The capital city of Argentina sprawls back
from the south side of the River Plate, where the Portedance the Tango,
chomp on steak and party till dawn. The city is the second largest in South
America, with something over 13 million inhabitants. The city is centred around
the 9 de Julio avenue, umpteen lanes wide with an obelisk which stands in honour
of Argentine independence in 1810 (1816 officially).
We visited Buenos Aires as part of the South America 2005 trip, arriving by
Buquebus fast boat from Colonia, Uruguay and staying three nights before flying
back home. Highlights included dancing the Tango, chomping on steak and partying
till dawn. It wasn't particularly warm as it was the middle of June, but it felt
much closer to home than the likes of Brazil, I felt almost like I could have
been walking around in Madrid.
Coming in to land at Jorge Newberry airport on a flight from Puerto Iguazu, the city
spreads out as far as the eye can see.
Don't cry for me Argentina! It was here at the Casa Rosada that Eva Peron spoke to the
people from the balcony, and Madonna sang in the mid-90s film.
Avenida 9 de Julio is one of the widest avenues in the world, with 22 lanes of traffic in
places. The white obelisk is a monument to the independence of Argentina from Spain, and is also
a very useful marker point to help you find your way home from Opera Bay disco...
A close up of the obelisk shows the text describing how the Argentine national flag was
first flown on this site back in 1812. The monument also appears in the billboard to the right,
having been hit by a typical Porteriver.
Argentina is a very well developed country, however prices are very cheap due to the economic
collapse in the first few years of the 21st century. The downtown area at the port has seen investment
by plenty of big firms, and has a reasonable skyline.
The cathedral in Buenos Aires looks a bit more like a bank than a place of worship. It is on the
same square as the Casa Rosada; the Plaza de Mayo.
Here in Caminito is where the tango originated, and you will see many postcards around the city showing
dancers in front of this particular wedge-shaped building. The district of Caminito is in La Boca, a fairly rough
area; there are a few brightly coloured streets like this but nothing else to see in the area apart from the football...
A stylish Porte039;s house and matching car.
We went to a tango stage show in San Telmo, near our hostel, to soak up a bit of the traditional
culture and alcohol. Note how they are using the building in Caminito as a backdrop. The tango dancing
couple put on a good show, after which members of the audience were invited to have a shot - but I'm
not showing the pictures of that!
River Plate, along with Boca Juniors, are one of the most successful football teams in Argentina.
We went to see them play at their home ground, where the opposition fans were kept behind barbed wire fence
and had fun setting off fireworks and smoke bombs.
The monument to the Argentine soldiers lost to the British during the Falklands war, or Islas Malvinas
as they are known down here. Interestingly, when entering Argentina by bus from Brazil, one of the first things
we saw was a sign announcing the ownership of the Falklands by Argentina, which was repeated outside army bases
and a couple of other places we saw. I have to admit feeling a bit guilty standing here.
Palacio Barolo is a 1920s skyscraper which very closely resembles the Palacio Salvo in
being designed by the same architect as it was.
Recoleta cemetery, the dead centre of Buenos Aires. Eva Peron's tomb is in amongst these
monuments to influential and well-known Porte which is almost like a little tomb town.
Shopping in Buenos Aires is excellent, mostly due to the low, low prices following the
recent collapse of the economy. This street is called Florida (if I remember rightly).
The capitol building resembles that of the US, or Cuba for that matter. I was surprised at
the amount of grafitti in the city, which even adorns the statues and monuments outside this seat
of government. Either the Portelike writing on walls, or they are somewhat discontent.
Another shot of the obelisk in the sun, looking along Avenida Roque Saenz Pena.