Buenos Aires – Where the Heck to I Start?
Howdy all. Still going strong with less than two weeks left on this adventure. I made a few changes to my itinerary from this point on. I won’t go all the way down to El Calafate. Instead tomorrow I overnight to Bariloche and then fly to Iguazu waterfalls next week. Can’t do everything and two months has proven to be an extremely short time to visit South America.
But. Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital. I was told that it was ‘boring’ and that there was ‘nothing to do’ there. Here. Well, don’t believe all advice you get on the road because Buenos Aires has proven to be the most amazing of places, and I have not had a free second until about now to even do my blog!
It’s hard, as the title suggests, to know where to start. This is a seriously big city, and bits and pieces are in good nick and others are in disrepair. Safety is an issue, touchwood no issues thus far. The buildings give a feel similar to the big cities of Eastern Europe. We visited the Palacio Barolo a couple of days back which is impressive at the top and the bottom and was inspired by the ideas of hell, purgatory and heaven and by principally Dante’s writing. Purgatory was pure white like a sanitarium. At the very top a great view of this endless city from a lighthouse no less. Not a lot of ships in central BA but there you go. There I vertigoed!!
This was built in the boom time from the start of the twentieth century to the 1930s. I also visited the Casa Rosada, the Presidential Palace, which was also very impressive. I quickly got the impression that this place is very much divided into the haves and have nots. But you’d expect the Argentine version of the ‘White House’ to be pretty impressive (re: lavish and at times garish) and it did not disappoint. It looks over the Plaze de Mayo, the spiritual if not physical centre of town. There have been protests on and off there since I got to BA, especially on my first day, last Friday.
To have lunch in the Cafe Tortoni was a highlight, an amazing high-ceilinged place with great service and atmopshere, reminding one of years past. Well so far past I wasn’t around so that today I could remember them. A brilliant experience though, as was the chance to visit the Teatro Colon a couple of nights back to see a concert there. An absolutely stunning theatre with so many levels, the concert was brilliantly performed if the music choices weren’t what I would choose.
The city knows about grandeur, and it is absolutely nothing like any place I’ve been in South America. The size, the scale, very European. The Museum of the Decorative Arts is actually housed in this amazing mansion, and continues this theme. It’s main purpose may be to display artefacts but the house is the real reason to visit it because it’s just mind-blowing. It’s also free to visit on a Tuesday which is great. Big, grand, ball rooms and huge chandeliers, oh and the bathroom!
Time for me to stop. For now. Because there’s the Perons and a day trip to Tigre, art gallery, a giant bookshop and so much more. Buenos Aires. Phew!! A second post is in the offing when I get the chance. May the Journey Never End!