Buenos Aires Day 5

I woke early to finish packing. The bottles of wine were my main concern as my luggage is soft sided. I debated shipping the bottles, but I think I packed them well. Everything fit in two bags still, but I used the fold-up backpack for some overflow.

Breakfast in the lounge was the same as ever.

I checked out. The concierge staff would pick up my bags from me room, so I headed downstairs. I had about an hour before the walking tour so I decided to take a different route to the meet-up.

For some bizarre reason I still cannot fathom I trusted the tourist map again. I picked the spot out for the meet-up in the lounge, but once I was on the road it wasn’t where the map said it would be. I knew where the tour was going, so I made for the first stop along the way.

I ended up walking the bits of the tour to the places I hadn’t been before. I never found the tour group but that was okay. I hoped a cab to the Cafe Tortoni, the heart of tango in BA. The place is decked out beautifully, and it is a site to see. The food and service were not so good, especially for the price. It is very touristy.

I took another taxi to the Recoleta Cemetery. I walked around the tombs for over an hour and would have stayed longer. It was overcast, windy, and cool. The effect was made more so by the surroundings. Next time I am here I will make every effort to spend more time here. There’s another cemetery that’s not so famous but is bigger that I may have to try, too.

From there it was time to start thinking about heading to the airport. I swung by the hotel for a cup of coffee and my bags. The drive to the airport was uneventful but for one thing.

The taxi drivers, men over a certain age, do the stations of the cross (am I getting that right?) every time a Catholic church was driven past or near by. The driver tot he airport was one such gentleman and he blessed himself probably six times on the way.

The airport was a bit of a mess. I couldn’t find the Delta counter, but that’s because it wasn’t there yet. A few staffers pointed me to a sign that looked somewhat Delta-ish without having the name or the logo. A woman looked me up, handed me a slip of paper (which no one wanted to look at after that), and had me stand in line.

After about 5 minutes, Delta agents showed up rolling carts. Their entire operation was contained within. Working feverishly they set up seven check-in counter stations in about 10 minutes. At first in line they took care of me quickly and I was off, bag checked only through to Atlanta as my Detroit flight was more than 6 hours after arrival in ATL.

Security, passport control, and customs were odd. The security line backed up because there were only two lanes open. Almost everyone who went through set of the metal detectors, necessitating the least impressive pat down ever.

Once through that you hit passport control. Two sets of lines to a bunch of open lanes. Sweet, I thought. But the left lane was serviced by stations 11 to 20 while the right (my line) was serviced by 2 and 6-10. When approaching it looks like the right has more lanes available. More lies!

Once I got all the way through that I had to walk about 15 minutes to terminal C to the Aerolineas Argentinian lounge.