Buenos Aires - Day 3

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Nov 04, 2008

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Where I stayed
Gran Hotel Espaņa Tacauri - $120 Arg

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Another hot and humid day in Buenos Aires, with lots of walking to be done...

First we have added a video which we actually took the previous day in one of the 2 main pedestrian streets of Buenos Aires centre...with hundreds of shops and restaurants (Florida and Lavalle). Given we couldnt film or take photographs in the Tango Emotion show we went to, we add this street one...basically the same!

We have included quite a few photographs as there are very different areas in Buenos Aires.

The central one where we have the hotel (next to the Casa Rosada and Avenida de Mayo) is very similar to New York (except no sky scrapers) with narrow roads, air conditioning machines working in the offices at full power and dropping water on the street, hundreds of corner shops selling sandwiches, pizzas, coffee,  internet cafes... It has an old city look to it, quite some rubbish around the streets in the evening (when gangs of youth open all the rubbish bags to take out paper and plastic), and a slight feeling of "I could be mugged around the next corner "  after the office hours close...although it has been quite safe up to now.

The new port area -  Puerto Madero which is identical to the London Docklands new part, with restaurants and very clean aspect to it. You can see the expensive flats and offices...

Recoleta - north of the central part is the "rich area" of Buenos Aires. Nice modern flats with huge reception areas and doormen or security, mixed with old colonial buildings and embassies. Plenty of expensive restaurants and cafeterias, the Courts of Justice, the Colon Theatre...nice parks, etc.

San Telmo - the old colonial area with antique shops and little restaurants and streets.

Anyway...plenty of different characters which make the city quite special and the contrasts huge. We imagine that there will be quite a few poor suburbs around the city which will be similar to the Retiro bus station -  not a nice place to be...

So today we walked around the Recoleta area and a visit to the Recoleta Cemetry. Yes another cemetry in our tour! We seem obsessed with cemetry visits, but they really do tell a lot about the development of a country, and most have something special. In any case, most foreigners do go to the Recoleta one as it has quite a few famous names in it, including "Evita Peron". 

The previous day we passed the Chacarita cemetry which had the tomb of the General Peron...we didnt realise they were burried separated until our visit. We guess it has something to do with General Perons, 2 other wifes, the third which is still alive and  exiled in Madrid...although there is a request to extradite her to Argentina  for her participation in the dictatorship.

 A picture of the Courts of Justice is also included. A supreme building, with the "fasces" on both sides. It is particularly clean in the front part with the sides quite polluted by traffic. Some said that it was clean as it had hardly been used ... (joke ha ha)

Dinner consisted of...more meat! As some Argentinian travellers mentioned to us, it doesnt matter what happens in Argentina, whether there is recession, depression or any "ssion"...Argentinians always have meat on their menu. Apparently the average consumption in 2007 per person was of 61kgs of meat. Still far away from the 90kg before the 2001 recession, but still impressive!
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veromarcos on

Re: Chacarita?

No error in the visit to Chacarita. If you read on to Day 4 in Buenos Aires we also visited La Recoleta.

La Chacarita is a 'charming' cemetry - within the world of cemetries of course. If you had to ask me which one I preferred I would return to Chacarita instead of La Recoleta.

La Recoleta is an incredible cemetry with quite a few famous names including Evita, but:
- Recoleta is flooded with huge groups of tourists taking pictures at Evita´s family grave which gives it a Disney feeling (plenty of tourist guides also).
- The Chacarita has an atmosphere outside with the flower shops and run down feeling.
- Also, personally we would go to see the grave of Carlos Gardel first, with all de dedications and passion to it. Evita´s it a bit of a flop after all the publicity given to tourists

In any case I think you hit on the point that...we try to see things not recommended to tourists (although the Chacarita does appear in the Foot Print guide).

Buenos Aires was a great experience, but without walking for 5 days we would have had a very different souvenir. Its essential to see as many neighbourhoods as possible to see the 'big picture'.

Did we miss any vital point?



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