Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Las Tres Fronteras
The final stop of our trip to Iguazu was "Las Tres Fronteras" (the three borders). This is the spot where Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay all meet at a point. In the picture above, three brances of rivers meet and divide the three countries. Each country has erected a statue on the site of the three borders and the three statutes all match each other. Additionally, the Argentina side of the border has the flags of the three countries flying proudly (see picture at right). Also, note, Argentina's flag is the highest!
After the stop at las tres fronteras, we were off to the airport at Iguazu for our flight back to Buenos Aires. The airport was literally the smallest one I had ever seen, with literally only two gates that serve the approximately 6 departures and 6 arrivals each day. Chris and I were flying Aerolineas Argentina so we were a little bit worried. We had heard horror stories about people spending evenings in Argentine airports as they awaited their ill-fated flights' departures. The airline is currently owned by the Argentine government (though it is in the process of being tranferred to private ownership), and it essentially has a monopoly on domestic air travel. Until two years ago, it was literally the only airline that flew domestically. Now LAN Chile has some limited services as well, but without any competitors, there is really no pressure on Aerlineas Argentina to provide decent service.
Our flight was supposed to board at about 4:45 PM, and at 4:55 PM, the plane still was not on the ground. Still, for some reason, we were told to get up and stand in line at the door to the jetway so up we went with our tickets, our bags, and our preocupations. The plane was still not at the gate! Where exactly were we going? As I was pondering these questions, I looked out the window and saw the plane land on the only runway at the airport. It taxied to the gate, we boarded, and then we enjoyed a relatively good flight to Buenos Aires that only arrived approximately a half hour late. The service on the plane was great. There were a whopping FIVE flight attendants for an MD-80 (most US airlines would have 3), and they served a snack and drink even though the flight was less than 2 hours long. Much of the flight was very rough due to poor weather conditions, but there was nothing Aerolineas Argentina could have done about that.
We landed at Jorge Newbury Airport in Buenos Aires, and I returned home for another week in the city...