Monday, September 8, 2008

Gone to the dogs

It was a busy weekend. Since Brad is here visiting from San Francisco, I got to play tour guide. Saturday was quite rainy. We went to La Boca in the early afternoon where, despite the drizzle, we each ended up taking a boatload of pictures. Many of which turned out quite well, despite the overcast conditions. Then we hopped a cab to the Museo de Bellas Artes (a joy of living in Buenos Aires is the low cost of taxis - barely six dollars to get across town; cabs are cheap, plentiful, and tipping is not expected - you just round whatever is on the meter up to the nearest peso, because of the coin shortage, and Bob's your uncle).

The Fine Arts Museum is enormous - there are still whole wings I didn't get to explore - and full of wonderful exhibits. My favorite was on the top floor, which was given over to an exhibition of photos by Argentine photographers from the end of the 19th century. But I still need to go back.

Yesterday, we made an early start to get the ferry over to Colonia, a terrific little town more or less directly across the river/estuary from Buenos Aires. After the one-hour ferry ride, there was a one-hour guided walking tour, after which we were free to wander around on our own (with a voucher for lunch at one of the local restaurants). There are - needless to say - photos, uploading to Flickr even as I type this entry. The photos are striking for (a) the superabundance of dogs and (b) the complete lack of any feline presence at all. This is either because (i) Brad is a kind of pied piper where dogs are concerned (ii) there are no cats in Uruguay (iii) a combination of (i) and (ii) or (iv) some explanation too hideously sinister to contemplate. There was, I am glad to say, no evidence of any feline elements in the cuisine, based on our lunch choices, but then we were restricted to the limited set of choices offered to those with vouchers, so dark unsavory possibilities cannot be ruled out completely.

I am keeding, of course! It was a terrific outing, in every respect. Brad was particularly excited, because in the course of crossing and recrossing the river, he got his passport stamped six times. As did I.

Yesterday's excursion forced me to pay attention to the map, so I realized that Montevideo is not actually directly across from Buenos Aires, but quite a bit further down the coast, so that a ferry there would probably take closer to three hours each way.

Offsetting the disturbing lack of cats in Uruguay, the air was distinctly less polluted. Apparently, the pollution and smog of Buenos Aires provides them with spectacular sunsets. While the pollution in B.A. doesn't quite reach post-Krakatoa levels, at times one could be forgiven for getting that impression.

No comments: