96 Hours in Peru covering as much territory as possible

Carlos Melia in Machu Picchu
96 Hours in Peru covering as much territory as possible  |  Peru  | A few weeks back, invited by LATAM Airlines Business Class, Belmond Journeys and Hotels Peru, Rubin and I decided to come for 3 nights / 4 days – ha ha ha yes you read right 96 hours, to explore to main higlights of the marvelous country and intriguing culture. This wasn’t my first time in Peru – for work or leisure – I have been many times, but indeed was Rubin‘s first visit, and I mastered a well curated itinerary, that would take us from Lima, to Cusco, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley, in a natural flow enjoying the services of all our hosts… Well, unfortunately not all came along as planned. For more photos and videos on my journey in Peru, visit my Instagram Photo Gallery of Peru.
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Lunch at St Ouen Coffee at Jardins du Ruisseau and Dinner in Trocadero

Lunch at St Ouen Coffee at Jardins du Ruisseau and Dinner in Trocadero | Paris, France | Yesterday, being a Sunday, I’ve decided to have a very local day. My morning began working at RUBINSINGER’s Showroon in Trocadero and from there after our morning appointments, I went to one of my favorite spots in Paris, the Marche Vernaison‬ in St Ouen. Where I enjoyed a kitsch French lunch at my classic chez Louisette. This place always makes me so happy. After that I spend my early afternoon walking around the market, Antique browsing and shopping.  Continue reading Lunch at St Ouen Coffee at Jardins du Ruisseau and Dinner in Trocadero

NYC Airporter Manhattan to LGA

NYC Airporter Manhattan to LGA   |  New York, United States  |  NYC Airporter Transfer from Grand Central to La Guardia Airport. Not being cheap, just that when you are an independent entrepreneur going to the airport at least five times a month as I do, an USD 80 car each way, turns to be a bit too much don’t you agree. Rather spend that money on other luxuries, like a nice dinner or hotel, or even an airline upgrade. They are reliable, comfortable, with various meeting points around the city, and most important USD 13 each way. Free WiFi and power outlets onboard. TIP stay away from similar companies like SuperShuttle, they stood me ip or cancel on me at the last minute multiple times before. Because for me airport transfers in New York are not a luxury but part of job. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
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Madame Tussauds Museum

If you though Los Angeles and Hollywood was full of plastic and fake celebrities… Well you haven’t seen anything till you walk into Madame Tussauds Museum, and you see not only celebs but also politicians at their best. Just another night out in Manhattan with all my best friends… yes Kim Kardashian, you included.
Madame Tussauds history is a rich and fascinating one with roots dating back to Paris in 1761, and since, has blended over 200 years of history with celebrity. It is fascinating to see the perfection and detailed. You feel like a kid the minute you walk into the room, chasing after all the celebrities and ehhhhmmm some old ladies seating and resting, wondering why you are making pictures of them. (guilty of that). Tickets available online from USD 29. My dear Barbara Walters and me. Barb I am still waiting to come to The View… call me.
Gaga sweetie, today I heard some gossiping about you and The Oak Room at The Plaza Hotel. As a matter of fact, i was seating right at your table.
Kim pumpkin, please storm New York all you want, but leave your sister Courtney and Ryan Seacrest in Hollywood, not even Madame Tussaud can take it.
Michelle and Barack, what can I say… When the hell are we getting Gay Marriage in the US.?
Craig honey, take me home. I had enough. You all are sooooo boring. Noboby talks to me in this place.
Thank God that the Arab DJ was spining my favorite hits, to keep me entertained. (*) for more information | http://www.madametussauds.com

Museums and Tango of Mar del Plata

Mar del Plata is a city, that among the many seasonal tourist attractions, offers a quite interesting cultural scene. Names like Astor Piazzola, Victoria Ocampo, Jose Hernandez and Juan Carlos Castagnino were either native or have spend their most creative years in this charming city.

I would recommend you take some time to explore the Museums of: Museo Municipal Jose Hernandez (@ Sierra los Padres ), Museo Municipal de Arte Juan Carlos Castagnino, Archivo Museo Historico Municipal Roberto T. Barili and Villa Victoria Ocampo ( @ Mar del Plata ).

Museo Municipal Jose Hernandez (@ Sierra los Padres ) Former Laguna de los Padres farm “Estancia” built in 1882. The museum was founded March 11th. 1960, created to develop and maintain the local Argentinean traditions. This museum carries the name of Jose Hernandez, writer, journalist and politician, who spend several year living in this house, during mid 19’s century, time while he was writing the Don Quijote, in a way inspired by the local scenery and traditions.

