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Day 23-25 Buenos Aries
We love Chile and Argentina. Great food. Anything you need you can find in the stores. Basically, if I can drink the water and eat the fruits and vegetables, I'm in. But here we also find history going back MANY hundreds of years. (Check out La Recoleta at the end.)
In Buenos Aries we stay at a great B+B, Abode Buenos Aries. David and Zoe are ex-pats who really enjoy hosting visitors. They are in a wonderful tree-lined neighborhood- Palermo SoHo--within walking distance of great restaurants, shopping and bus lines. They even sometimes have a bus pass available.
Dave arranged for for a real Argentine barbecue- Parilla pronounced pah-RE-jah. This included barbecued cheeses, sirloin, fillets, pork and blood sausage and sweet breads, all traditional foods and all cooked by Dave on the rooftop.
To top it off, we even had tango lessons.
Wine flowed, we learned a tiny bit about the tango...
And ate some great food. We had dinner with others at the B+B, some friends of theirs and some friends from our Antarctica trip. An amazing evening!
Zoe also helped us figure out what to see in BA and how to get to get there in the limited time we had. Our first stop was by bus to Caminito. Touristy, but fun.
Where we watched some more tango demos.
The buildings are all multi-colored, a remnant of an era when sailors brought home left over paint form the ships.
Colorful frescos and sculptures are everywhere.
We took off by bus and were entranced by the colors all over the city. This fruit market was one of many buildings decorated with murals.
Next we headed for the Pink Palace--The Casa Rosada--that sits at the eastern end of the Plaza de Mayo . The official residence of the President of Argentina, is located in Olivos, Buenos Aires Province. This is the balcony made famous by Evita.
Across the plaza, the Cabildo is a beautiful old building that hosts the National Museum of the Cabildo and the May Revolution.
The monument to Christopher Columbus, Buenos Aries is behind the Casa Rosada.
Walking around the downtown we come to the Obelisco de Buenos Aires. The obelisk was built in 1936 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first founding of the city. It is located in the center of the Plaza de la República (Republic Square), the spot where the Argentine flag was flown for the first time in Buenos Aires.
We did mention there are many lovely old buildings here. Nestled right up to modern architecture.
This is a bustling, modern city.
With interesting distractions...
Day 2 we head to El Rosedal, the Rose Garden--again by bus. A beautiful park.
With roses and many other kinds of beautiful flowers.
We pass through the Patio Andaluz and we leave, walking to the Japanese Garden.
We have lunch with the koi at the Japanese Garden, built in 1967.
Next we head to the giant mechanical flower--Floralis Generica-- in the Recoleta district of Buenos Aries. This symbol for the city is located in the Plaza de las Naciones Unidas. The flower no longer opens at dawn and closes at dusk--guess cut backs are everywhere. It is still beautiful.
And walking back to the bus we had one final surprise--a Palo Borracho tree in bloom. This beautiful tree coms with an amazing folk tale...
Long ago, when gods lived on earth, the dark spirits (Aña) killed the Guarani people. A beautiful young woman named Araverá "Sparkle in the sky", the daughter of chief "White Condor" married the hummingbird god, Colibrí, and hoped her baby was a son, who would become a Shaman, capable of destroying all of the evil spirits. Hearing of her plans, the Añas plotted to kill her by mounting fire-breathing horses. Araverá escaped on a flying chair to the ultimate ends of the universe. The Añas looked in the depths of the waters, under the earth, and higher than the stars. When her tiny chair finally couldn't support the weight of her and her growing baby anymore, she descended to earth and hid inside a Toborochi (Palo Borrachoi). The Añas never found them. Araverá bore her son in the tree. The boy grew and took revenge upon the evil of the Añas while his mother remained in the trunk, as she does to this day. Sometimes, when she does go outside, she becomes the tree's beautiful flower, so that the hummingbirds can come and enjoy her nectar.
Our final stop is the famous La Recoleta Cemetery. The Church of Our Lady of Pilar sits at the entrance.
We arrive at the cemetery just as the skies open.
This is actually a good omen. We begin to walk around as soon as the rain slows and we have the whole place to ourselves for almost 20 minutes.
Many of the vaults are as big as a small house. This is the final resting place for Justa Lima de Atucha and wife.
Even the small vaults are elaborately ornate.
And we get some interesting reflections in the glass.
Here we see another stained glass window plus our reflection as we walk by.
The BBC named La Recoleta one of the world's best cemeteries. In 2013, CNN listed it among the 10 most beautiful cemeteries in the world.
The Recoleta Cemetery (Cementerio de la Recoleta) is the burial site of Eva Peron. It also contains graves of presidents of Argentina, Nobel Prize winners, the founder of the Argentine Navy and a granddaughter of Napoleon. This is the Duarte family vault.
With Evita's plaque in the bottom right corner.
This was a wonderful visit.
Back at Abode, Zoe gives me some ideas about where to pick up a few gifts--her favorite stores just a few blocks from the B+B.
Tomorrow we head to the Estancia for gauchos and horseback riding!
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