Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Sunday, June 7, 2015: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Due to how late we went to bed and in that it is still dark at 8:00 am, we slept in until 9:00 this morning.

After breakfast we set off for the day. Our hotel is 4 blocks from the famous BsAs Recoleta Cemetery. This is a large cemetery where lots of famous Argentineans have family tombs and mausoleums. The cemetery was begun in 1822, and was deliberately designed.  There are leafy avenues, narrow, marble-walled streets, and small alleys. Many of the tombs and mausoleums have eclectic designs. Extremely    interesting place! However some of the tombs and mausoleums are in very poor repair, whereas the one next to it is in perfect shape.  We found the tomb of Eva Peron of Evita fame.

The Wall around the Cemetery
Entrance to the Cemetery

Tomb of Eva Peron

Next to the cemetery is a church.  We arrived after the morning service had begun.  The sanctuary is not large, but it was filled – standing room only.  We of course could not go inside, so we walked around the craft market in a nearby park, thinking the service would soon be over.  However, it was not finished in the next hour, so we decided to head in another direction and possibly returning to the church tomorrow since it is so close to our hotel.  

Claustros Del Pilar Church Near the Cemetery

Shops at Weekend Craft Market

Street Dancing

The Craft Market
Off we went toward Plaza San Martin, looking for a possible place to eat lunch and seeing more monuments, buildings and squares. We were walking along the large open main street - Ave del Libertador, but it was Sunday morning and hardly anyone was around.  All was going well until that "If we would have”; “we should have”; “we could have”; moment!!

All of a sudden Cal felt something on his head, like bird do-do hitting him.  I realized it was all the way down his back as well.  It definitely had a smell!  A guy on the street saw what happened and offered a tissue to help clean up.  At that moment I said to Cal, "Is this a set-up job?", BUT Cal did not hear me say it. On hindsight, I should have said loudly, “Watch your wallet”.

Rachel with the Stuff on her Back
We should have kept walking, and cleaned up later, but the back of Cal's jacket was so bad that he took off his jacket - it was at that point he was relieved of his wallet!!!!!! - By the man who offered a tissue.  I was on the opposite side of Cal from his front pocket with his billfold.  He did not know what had happened until we walked another 1/2 block.  As soon as this all occurred I wanted to return to the hotel to change clothes and clean up, but Cal wanted to keep walking as we were quite a ways from the hotel. Well when Cal discovered the missing wallet, we did return to the hotel where we called all the credit cards, SHAZAM, etc. 

Back at the hotel I washed out our clothes that smelled, while Cal made all the phone calls.  Two hours later we began another walk!!  We did return to the church and then followed a more back street (on the advice of the hotel management, but it was not at all a main street - opposite of common sense) to where we wanted to go earlier in the day.  The hotel receptionist said that they can do this so quickly that they actually do not even touch you!  

We actually did return to the spot of the crime. Due to the structure of the building, there was a 3rd floor window (it was still open) set at an angle from the street.  Someone squirted liquid stuff down on us, and by the time it hit us and we realized what happened we were past the point where we could see the open window, as we had looked up, to see about the birds.  The liquid did look like bird___ and it did smell.  However we should have immediately realized we had both been hit and bird do-do does not spread that far.  We should have kept walking!!! 

Anyway, all they got was approximately $60-70 in pesos & a few Chile pesos.  No US dollars, but they did get Cal's debit card and 2 credit cards.  It could have been a lot more!  I'm sure they were disappointed!  I carry a different credit card and different debit card - so we have not sent any emails to our friends asking for money!!!!  We had all our cash, US dollars, in our money belts along with our passports and my cards.  We are fine. But I was ready to go to McDonald's for lunch!! - Comfort food!!! - However we did not! In the end it was 4:00 before we ate lunch.  

Memorial Wall For The Falkland Islands war with England

We continued our walk this evening ending at a huge upmarket shopping mall, Galerias Pacifico, built in 1889 along Florida Street which is currently a pedestrian street. This afternoon and evening we each bought a leather belt, and I bought a leather travel bag/purse.  Before returning to the hotel exhausted - we did stop at McDonald's for an ice cream cone! - a little lighter food this evening than at the Tango show last night. 

Basilica Santisimo Sacramento

Galerias Pacifico Shopping Mall

Inside the Galerias Pacifico Shopping Mall

Tomorrow we will be exploring more of the city. 

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