Sunday, March 9, 2014

Day 219: Getting Familiar with Ice

El Calafate is a lovely little town on the banks of a glacier-fed lake. It's surrounded by stunning mountain peaks and open fields, and we enjoyed a long walk to the waterfront and a picnic looking out at the view.

We took the time to travel out to the Glaciarium (or Ice Museum) to learn a little more about what we'd see the next day during our tour of the Perito Moreno glacier. We enjoyed the display that taught us about the different types of snowflakes.

For the most part; however, the museum turned out to be an incredibly text-heavy display about ice, from which we learned very little. We instead decided that the best way to get to know ice was to have a drink with it. So we went down into the basement to visit the Ice Bar.

At -8 degrees C, the GlacioBar necessitated a unique dress code; we suited up in mittens and fur cloaks, and were escorted into the open-bar club (for 25 minutes). The music was pumping, lights flashing, and the bartender wiped down his translucent bar. Erin snagged us a couple of ice thrones so we could drink in style while Craig intended to make the most of the open bar and hurried to beat the crowd.

In keeping with the culture, Erin tried her first (and probably last) Fernet and Coke, while Craig sipped on a fine scotch. Our glasses, as you can see, are made entirely of ice. We had fun posing with the various ice sculptures and sliding our cups to one another along the ice counters. We weren't entirely ready to leave when our time was up, but Craig`s flip flops weren't providing the best insulation, and Erin`s legs were a little chilly under her skirt. All in all, we felt well-educated for our upcoming trip to the glacier.

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