Another day off but this time in Argentina's premier wine city. Determined not to waste a moment we booked a wine tour for the afternoon and took a taxi to a nearby shopping mall for the morning.
The Grand Hotel Balbi deserves a special mention as one of the worst hotels with the most helpful behind the desk staff. Breakfast is disgraceful and reluctantly served by one of the most sour women it has been my misfortune to be involved with. She makes the BA stewardesses of yore look positively friendly. Other than that the hotel was smelly, with mosquitoes and carpets that were last cleaned after the second world war when they were expecting guests from Germany.
Grand is used in a most unfarmiliar context.
The shopping mall was ok, most of the goods are available everywhere else however we both spied footware and purchased that.
The highlight however was the wine tour which took in two wineries (one enormous, the other boutique) and an olive oil place. This took in 5 hours and we thoughly enjoyed ourselves getting back to the hotel after 8:30.
There was some discussion of spending another night in Mendoza which we kind of took on board but discussing it over dinner it would have meant a very long day hauling from Mendoza to Vina del Mar with a border crossing of unknown duration and worse yet an additional night in the Hotel Balbi.
We thought to give Anna Bistro a second chance as the service and ambience was exemplary and that was good for Mary whose pork was superb but my steak was over salted and really not very nice. Pity.