Distance from Montevideo to Buenos Aires: 134 Nautical Miles – Mostly Cloudy 90sF
The party started later – 11:00 PM or so and went until 2:30 PM – I stuffed those ear plugs in as far as they would go and somehow got some sleep.
I didn’t get a final reckoning of our bill and when I did, the speaker adjustments were not on it. The purser reran the bill after consulting with some one in the back and the modifications were made. It was correct at the end.
I had a final breakfast up in the Horizon Café – same food as always and still the best meal of the day. Ellen ate a little later as we were not due in the Explorer’s Lounge until about 9 AM. When we got to the Lounge, we were told that things were ahead of schedule so we simply walked off – no passport control and no searching for luggage.
A beautiful day in Buenos Aires
I had emailed the Serena Hotel (I had to figure out their email address since it was not on their web page) indicating that we need a ride – they responded that the ride would cost 350 AR$ (Argentine Pesos) or $17.50 (1 peso = 5 cents). The Hotel said we could charge the ride or pay in almost all major currencies. As we exited the terminal, we saw my name on a placard (always cool) and in a few minutes were on our way to the hotel. The driver did an amazing and scary job of darting in and out of traffic and in about 20 minutes we were at the Serena Hotel. We paid the driver with a $20 bill and he said OK.
The hotel is located in Recoleta within walking distance of everything. The hotel looks new and our room, 612,
Bathroom with Jetted Tub
was huge and very modern looking. The bathroom was cavernous with a rain shower (the bathroom was half the size of our cabin on the ship). The room was in the corner with only one neighbor. The hotel does have some interesting rules one being that no outside food can be brought into the hotel – we interpreted that this did not apply to bottle water and to food that no one could see.
The view from Room 612 was pretty typical South America – with lots of apartments.
Room with a “View”
The elevators in the hotel are very high tech with digital displays of each of the floors
The hotel has a gorgeous indoor pool and we forgot to bring swim gear (generally we bring the suits but don’t swim).
There was an outdoor area with couches and water features. Staff were always cleaning the water fountain slats.
The View from the Courtyard
My rate (from Hotels.com) was about half of what the hotel was posting in the lobby. Sometimes you get lucky.
Since we were not jet lagged on arrival, we decided to explore the neighborhood. Recoleta is one of the fanciest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires – fancy hotels, nice restaurants, and mostly fancy people. Our goal was to get some cash for meals and other incidentals so we tried an ATM on the way. After going through all the prompts, the machine told me there was a problem and to try again later. We tried again later three or four more times with the same result (insanity). We were told by someone that the ATMs we were using were part of a network that worked only with local banks (what?) and we should seek out the other major ATM type in BA – “Link”. Well, we didn’t find any of those. Bodegas wouldn’t take our charge card so we were cashless.
A passenger on our ship recommended we check out one of the must-see sites in Buenos Aires – El Ateneo bookstore. I looked it up on Google and we found it after some wandering around. The bookstore used to be a theater and the interior architecture was amazing.
El Ateneo Bookstore
After resting up a bit back at the hotel, we set out to have dinner. Fortunately, the restaurant we chose for dinner took credit cards – Pizza Piola, which was recommended by the hotel. It was a very nice place only a few blocks from the Serena. The neighborhood leading to the restaurant was very upscale – beautiful buildings along with shops and eateries everywhere.
Along the Way to the Restaurant
At Pizza Piola, We shared a salad (huge) and pizza (lots of cheese and little sauce but good) and I had another of those gigantic South American local beers (also good).
Our room seems quiet, our TV set only works on one channel, so reading took up the rest of the evening.