Friday, January 31, 2014
Argentina and Buenos Aires is the home of the Tango and our visit wouldn't be complete without taking in a good Tango Show. The Cafe de los Angelitos show is one of the most famous in the city. That was our next stop on the city tour. Who says you miss too much on a cruise? We couldn't hardly stand any more fun and new experiences.
Talk about intense.
After a hard days touring, it is nice to come home (to the ship) to a BBQ party poolside.
Ports are mostly ugly. There are a few exceptions, but not many. The larger cities are always very industrial and you are always surrounded by container shipping facilities. In the distance is the Rio de la Plata tributary.
You can't walk through the shipping area so shuttle buses are usually provided to get out of the stacked container canyons.
Tomorrow is Montevideo.
It is great to have two days in a big city like Buenos Aires. Two days just scratches the surface but we got around enough to see the main attractions in the city. This day will be another beautiful but very hot day. The temperature will reach 95 F which is about 90 degrees higher than it is a home right now.
We saw a number of "dog walkers" in the parks. Dogs are a very popular pet in Argentina and there is a large demand for people to care for the pets while the owners work. Of course, the more dogs you care for the more money you can make. I was surprised to learn that some dog walkers can make as much as the dog owners make and can live comfortably on their earnings. Walking 10-20 dogs on a daily basis is not uncommon.
You are in a very foreign country but at times it looks just like home.
The flowering trees a much more common here than in Kansas City.
Of course, there are lots of nice parks and statues. You know you are in a foreign country when you don't recognize any of the people memorialized by the statue.
The graffiti ruins lots of nice parks and buildings and it is everywhere.
A horse racing track in downtown Buenos Aires.
Eva Peron's presence is everywhere in the city.
We had to pay our respects to Eva while here. She is entombed in a the spectacular Recoleta Cemetery in the heart of the city. Every person in the cemetery is in a family mausoleum.
Our tour guide gives us the history of the cemetery and of Eva Peron.
This is it. Eva Peron's family mausoleum.....she was a Duarte. Interestingly enough, her husband, Juan, is not buried here. Eva died in 1952 at the young age of 33 from cancer. She was born poor, became an actress, a mistress to Juan Peron before marrying him, and one of the most famous people to ever live in Argentina. She was idolized by the masses and held lots of political power without ever being elected to office. Her life was short but her history is long and more than I want to tackle in the blog. The story of how her body was handled after her death is really bazaar. Check it out yourself if interested.
We are now back on the streets and heading for another city park.
Need I say more.
This is Florida street....the most popular place to shop in town.
The Casa Rosada, the president's "Pink House" as viewed from the front (see previous post).
This public square, Plaza De Mayo, is the location of multiple daily demonstrations against/for anything or everything. The Argentinians love to protest. A street vendor had a fresh juice stand there so Sigrid and I partook of his services. We watched him squeeze one fruit after another until he had our two drinks and they were wonderful on a hot day.
Here are a few of the protest banners in the square. They are still protesting the 1982 war with Britain over the Falkland Islands (the Malvinas). I guess they still feel like they belong to Argentina.
This is the back of the Casa Rosada that faces the square.
This is the balcony where Eva Peron gave her "Don't cry for me Argentina" speech as she explained her impending death from cancer to the masses.
Here is a You Tube clip of the song performed by Madonna to get you in the mood. The last half of the clip is silent and a repeat so don't bother watching after the music stops.
The city's Metropolitan Cathedral is done in a neo-classical style of architecture. It is located across the street from Plaza De Mayo.
We then made our way to the Puerto Madero area of the city. There you find a collection of upscale shops and restaurants along a canal.
It is time for lunch.
We picked an Argentinian Steakhouse with a menu entirely in Spanish (no English sub-titles this time). We had no idea what we were ordering. I just said "steak" and that worked. Surprisingly, the waiter spoke no English.
My steak looked like a KC Strip cut and was huge. I found as I began eating that there was loads of fat and gristle to trim so it really wasn't that big after all. It was excellent.
Sigrid's salmon was also very tasty.
Just when you are feeling so far away from home, you see a TGI Fridays, or McDonald's, or KFC, or a Burger King.
More on Buenos Aries in the next post.