The Casa Rosada was a good first stop to enjoy the sunshine and the fountains and greenery of the surrounding Plaza de Mayo. Across the plaza was encampment of war veterans from the battle over Las Islas Malvinas, or Falkland Islands. This island group was mentioned so often in recent days that we had the feeling that Argentina wasn't about to give them up to the UK without a fight. I reserve judgement on this to someone more knowledgable on the subject.
A lovely walk down tree-lined Avenida de Mayo kept us out of the hot sun, and me into a pharmacy in search of throat losenges. I took a number and stood in line with the others until my number was called and I figured out exactly what I wanted. Oh, seven years of Spanish classes, you have served me well. We weren't trying to pack too much into the day as we were already exhausted and sore from exploring this weekend, and fatigue was setting in from whatever illness I picked up, but at least I was active and not entirely miserable. We powered on and decided a lingering lunch would hit the spot. We returned to La Cholita in Retiro, this time for chorizo and a rack of ribs. We had thought the chorizo appetizer was going to put us over the top, but once the ribs arrived, we were silent as we gnawed at the deliciously-sauced bones. From all the sodium, heat, and walking, just about every appendage in our body was swelling. It felt nice to sit, but will feel fantastic to be back inChicago drinking nothing but water and eating a salads for a few days until we can lose this meat belly that we've developed, happily, I might add.
As we headed back to the hotel, I must comment on the degree of graffiti in this town. If there is a surface, it will be drawn upon. Most is illegible tagging, but along Avenida Justo by the train station, the walls are vividly colorful with imaginative art. It makes for a more interesting stroll. No wonder BA is known for its famed street art. We made one final stop at a wine shop near our hotel to take back a few bottles. Aside from the ones we were already having shipped to us, I also picked out a cab-Malbec blend from. Mendoza, a sparkling brut, and a Patagonian Syrah. I could have easily gone hog wild in here but three bottles was enough for the time being.
In short, there is so much more to see in BA than we ever had the opportunity to experience in four short days. We maximized as best we could, but it deserves another few visits. The food, vibrancy, and passion make this city truly unique. Outside the city limits lies an expanse of countryside filled with vineyards, pampas, polo, soccer, horsemanship, mountains, penguins, and rugged terrain. I am happy that we had a sampling, would be happier still to return and explore this diverse country. South America truly holds my heart once again.