A BA Christmas

Trip Start Dec 02, 2007
Trip End Sep 01, 2008

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Wednesday, December 26, 2007

For the second year in the row (we promise to be in the UK next year parents, although we hear our siblings are planning on taking a Virgin Galactic trip to the Moon...) we are on our travels on Christmas Day. Last year we were on a plane for most of the 24 hour period en route to England's Ashes efforts in Melbourne- at least this year we were on terra firma.

We spent Christmas Eve in Puerto Madero, BA's docklands, which the
tourist press boasts, was 'modelled on London's Millwall'. It actually
reminded us much more of Melbourne's riverside district (no football hooligans) and was a great
spot to see the fireworks set off to greet Christmas Day and to meet
Santa, albeit with distinctly Latino skin tone...

In 30 plus heat, 25th December didn't much feel like Christmas anyway, so after phone calls and texts home we headed to what we thought would be a deserted city centre so that Piet could photograph some of Buenos Aires's famous buildings, most notably the Casa Rosada, from where, amongst other Argentine leaders, Peron and Evita made impassioned speeches to the people. (Oh and of course, from where Madonna crooned for the Hollywood version of 'Evita').

Clearly we were wrong about the number of people who would be on the streets and on entering the Plaza del Mayo were met with a few hundred tourists, throngs of protesters (about what we're not 100% sure) and the City's children lobbing fireworks at each other from skateboards.

Argentina's main cathedral did provide some sanctuary from the fireworks if not the tourists. It felt quite odd to be in this working Church cum tourist attraction on a day when locals were taking mass in some of the side chapels, but for whatever reason people were visiting everyone seemed moved by this beautiful place of worship.

Today is our last full day here, and we took the opportunity to visit La Boca, one of the rougher districts of the city, and home to two prime tourist attractions - the famous multi-coloured houses from the photos and Club Atletico Boca Juniors. After soaking up the prime tourist hotspot of El Caminito, Charlotte let me visit the Boca stadium (I get to write this bit- P).

It's a massive place, and reminiscent of some of the big football grounds in England about 20 years ago. There are extended terraces that don't look hugely appealing, surrounded by massive metal fences. Apparently FIFA took a disliking to this, and have mandated all seater grounds world-wide for top clubs, reducing Boca's capacity from 54,000 to 35,000 in 2008. This hasn't gone down too well with the locals...

Tomorrow we fly to Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire), complete with a temperature drop of over 20 . We're looking forward to spending NY in more British temperatures... Happy New Year to everyone, we'll be in touch again soon.
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