Changing directions, or rather continents, this year has found us in Argentina, South America. Our first stop is the capital city of Buenos Aires aka the “Paris or New York of the South”. The plan this year is to spend more time in various cities/towns throughout Argentina, Uruguay and Chile in order to get a better flavour of the people and culture. To that end we have hunkered down in the city for a couple of weeks and have already clocked mucho miles on the pedometer. It is summer here, muy caliente and humid – our kind of weather!
Similar to Paris or New York this city is very cosmopolitan and is divided into barrios, each with their own characteristics and personality. When walking the streets and boulevards it hard to imagine you aren’t in Paris with the splendid architecture, numerous parks or plazas, cafes, helado shops (ice cream) and bakeries on every corner. The italian influence is also very prevalent, such a blend of nationalities and cultures. While here we will try to give you a glimpse of the major barrios through pictures and the random bits information we glean.
One thing we know for sure is that language will definitely be more of a challenge this trip since there is very little English spoken and our comprensión del español mínimo. Thank goodness for the goggle translate app!
Our intro to the city began in Monserrat’s Plaza de Mayo, known as the city’s ground zero. This is the oldest barrio with many prominent sights, beautiful historic buildings and has been the site of the many demonstrations, some of which continue to this day. The plaza is situated in front of the Casa Rosada or Pink Palace, and was at one time the presidential palace. It is here from the balcony where Juan and Evita Peron held public audiences. We plan to tour the Casa later this week so we’ll all get an insiders glimpse of the no doubt opulence.
We visited the Plaza on our first full day in the city, a Thursday, and were witness to a small group of Argentine mothers known as Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo. This group started in 1970 to protest and demand the return of their adult children who were “disappeared” during the military dictatorship of the mid-70s and ’80s. They continue their weekly silent vigil now protesting other various social causes. Google http://www.womenintheworldhistory.com if you would like to read more about this poignant period in Argentine history.
Travelling via subway or bus around the city is very easy and affordable however with the rapid rise in the country’s inflation food and other amenities are on the pricier side. Next stop, the barrio of La Boca.
Puente de la Mujer (Spanish for “Women’s Bridge”) in the distance