Buenos Aires, Argentina
After arriving in Buenos Aires and checking in to our first hotel, we found a quick snack. We sampled the first of what we expect will be many empanadas. Empanadas are little pockets filled with meat, cheese, veggies, and other goodies. Yummy!
Without much time time to spare we met Lorena and Julio for our city tour. Starting with a city tour is a great way to get your bearings in a new place and we were able to see a lot of this marvelous city in a relatively short amount of time. In our four hours together, we visited the Plaza de Mayo and Casa Rosada.
Plaza de Mayo is the centerpiece for most political protests in the city. In fact, there were protests just last week and the banners and police barricades were still in place. At the end of Plaza de Mayo is Casa Rosada, which currently houses the offices of the President. It’s widely known, however, as the location from which Evita Peron gave her, “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” speech. We got lucky and were able to enter the building, which is only open to the public on weekends.
Across from Casa Rosada is the cathedral from which Pope Francis came. In fact, Lorena, our guide, received her first communion from the man himself. We’re hoping to have time later in the week to check it out in more detail. Today, however, we had places to go and things to see.
Our next stop was the famed Recoleta Cemetary. It’s where anyone who’s anyone in Argentine society was buried.
Most famous is the vault of the Duarte family, which contains the remains of Evita. It’s the only vault in the entire creepy “city” that is constantly adorned with flowers. Next we toured several of the city’s famous neighborhoods including Recoleta, Palermo, and Puerto Madero.
No tour of Buenos Aires would be complete without a stop in La Boca to see La Caminita, known for its colorful houses and couples doing tango in the street. Now a major tourist draw, La Boca was once “the” place to live until yellow fever forced the rich people to the north. Now it’s the center of the tango culture and home to Boca Juniors, the most popular Argentine football team. We drove past the huge stadium but unfortunately we missed the season by a few weeks.
Our final tour tour stop was not a stop, but quite a walk. We finished our introduction to Buenos Aires with a walk through the huge San Telmo market.
Held only on Sundays, we got lucky to experience this all-encompassing shopping extravaganza. From crafts to clothes and from antiques to live music, the San Telmo market goes on for many, many blocks. There are even vendors walking through the crowd selling food and beer to help sustain you through it all. By by the time we emerged from the market, we were exhausted (in all the good ways).
So we finished the day with another cerveza and a little Argentine beef. After just four hours of sleep on the plane last night, bed never felt better. Tomorrow is another big day with an excursion to the Tigre Delta and an evening tango show. Stay tuned!