Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Monday, June 8, 2015: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Well we are looking forward to a day with no drama!!  After breakfast at the hotel we grabbed a cab to take us to the first Plaza we wanted to see today.  As we were approaching the Plaza we asked the cab to drop us off along the main street “9th of July”. This is one of the main streets and one you need to walk.  It has 9 lanes of traffic in each direction, plus in the center there are 4 lanes of bus traffic (2 in either direction). 

Dog Exercise Area

Professional Dog Walkers

Avenue 9 De Julio (July)

Walking Area in the Middle of the Avenue
Buenos Aires has beautiful large buildings in the Art Novae/Art Deco style of the early 1900’s. Buenos Aires is considered the Paris of South America and it definitely looks that way. What I cannot believe is that in the late 1800’s & early 1900’s when the city was expanding from the old port area of La Boca that they planned for such wide streets, as at that point cars were only becoming as a mode of transportation. 

Teatro Colon - Theater

Some Other Ornate Buildings

Actually Buenos Aires is on the banks of the river delta – Rio de la Plata.  It is naturally a very flat area with wetlands along the coast which attract migrating birds. In that we have been walking miles, I am so glad it has been flat!

Once we began walking, we walked for miles! However we did stop at Café Tortoni for a coffee and a piece of cake (badly needed). Outside the restaurant we met an American couple – they asked if we would take their photo – they were from Kansas and are here with his father. His father had an interesting experience too. Someone slashed the bottom of his zippered pocket so that his wallet fell out.  When they noticed it, his passport was halfway out of the opening, but he did not lose it.  Us American tourist are obvious and are targets in the world of crime, as they know we have money on us. 

Café Tortoni - Outside

Regarding our drama yesterday, we have been monitoring all our accts – someone tried to charge $21 to our credit card account.  Of course it did not and will not work, as the account is closed, but they tried!  Besides canceling all accounts, we also notified the 3 credit bureaus, so that no one can get a credit report or open a credit acct.     

We walked and walked today - down Avenue 9 of July, Plaza Ave de Mayo, and over to the area of Puerto Madero (very modern area recently developed). It was a lovely day for walking and we saw a lot. I am not sure how to describe the City.  It definitely has a European feel, and some areas are great, while other parts of the city have a “tired” feeling. Also parts of the city infrastructure have a “tired” feeling.  It takes a lot of money to keep a city like this looking great, and the economy here is not that good. We are very glad we are staying in the Recoleta area – the best part of the city. 

One of Many Water Fountains

Sculpture in the Fountaain

Cathedral Metropolitano on Plaza De Mayo

Inside the Cathedral

Tomb of General Jose San Martin - Famous Liberating Warrior

One of the side Chapels

Plaza De Mayo - Location of many Historic Political Demonstrations and Events

Building Surrounding the Plaza

Casa Rosada - Presidential Palace

Balcony where Eva Peron made her Historic Farewell

Repurposed Warehouses on the Puerto Madero - Old Harbor

Large Ship in the Harbor

Woman's Bridge - Puente de la Mujer

Political/Labor Union March

Store Fronts on Street Corners

To say the least we were exhausted when we returned to the hotel.  We thought we had plans to have dinner tonight at 9:00pm with one of Cal’s former students from Mt Pleasant, who lives in one of the suburbs of BsAs and we definitely needed a rest, as we will be up late tonight.   However, when we returned to the hotel there was a message of cancellation due to illness in her family, so we rescheduled for tomorrow night (Tue).  We found a very nice restaurant about 2 ½ blocks from the hotel and had an excellent meal.

This afternoon there were union marches/protest regarding wages. They kept all the marches confined to one street, - totally blocking the traffic from this area which is good. We understand that tomorrow there will be more marches as well as strikes.     

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