Hate to label this beautiful city right off the bat, but our first experiences led us there. After 3 flts and jumbled times zones, we arrived in Buenos Aires about 8:30 AM ready to recharge atnour downtown hotel and meet some fellow travelers. As we approached the passport control area and saw literally thousands of people standing in snake lines, I thought "wow" that is a LOT of people waiting to go through passport. Thinking like a US citizen, I also thought they were probably efficient and could move that crowd in a timely manner. BIG wrong! Welcome to Argentina, where standing in looong lines seems to be a national pastime. 2 hrs later and feeling faint, crabby, hungry, potty challenged, were were finally approaching one of the few passport staff. I turned around and looked back, and the people,were stacked end to end all the way to the stairs and no where to go except where we had just waited and there were even more people. Finally, feeling like we may be able to get some fresh air, we encountered another line for customs and this one made passport control look efficient. Not to belabor this bad start, i just want to say it took us over 3 hrs to leave that airport, and 95% was waiting in some line or another.
We were picked up by a woman who was also waiting all that time out by the exit area. Even she was a bit rattled. We were delivered to one of the oldest hotels in BA (yes,,that is what the locals call Buenos Aires)...The SAVOY. We are smack dab in the middle of town, and after unloading and resting for 1 hr. we joined our guide, Silvana, for a quick walking tour of the area around the hotel, so we could negotiate food,drink, shopping, etc. Honestly, all I could see were lines...everywhere. I am hoping after a good nights rest and dinner, I will have a change of heart, because I Really, really want to love one of the most exciting cities in the world.
Quick note: Steve and I ducked into an empanada shop for a quick bite and got one of the most amazing slices of pizza and a "chop"... Ice cold draft beer. I am feeling better already.