Southern Argentina – December 2019 – The Flight Home

There are about 10 flights a day from Buenos Aires to Bariloche. During the Christmas holiday it is packed with Porteno’s from the city headed to the mountains. A flight back on Christmas eve – not so much – Our 737 had 12 passengers and 5 crew.







With nobody on the plane, and fairly clear skies for much of the trip, I took the opportunity to get some shots from up high. The late afternoon sun gave some challenges to lighting, but the terrain below was very interesting.




































































We arrived to a nearly empty terminal




When we were checking in at the terminal in Bariloche they insisted on weighing our carry on bags, then pronounced them overweight so we had to check them (despite the fact we could have 10 overhead bins to ourselves).

When we arrived in BA they were easy to find, since they were the only 2 bags! Because there were only 12 people on the plane, and everybody including the crew wanted to get home we left as soon as the arriving passengers deplaned – leaving 45 minutes before scheduled time and arriving about an hour before our scheduled time!






Lago Nahuel Huapi, Argentina – December 2019 – Tour of the Lake

When we arrived in Bariloche numerous people insisted we take a lake tour. We were fortunate enough to get some tickets as we were leaving town for the North Loop tour, but they were for that afternoon.

After arriving back in town, we headed straight for Puerto PaƱuelo to catch the ship Modesta Victoria for our extended tour of Lago Nahuel Huapi. The Modesta Victoria is over 80 years old!










The warm, but somewhat windy day, was perfect for the cruise.




As we left the port we passed by some very impressive buildings.







As a glacial lake, it is completely surrounded by mountains.







Not long after leaving the port a flock of seagulls started to trail the boat. People quickly realized if they threw bread or crackers they would follow.

Some were able to get the seagulls to take the crackers directly from their hands, but this poor lady tried forever and was never able to.








After an hour we arrived at our first stop, the Arrayanes National Park. An Arrayane is the type of tree seen here. The slow growing tree is not native to this location, but a property owner in the early 1900s introduced them. Sadly many of them are dying off.













Our second stop was on Isla Victoria.







We returned to the port in the late afternoon sun.









Buenos Aires – December 2019 – The People and Street Art of the Palermo Soho Barrio

Like London and New York, Buenos Aires has a ‘Soho’, however it is not a acronym for anything – just a cool name from the aforementioned cities.

Like those other cities, the neighborhood is very stylish and ‘hip’. We took an Urban Art tour with Grace, who knows the neighborhood well.

With the gentrification and general hipster feel of the neighborhood, much of the graffiti appears polished compared to other BA neighborhoods. Still it is well done and well worth the visit.



































































Thanks Grace for an excellent tour.






Buenos Aires – August 2019 – Retiro Train Station Tour

A quiet Saturday morning was a great time to take a guided tour of Retiro Station – in Spanish!



The station actually is comprised of 3 separate terminus’. The largest and most grand is Retiro Mitre, named for the line that terminates there.



The center concourse has an excellent vaulted ceiling.



Nearly all of the trains departing from here are commuter rail, so they come and go frequently. It is easily one of the busiest in South America (but not so much on a Saturday morning).







Why are we outside a Burger King?



And why is our tour all looking up?



At this amazing skylight in the middle of Burger King. Obviously it used to be a much more grand restaurant than Burger King, but at least they have retained it.



The second, much smaller terminal is Retiro Belgrano.





The final is Retiro San Martin – graced by a statue of the father of Argentina, General San Martin.



They have kept a great old schedule board.



But it is time to kiss this place goodbye.





Buenos Aires – August 2019 – San Telmo Market

Another trip to Buenos Aires had me arriving early on a Sunday morning, so I headed over on the subway to the San Telmo neighborhood.



San Telmo has a famous Sunday market.



A former mission is now a gathering spot for the community.







The Nuestra Senora de Belen Church is the center of the neighborhood.



Back to the market. It went for blocks with antiques, trinkets and souvenir stands.



Along with a great collection of street performers were throughout the market.





Being winter (although it was about 15 Celsius) you could get coffee from the mobile coffee vendor. San Telmo Market warrants a second visit in the future when I have more time to really check out the sights.





Lowell, Massachusetts – August 2019 – The Early Textile Industry in America

Lowell, Massachusetts was an early center of the textile industry in America. It was one of the first real industrial centers, with large cotton mills being built along the waterways.



By diverting the river into numerous canals they could power the machinery for the mills. The canals remain to this day, in various states.











One of the former mills houses a museum that shows the power plant that used the water to generate the power to run the machines.







Because of the flammability of the dust, they used wooden gears that didn’t create sparks.





It is when you go into the main production floor exhibit that you get a true feel for the sheer size of the operation.

While we were there they ran 2 of the looms, which was incredibly loud. One could only imagine what these young ladies went through with 200 of them running at the same time, while working their 12-14 hour, 6 day a week job.















The National Park Service runs a replica trolley around town to shuttle visitors between the sites. A visit to Lowell is educational, and worth the visit if you are in Massachusetts.