Apologies for the lateness of this blog, however, we flew home from Argentina early to surprise friends and family, and then a couple of days later flew to Florida, so as you can imagine it was all a bit hectic! Anyway…..
Our last few days were spent aimlessly wandering round the beautiful city of Buenos Aires. A city which houses skyscrapers, beautiful historic plazas, the colourful district of La Boca and a river running up the east coast. There are cobbled streets and little bistros lining the roads. Our hostel, Hostel Granados, was situated about a mile from the main road and a mile from the river, so perfect walking distance from everything you’d want to see in the city.
Friday was spent walking up from the hostel to La Recoleta cemetery, passing historic buildings and plazas along the way. The walk up along the river with the sky a perfect blue was a nice start to what would be a 13 mile walk.They had cranes lining either side of the river which at night, were lit up and looked like really cool lighting. We don’t think they’re actually working cranes though. They also had quirky statues dotted round the city. They had plaques in front of them but they were all in Spanish. One of them above is to do with the tram system and that’s where there were epic roadworks pretty much all throughout the city. The buildings had a sort of Italian look about them and there were two boats moored along the river; one was a museum, one a restaurant. As you can imagine it looks very different all lit up at night! The bridge; puente de la mujer is an odd shaped pedestrian bridge passing over the river. Further in from he river, is the beautiful Plaza de Mayo, where Casa Rosada is situated.
This salmon pink coloured house is the home of the Presidential office of Argentina.
The plaza in itself is surrounded by beautiful historic buildings and protesters are often seen in the area, mainly on Thursdays, and the big fences surrounding the May Pyramid statue, ever so slightly ruin the photos.
The square is the place where the 1810 revolution that led to Argentinas independence occurred. Historical buildings are in abundance surrounding the plaza. The secretariat of Intelligence, Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires Cabildo, Hacienda Palace and the National Bank of Argentina to name a few.
Opposite Casa Rosada, the roads split and the architecture remained just as beautiful.
We were aiming for the infamous obelisk, which is situated in the middle of the worlds widest avenue, 9 de Julio Avenue. It is named after the day Argentina received its independence in 1816. And it is wide! I mean there must have been about six sets of traffic lights to cross to get from one side to the other. As we approached the obelisk, we were reminded of the ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign as there was a queue of people lining up to have their photo taken with it.Even the BA carved into the greenery was impressive! Just up the road is the infamous Teatro Colon.
From here, we found ourselves passing Palacio Barolo which is another impressive architectural structure, which, used to hold the title of the tallest building in South America, a title now belonging to the Costenera Centre in Santiago, Chile.
This led us nicely to Congressional Plaza, an area which houses a beautiful musical fountain and of course, the Congress building. It was stunning. The red paths gave a nice contrast to the very green grass, occasionally dotted with flowers. From Congressional Plaza, we sought out Hard Rock Cafe up near Jorge Newberry Airport. This took us to the most amazing cemetery, La Recoleta. It was free to enter and the crypts that fill the cemetery were beautifully haunting. What’s baffling is why some were broken into. Some you could see the coffins, others had personal effects and photographs. Some were incredibly old and others relatively new. Some were made out of brick, others marble or granite.
The cemetery was fascinating and we managed to find a few crypts from the 1800s. From here, our walk took us back along the river, passing some random structures and a clock considered to be Buenos Aires answer to Big Ben. The sun was beginning to set across the river as we trekked the last part back to the hostel. We had one more day left in Buenos Aires and that would be spent walking down to the colourful town of La Boca.
La Boca is home to the Boca Juniors football club and a street called Caminito which is where tango dancers perform for the tourists amongst the colourful houses and restaurants. It was very colourful with lots of little bistros and souvenir shops lining the few streets. From La Boca, we wanted to walk back along the river but found ourselves in, what seemed to us, to be a really rough area. As we looked for a road that took us to the river, the streets were boarded with sofas and other household items and as we crossed it, we were told ‘no no no.’ There was also a distinct smell of drugs and alcohol in the area, as well as police roaming the area. We weren’t able to walk down most of the streets and aimed to get out of the area as quick as possible, especially when two guys tried to get the bag off Nathan’s back.
We reached the hostel after eventually getting to the river, saw these guys across the roadand then proceeded to sit outside of Via Via Hostel, soaking up the last of the Argentine sun.It was a great end to our five months away. The following day we were up, caught an über to EZE airport where we would experience the longest queue we had encountered at an airport, promptly followed by an evacuation back to McDonalds with no explanation. There may have been, but in Spanish. The flight back home had a layover in Madrid. We flew with Air Europa and the experience was good! Sad to be back in the rainy UK, we were home….