For the last bit of December 2012 and the first part of January 2013, my wife and I were traveling in Argentina and Chile in Patagonia, the southern part of the country. The final two days were spent in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina.
I didn’t have many expectations of the place before I got there, I just knew that it was a large city (11 million, one of the top three in South America depending on how you count it, after Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo). But the city is amazing!
Buenos Aires is like a European city with the ridiculous expense of Europe (i.e., everything costs almost double what it costs in North America). Instead, the costs in Buenos Aires are slightly less than North America for some things (restaurants) and much less for others (hostels and the subway).
To give you an idea of the architecture, below is the Casa Rosada which is where the main parliament of the country takes place. It’s located in Plaza de Mayo (that’s may be wrong but I can’t be bothered to look it up right now) which is the main political square of the country, where mass protests regularly take place. There are tours during the day on weekends but since we were there on a Friday, we couldn’t go inside.
The statues in front like this is reminiscent of Spain or Italy:
Another section of the city houses the Palacio de las Aguas Corrientes (literally: Palace of Water Flows, according to Bing Translator). For some reason, at first I thought it was called Palacio de las Aguas Calientes, or Hot Water Palace. That made me think it was an engineering facility for the city’s water flow.
I was thinking to myself “Man, that is the nicest public works building in history! Nothing even comes close to it!” It was only later that I discovered my pronunciation was wrong and that it is now a museum. But according to Wikipedia, it originally was built to accommodate supply tanks of running water for the city in the late 19th century.
I don’t know if the story is true or not, but one of the locals told us that the building was designed in Belgium and shipped to Buenos Aires where it was reconstructed locally. If so, that’s amazing. And a lot of effort.
Whenever I’m in South America (and Europe), I like to check out the Catholic churches. I do it because the architecture and art within them is so much nicer than in Protestant churches in the United States and Canada. I may not be Catholic but their churches are way nicer everywhere in the world. Even the Church of England buildings in the UK, which are very nice (Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral) were originally Catholic.
This church is located near the Casa Rosada on the other side of the square. In the picture below you can see me waltzing around acting like such a tourist, snapping photos:
But my favorite part of the city’s various amusements is the Necropolis – the Recoleta Cemetery. It is a huge square encompassed by high walls and takes up many city blocks. Inside are large graves belonging to very important people within the city – presidents, generals, nobles, and high ranking officials. It takes forever to walk around the place:
If you’re not thinking “Wow, some of those graves are pretty big!” you should be. I calculated that a few of them were larger than our two-bedroom condos.
And many of them were nicer than our two-bedroom condos. How is it possible that dead people have a better place to live than me?
Along the way I found a lazy cat just kind of lying around. Unlike my cat at home, this one was pretty skinny:
It took us two days to walk around Buenos Aires and we probably could have easily spent a couple more. It was very hot those two days and that contributed to draining us of energy.
But I liked the city.
And that’s my story of our time sightseeing in Buenos Aires.