Tuesday, February 28, 2017

More Sights in Buenos Aires

We will be heading south tomorrow to Patagonia to embark on a four-day cruise to Cape Horn, the Beagle Channel and the Straits of Magellan. Here are a few more sights from wonderful Buenos Aires, often called the New York of Argentina or the Paris of South America. It has cooled off a bit today but we'll be going from the mid-80s here at 35º S latitude to the mid-40s at 56º S at Cape Horn.

It has been a long holiday weekend here in BA (today is La Carnaval or Fat Tuesday and tomorrow is Ash Wednesday) and so the streets have been virtually empty. One hardly ever experiences the 9th of July Avenue with so much space. It was refreshing from the wind of too many automobiles.

Detail of towers seen from the Plaza de Mayo.

The Cabildo - the oldest standing structure on the Plaza de Mayo. It used to have longer wings for a total of 11 arches but has been minimized on both ends to accommodate growth.

The North Diagonal toward the Obelisk.

City Hall building of Buenos Aires from the Plaza de Mayo.

The National Cathedral of the Catholic Church in Argentina. This is where Pope Francis was Bishop of Buenos Aires Diocese beginning in 1998.

Like any large city, there is lots of street art formerly known as graffiti.

Entering the La Boca district, a colorful throwback to the immigrant days in Buenos Aires. So many immigrants came to this country from Italy, Germany, Poland and other European locations during the 19th century.

Colorful corner restaurant. La Boca means The Mouth in Spanish and this was the first port area of the city (a little river entered the Rio de La Plata near here and provided protected waters).

La Boca street scene.

Who is that greeting folks from the balcony in La Boca?

Why it's Jorge Mario Borgoglio himself! He is the second-most famous person from Argentina.

And this is a mannequin of the most famous Argentinian of all time - Maradona. His original soccer team is from La Boca and the stadium is within walking distance of this street.

Entertainment during your lunch.

None of these buildings were here just a few years ago as the Puerto Madero area has seen tremendous growth.

Puerto Madero was constructed in the late 19th century when La Boca became too small to handle the ever increasing exports of beef. A contest was held between two engineers on how the port should be designed and Eduardo Madero's efforts won out. However, by the early 20th Century, Puerto Madero itself became too small to handle the larger cargo ships and the New Port was developed to the north, still in use today. When I first came to Buenos Aires in 1992, these red brick warehouses were boarded up and abandoned. The change is unbelievable!

The Women's Bridge in Puerto Madero.

And the view from on the bridge. The sun is out and it is in the 90s!

Where the old meets the new. The Frigate Presidente Sarmiento was built in 1898 as an Argentine Navy training ship. She made six global circumnavigations before being retired in 1938 and now serves as a floating museum.

Floralis Genérica is an aluminum sculpture built by artist and architect Eduardo Catalano in 2002 in the United Nations Plaza. It has an electrical system that opens the flower at 8 AM and closes it at sunset or in high winds.

Finally, no visit is complete to this city without stopping at the Mausoleum at Recoleta, where Eva Peron's body was finally laid to rest in the Duarte family crypt (her body went on a 20 year transatlantic odyssey before coming to rest here). However, other fantastic marble laden mausoleums can be seen such as this of one Rufina Cambaceres (1883-1902). She had perhaps gone into a coma at the age of 19 and was later pronounced dead. A few days after her burial, workers heard screams from her tomb and after exhuming the coffin found scratches on her face and the inside of the coffin. Her mother had this fantastic marble statue created in her honor.

Many statues sit atop the tombs...

...but just a few days before our arrival, one had fallen down into one of the walkways, still closed. Apparently, a tourist climbed one of the tombs to obtain a picture of the area and caused a statue to fall onto him. I found the story online to verify.

I love this city and always enjoy coming here. But now it is on the frontier and the land of no wi-fi! Talk to you again when I re-emerge.

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