Museo Municipal de Arte Juan Carlos Castagnino
(@ Colon Avenue, Mar del Plata )Castagnino (1908 – 1972 ) one of the main plastic exponents of the city of Mar del Plata. The villa, built in 1909 by Ortiz Basualdo family, and refurbished in 1919, still holds all the original art-nouveau furniture which was tailor designed and created in Belgium by Serrurier-Bovy. There you will be able to see expositions on paintings, photography, prints and sculptures such as “Cabeza de Fierro” by Juan Carlos Castagnino.

Archivo Museo Historico Municipal Roberto T. Barili (@ Barrio Los Troncos ) This museum it serves 3 multiple purposes (1). Archive, (2). Museum and (3). Newspaper Archives, holding some of the most important pieces, photos and documents that tell the story of the cultural heritage of Mar del Plata. The Villa, true Mar del Plata neocolonial style and design. So if you wish to learn a bit more on this city, this is the right place to do so.

Villa Victoria Ocampo (@ Barrio Los Troncos ) Former summer residence of Victoria Ocampo, built in 1912 for Victoria’s grandmother in a very classic British style, along with a Guest House (french style) and a side building (italian style). Victoria inherited this house around the 20’s and turned it into a hot spot with open doors to the main local and international exponents of the arts and literature of those times. (names like Jose Luis Borges, Bioy Casares, Gabriela Mistral, John Saint Perse among many others were frequent around here. Victoria Ocampo ( 1890 – 1979 ) writer, controversial in many ways for the times she was living. She founded de SUR magazine (1931) were she featured and promoted local and international writers, their work and thoughts. She was the first woman to be accepted at the Academia Argetina de Letras ( 1977 ). Some of her most renown essays are “Autobiografia” and “Testimonios”.

(*) I would like to mention the amazing job the ladies of the Villa Ocampo and their work to support and promote the diversity in Mar del Plata. Every year in October they have a week of work, lectures and events showcasing the concept of DIVERSITY. And they work day by day, same as Victoria Ocampo did in the past, to help those that are discriminated or feel different. Find out more ( OCT 22 – 23, 2010 ) @ Galli Marta

Tango plays a big role in this city, and can proudly say that one of the main referents worldwide was theirs…. Astor Piazzolla. Piazzola, has become an icon of tango (1921 ). One of my favorite tangos by Piazzolla is “ Adios Nonino “. If you are in town, please do not miss the Filiberto a Piazzolla Tango Show at Teatro Colon by the Orquesta Municipal de Mar del Plata ( City Orchestra of Mar del Plata ) where Ruben Galan and Jorge Alvarez, with the direction of Willy Wullich… sign along the history and styles of tango, with live dancers Emmanuel Marin and Leyla Antunes.

This are many other reasons why you should visit Mar del Plata all year round. !!!!. CM

Fishermen for a day at Mar del Plata

Fishermen for a day at Mar del Plata • This was, I have to admit, one of the nicest experiences I have had in a long time. Always watch this in movies like the Perfect Storm, and wanted to be part of that. Thanks to Juan Taranto, his two suns and the crew men of the MESSINA boat, to whom I am overly thankful, I spent a whole morning learning about their everyday life, work and stories.

On board of the MESSINA I and MESSINA II, surrounded by lost of seals, that spend their day lazing around the boats waiting for some fish to fall from the boats and feed from them. Juan and all his crew (approx. 10 men including the captain, cooker and all the rest of the staff), they shared with me What does it mean to be a Fishermen and How hard tough the Fishermen’s life are but how much passion and love they have for it.
This men spend over 10 days sailing away from home, which is Mar del Plata, coastal area of Argentina, approx. 450 kilometers from Buenos Aires. The boat sails at a top speed of 20 knots and they travel from Mar del Plata down to the south region of Argentina close to Comodoro Rivadavia, in search of the best fishing spots. Their days begin early around 5 in the morning and end around midnight. They go on shifts at night to control the security of the boat and the crew.
They shared with me their fears, and their devotion for this profession. How they miss their families, and the bond they create among them all, becoming this kind of Fishermen’s ELITE. You can see images of saints, crosses made out of knots that they craft on their spare time or during bad weather days, when there is nothing else to do other than wait…. And as Juan – the captain says – ” keep the boat clean and tidy, our life is on the line everyday… and order is the most important fact when you have 10 men on board and tons of fish in the hold of the ship.” (picture below is San Giorgio Saint patron).

