"" Writer's Wanderings: World Cruise - Buenos Aires, Day Two

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

World Cruise - Buenos Aires, Day Two

Our second morning in Buenos Aires began with a highlights tour of the city. It was the only way to be sure we could safely get to La Recoleta, the cemetery where Eva Peron is buried. I suppose we could have taken a taxi or used the HOHO bus that had a stop nearby but when we were planning our trip, we’d decided to use the ship’s excursion.

The four hour tour took us to the pink palace, Casa Rosada, and the government buildings where so many of the demonstrations take place. They are so spontaneous that the local authorities have barriers and movable fences handy at all times to at least offer some sort of order and containment. The pink palace is the place where Eva Peron is said to have given her famous speech and where Madonna sang the song for the movie.

Across the square is also the cathedral of Buenos Aires where Pope Francis served as Archbishop before becoming Pope. We took a peek inside. It was a lot fancier inside than the outside would lead you to believe.

About three blocks away is an old coffee shop, CafĂ© Tortoni, and tango school. The shop inside dates back to 1858 and was rich with dark wood paneling and Tiffany glass ceiling. Lots of Tiffany lamps line the shelf over the bar area and sculptured busts of famous artists, writers, and poets who frequented the shop over the years are display all around. 

Churros and hot chocolate were a big hit with everyone although the churros needed to be dipped in the chocolate to make them edible.

La Boca was to be our next stop and as we drove there we passed a large sit in demonstration that looked more like a live in demonstration with a huge tent pitched. I think the guide said it was a tribe that was fighting for some type of union rights.

Arriving at the most colorful section of town, La Boca, we were given our instructions of how far we could wander safely and when to be back at the bus and then we were left to explore.

While our guide didn’t explain in detail about the area, I remembered from our last trip that this is where a lot of the immigrants first landed in Buenos Aires and since they were so poor, they would build their homes out of anything they could find including scrap metal and then use leftover paints that they were given to paint their residence. 

From La Boca we crossed town again to go to La Recoleta. This is the place where only the very rich and famous can get buried. The tombs and mausoleums are owned by families and it costs a fortune to buy space in any of them. Eva Peron’s body, after being stolen and traveling around, finally came to rest in the tomb of the Duarte Family. While she has left quite a mark on Buenos Aires, there are still those who either love her or hate her.

Our tour bus dropped us once again at the terminal where we boarded the shuttle to the ship which wandered among the containers before we made it to our own gangplank and back on board. It would have been nice to have time for one more steak meal but we were setting sail soon. Next up: Rio! 

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