This is the start of a new series of posts, all connected with my vacation plans and daydreams. The Ytinerary—combining the words “Why” and “Itinerary”—takes each step of my November trip and answers the question, “Why are you going there?”
Let’s start with Buenos Aires. My plane lands at Ezeiza, officially known as Ministro Pistarini International Airport, one of the largest in South America. Fortunately, there are a lot better reasons than mere convenience to spend time on the shores of the Plate. B.A. is a target-rich environment, full of museums, parks, and historical buildings. It has been described as very like a European city, partly because the majority of its inhabitants are of European descent, mostly Italian and Spanish. (The original natives of the Pampas were wiped out by General Julio Argentino Roca’s “Conquest of the Desert” in the 1870s.)
I have been to B.A. twice before, in 2006 and 2011. The first time, I stayed at the Posada del Sol (above) on Hipólito Yrigoyen, not far from the Plaza de Mayo and the Casa Rosada, the nation’s capitol. The second time was at the Chez Lulu in Palermo. This time, I plan to stay in Recoleta, between the two.
This time, I hope to see the city from the eyes of its greatest writer, Jorge Luis Borges. His widow runs a Borges Cultural Centre at Viamonte and San Martín. I also plan to see the Museo Xul Solar, dedicated to a surrealist painter whose work Borges loved (and about whom I will write later this week). Also, I will walk the streets of Palermo, where the poet was born long before the area became gentrified and when it was full of knife-fighters and trucho players.
I will visit some of the old cafés for which the city is famous, such as the Café Tortoni, Il Preferido, El Sanjuanino, and Los Violetas, which are well into their second century, and where Borges and his friends used to hang out. The food is great and the service exquisite.
Also, I will renew my acquaintance with TEGOBA, the English Speaking Group of Buenos Aires, which meets on Fridays for dinner at the FAME Fast Food Restaurant on Cabildo near the Congreso de Tucumán Subte stop (below).
As you can see, I could easily spend all three weeks of my vacation in Buenos Aires. It’s one of those cities which is endlessly fascinating.