They work under extreme conditions, with temperatures below cero degrees C. to collect, store and unload the fish from the boat. Hundred of boxes, filled with all types of fish and sea food. So I get to work and give them a hand…. or sort of… ha ha ha…. !!! I can still smell the fish in my clothes…. Just kidding.

So after a long day at work…. I decided to take control on the boat and sail back home, sipping through my Coffee. One back at the Banquina de Pescadores I will bargain the few fishes I earned, helping this guys out, to sell at its best. Things have changed a lot over the years. Now each company has its own boats, crew and factory where they process the product themselves. BUT before, all fish and sea food would have been taken to the common fish market where they will sell based on quantity, size, quality competing with the other fellow fishermen of the area.

(*) This is not a regular Tour that you will get around. So please if you wish to have this same experience, do not hesitate to Contact ME to book it. Cheers. CM

Wine Tasting by ANUVA Wines @ Buenos Aires

Today Sunday @ 6PM sharp, I took part of an exquisite WINE TASTING hosted by ANUVA Wines. This take place everyday (bookings are mandatory, no walk ins) @ the brand new french style chateau and Boutique Hotel Rendez-Vous Buenos Aires.
Intimate tastings, where guests are introduced to five, limited-production Argentine wines from throughout the country’s main wine producing regions, including Mendoza, Salta, and San Juan. Wines featured range from the typically Argentine Malbec and Torrontés to the lesser known Bonarda and Tannat. Guests are also often treated to Argentine Sparklings, Merlots, Syrah, and Blends. Tastings are casual and informative events catered to every level of wine expertise, and are offered both in Spanish or English. They cover the basics of wine tastings to more in depth conversations about Argentine wine history, its culture and terroirs. (picture: Sarah Bons • Wine Tasting Guide and Expert).
(05) limited production wines from boutique wineries across Argentina. (05) specific food pairings. A chat about Mendoza, Buenos Aires, Argentina, terroir, wine culture and more. Easy, fast and affordable shipping to the U.S. The cost of the WINE Tastings are: (USD 40 x person) / Private for 01 Person (USD 80). For bookings please do not hesitate to Contact ME or book ONLINE @ ANUVA Wines
The whole group at the degustation. My absolute favorite that I kept asking for more and more, was the Sangiovese grape – Callejon del Crimen.

also offers the service of Shipping and Exporting Argentinean wines to the United States.  As Sarah explained to me …” Anuva Wines is the first and only company in Buenos Aires that provides private wine tastings, a wine club, and affordable international wine shipping services…”. Thank You Sarah for your invitation and for sharing all these great information. CM

Milla de los Museos Bus Tour Buenos Aires

Milla de los Museos Bus Tour ( 15 Museums on one Bus ) is a brand new, Hop in Hop Off, tour option in the city of Buenos Aires, that can be easily combined with the existing Buenos Aires Bus Tour that daily takes hundred of tourists around the main highlights and attractions of the city of Buenos Aires.

Milla de los Museos will run daily with stops at 15 of the main Museums of the city of Buenos Aires. Among those are: Torre Monumental, Museo de Arte Hispanoamericano Isaac Fernandez Blanco, Museo Ferroviario, Museo de Aquitectura y Diseño de la Sociedad Central de Arquitectos, Palais de Glace, Centro Cultural Recoleta, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Museo del Automovil Club Argentino, Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo, Museo de Arte Popular Jose Hernandez, Museo Metropolitano, MALBA, Museo EVITA, Museo del Planetario de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires Galileo Galilei and Museo de Artes Plasticas Eduardo Sivori.

The best way to experience the culture, art and architecture of Buenos Aires in a few hours and on the budget, on board of comfortable buses, which also offer multilingual voiceover information on each of the museums to visit.

Visitors may choose to do this circuit either on the Bus (USD 17 for 24hs. / USD 23 for 48hs.) or by Bicycle (free).

MALBA Museum where among others you will be able to see pieces of Botero, Frida Khalo and Robert Mapplethorpe. Private collection of Eduardo Constantini.

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes with the most amazing exposition of Berni.

Milla de los Museos de Buenos Aires is one of the many cultural tours that the Tourism Office of Buenos Aires – Ente Turismo de Buenos Aires – has planned for tourists arriving to this beautiful city, in an effort to rank Buenos Aires among the top destinations in the world. An alternative chance to experience this destination while enjoying the panoramic views that this double deck buses have to offer. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. CM