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Two Cool New Museums Open in Argentina

By Paige, Nicaragua, March 2011

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Travelers headed to the Southern Cone have two cool new attractions to enjoy in Argentina. The first is already inspiring Beatles fans from across the universe to make a special trip to beautiful Buenos Aires, where the world’s largest collection of Fab Four memorabilia opened as El Museo de los Beatles in January.

Though the city is perhaps more famous for the tango, Rudolfo R. Vazquez was far more interested in the music from another port town: Liverpool, England.

Vazquez first discovered the group when he was just ten years old, after receiving the album Rubber Soul as a gift. Though he was first enchanted by the song, “In My Life,” he soon came to love them all.  The album became the first item in a collection that soon filled his family home; in 2001 it was declared the largest on the planet by the Guinness Book of World’s Records—and that was some 3,000 pieces ago.

That same year, Vazquez (owner of The Cavern Club, “El Beatle Café de Latinoamérica”) began organizing the annual Semana Beatle, or Beatles Week, which brought cover bands from all over Latin America to Buenos Aires. Held every December, the region’s finest musicians in bowl cuts compete for a chance to belt out their best from England.

This year, the collection was finally moved to its permanent home on the popular tourist strip along Avenida Corrientes. Unfortunately, revolving exhibits can only display some 2,500 items of Vazquez’ total collection of 8,500 pieces, which include signed photos and artwork; Pete Best’s signed drumsticks; personal letters; bricks from the original Cavern Club in Liverpool and Hamburg Club in Germany, where the Beatles played their earliest gigs, as well as part of the floor of Strawberry Fields orphanage; plus guitars, outfits, wigs, eight-tracks, board games, keys chains, and all sorts of other memorabilia, psychedelia, and branded merchandise.

This February, an even cooler museum opened, though travelers will need to make the serene and scenic trek south to stunning Patagonia to see it. Dedicated to this fantastic landscape’s natural history,  the Glaciarium: Museum of Patagonian Ice is some 40 hours from Buenos Aires by bus, in isolated El Calafate, at the entrance to Los Glaciares National Park.

The architecturally harmonious museum features three ice pods, each of which is dedicated to different multimedia exhibits about the surrounding ice flows. Better yet, the Glaciariums is just a few kilometers from famed Perito Moreno Glacier, with fabulous views of the arctic blue flows. Some guests, however, may rate the Ice Bar as its top attraction, with frosty cocktails in a room made entirely of glacial ice.

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