Final days in Buenos Aires
Trip Start Jun 15, 2009
133Trip End Jun 14, 2010
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Where I stayed
Estados Unidos, San Telmo
We went out to the Botanic Gardens one day, planning a relaxing day in a peaceful spot, which it would have been had it not started raining as we arrived! The gardens themselves are pleasant. The most significant thing is the large number of feral cats that live in seemimgly harmony with one another in the gardens and pose along side statues until you've got the camera focussed, at which point they turn their backs.
We also saw a statue of Romulus and Remus suckling at the wolf, a copy of the one in Rome and given to the Argentinians as a gift from the Italians. Apparently it was originally sited elsewhere and this is actually a copy of the copy. And even the original in Rome only started out in life with the wolf. R & R were added later.
Near the entrance to the reserve street markets set up every weekend. Had this been Australia, it would have been almost over when we arrived at midday. As it was, they were all still setting up show and starting to get things going. Also along the road here we spotted an old school bus, partly converted and for sale. It seemed to me a fabulous vehicle for us to convert and travel in but Tony wasn’t so convinced. He seems to think there may be a lot of work involved! He preferred the chance to pose with Fangio and his car on the way back through Puerto Madero.
On one of our Subte (underground) journeys we encountered a young guy in full military uniform, complete with ceremonial sword, taking the train home!
Another spectacular find was the Palacio de aguas Corrientes, built in 1894 and covered in glazed tiles and enamelled bricks. It is a huge place, filling a whole block and designed to house huge water tanks to supply water to the whole city. It also contains the very specialist museum of related items, with large collections of old toilets, taps, pipe fittings and such like as well as the original plans and drawings for the building. Dad Webb (Jen’s dad) would have loved it!
There are lots of dogs around Buenos Aires and on numerous occasions we have passed dog walkers in the street. Not just the man and his dog scenario, but people who walk about a dozen dogs at a time as a job. The amazing thing is that the dogs seem to get along fine. There never seems to be any scrapping and snarling. Maybe they are all sedated. The down side of this is all the dog poo all over the pavements. There seems to be no expectation that anyone will clear it up which is fairly unpleasant and with the obvious consequences for pedestrians.
Generally the streets are kept fairly clean. Every evening, after 8pm, you put out your rubbish in knotted plastic bags, at the side of the road. The dustbin lorries come and collect it all around midnight. In the meantime, the many people who live off selling cardboard, plastic etc for recycling come and rip open the bags and scour through them in search of anything worthwhile, leaving everthiing scattered around in heaps at the side of the road. This does not create the most attractive environment for the late night Buenos Aires life style! However, after the dustbin lorries have been around, the road sweepers then appear and clear up all the remains, so that by morning the streets are actually clean again. It is a pretty amazing system really. Particularly because the street sweepers must be able to sweep around the piles of dog muck, as they never disappear!
We've managed to fit in a few visits to various performances. We went to a production of Pierrot Lunaire in a small but extravagant theatre. And to round off our stay in Buenos Aires we finally managed to get a dry Monday evening to go and hear La Bomba, a big percussion group, play at Konex, an old industrial building, now an alternative arts venue. Big group making big percussive noise!
The next day, bags packed, we bid farewell to our BA home and made our way to the Buquebus ferry terminal via the Tren del Este, which was fortunately back on the tracks without the ladder!
In the last few days we discovered Nonna Bianca's, our local heladeria where they make a huge range of delicious home-made ice creams, our favourite being Super Dulce de Leche. We also got the key jammed in the door to the apartment and ended up with it broken inside the lock (whoops!) We have spent many an hour wandering the streets of Buenos Aires, dodging the dog poo, trying to avoid tripping on broken and delapidated pavements and admiring the buildings. There are some amazing buildings with beautiful features around Buenos aires and we leave you here with a few more pictures of some of them!