I thought I was the only person in Argentina who never had been to Mar Del Plata, the summer playground of all Buenos Aires. On January 1st the roads, bus stations, and airports are jammed with people going to the Atlantic Coast on holiday. High season is January and February and I hear tell, and see on the news, there's no space on the sand to put one more towel. Of course, the prices are at their highest as well.
So we waited until March, and went for a long weekend, when there were less people and lower prices. I preferred to stay fewer days in a nicer place, and so I chose Bristol Condominiums on the Playa Bristol because they guaranteed a sea view. And beckoning out our picture window was the Club de Pescadores on a wharf which lit up the night sea sky with a neon blue Quilmes sign (below). We had the best meal of the whole trip there. Plus it's very old and made like a ship, so the ambiance inside as well as out was delightful.
We took the collectivo to the Puerto (right), and also to the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes (left), just in time for Mass.
Of course we left the nights free for dancing tango. On Friday we went to Chique in the Club Asturiano, a small salon with emblems of Spain decorating the walls. We recognized several friends from Buenos Aires.
On Saturday we arrived at the Centro de Leon y Castilia early in order to have dinner. What a gorgeous salon, with a stage and red velvet curtins, large wooden floor, and a mezzanine running around the room. We had a nice, quiet time, with plenty of room to dance, but the music was a problem: the organizer was the DJ who just put music on and let it play through terrible speakers.
Mar Del Plata is a beautiful old city, smaller but with all the charm of Buenos Aires. I could easily imagine living there in one of the old stone houses that are everywhere, just a stone's throw from the beach. I liked it much more than I thought I would, and I certainly won't wait another three years to return!