17.07.2009 - 21.07.2009
BA...miles traveled 669.
As we left Iguazu, a dense fog settled in over the forest. When we arrived at the airport, they told us the airport was closed because of the fog. The flight that was meant to take us to Buenos Aires had to return there. Luckily, the delay only turned out to be a couple of hours. We landed at the Aeroparque, practically in the center of the city, around four o’clock. We encountered a garrulous taxi driver who showed us ½, and explained an additional 1/4 of the landmarks of the city on the way to our hostel in San Telmo. It was a little disconcerting when we arrived at our hostel that none of the owners/workers were there. A fellow traveler let us in and we awaited someone to confirm our room. The owner, a very young man, arrived. Ironically, the room was not ready because Sara made the reservation mistakenly for the FOLLOWING day. Lucky for us, the room was already available. The house was small (only 5 rooms for rent) and very nice. High ceilings, wood floor, marble staircase, and highly decorated façade are typical of the neighborhood.
That night, we left to have pizza at one of the local joints. The pizza was even more delicious than we hoped, and we returned to the hostel with high hopes for Buenos Aires. Highlights of our initial time in Buenos Aires were a visit to the Plaza de Mayo where the “Casa Rosada” of the President is. We were very surprised that we could walk almost up to the gates of the President’s residence, who is currently Cristina Kirchner. A great deal of the architecture of the government buildings is done in the elaborate colonial style. Statues adorn the roofline and the windows and doors are often massive and beautiful. We visited the cemetery of the aristocratic part of town where Evita Peron is buried. ( Turns out her body has traveled to across the ocean and through several countries before coming to rest again in Argentina via the actions of various coup governments.) Her monument was moving, but paled in comparison to the grandiosity of some of the other monuments in the barrio Recoleta “City of the Dead.” We also visited the antique fair of San Telmo held each Sunday. There was live music and Tango exhibitions, as well as, a great abundance of antiques and local folk art (a Sara favorite!)
We also visited the theater district and attended a play “Marat-Sade” at the theater of San Martin. The play explored the psychological implications of pre and post French Revolution thought. After, we had dinner at the famous Chiquilin Parilla, recommended by our taxi driver. We also attempted to contact my second cousin Elena several times throughout these days without success.
The words are few, but Buenos Aires in these first days left a great impression. Pics to come in the next blog!