite in the Park Tower Hotel in Buenos Aires that afternoon,
all I wanted was a nap. Iguazu Falls is not for wimps, although our
fellow visitors ranged in age from young children to senior citizens.
quiet day of shopping on Avenida
Florida, it was time to leave for the airport and flights for
home. The warmth and friendliness of the people in Brazil, Uruguay,
and Argentina linger and I hope to return someday.
Next -> Lasting Impressions
The journey is complete—recount the experiences that make a
SILVER SHADOW cruise so
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Courtesy of Silversea Cruises,
Author's Collection & AnitaVacation.com