A Travellerspoint blog

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

Exploring the Paris of South America

sunny 80 °F
View 2020 Vision - around South America on HopeEakins's travel map.

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Oh, we have fallen in love with Buenos Aires. The avenues are broad and often lined with stunning tipas, a kind of rosewood tree with tiny leaves and remarkable trunk structures. These trees are coming into flower, so a haze of yellow is starting to cover them. Also along the ways are coral trees covered with velvety red clusters of the national flower of Argentina.large_IMG_0321.jpg497e3190-4144-11ea-baeb-3b2863abbaf1.jpg

The city is filled with parks and park systems; our guide Alejandro said that 30% of its area is official parks. Add that to the squares and monuments and road landscaping and you’ve got a green city that smells good. The rose garden is a little bigger (!) than Elizabeth Park at home. A mammoth metal sculpture, Floralis generica, opens and closes according to the sun. large_floralis_generica_buenos_aires-1024x683.jpg
And for reasons unknown, there is absolutely NO trash. Apparently Argentinians are born knowing about waste receptacles. Furthermore, the graffiti is energetic and looks like art, not like the signature of hoodlums as in Rio. large_IMG_0325.jpg

There is a considerable focus on health and well-being. In the parks, little yellow buildings serve as wellness centers. Staffed by a doctor and a nurse, people can get simple lab work done, get weighed, get first aid, get referred. All is free. Also free are public education, health care, and orange bicycles, many being ridden all around us.

People do die here, and some are buried in an incredible cemetery. Recoleta is in the center of the city and has 4600 mausolea, some filled with fresh flowers, some covered with cobwebs, some being refurbished by the city. IMG_3387.jpg

The Water Palace knocks your eyes out; once the actual water pumping station, it now serves as the administrative center for the water department as well as a museum. But wow, it looks like a palace. And the new pumping station itself looks better than any other municipal installation I have seen – we thought it was the Cathedral.
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The upscale residential neighborhoods are stunning; even the shantytowns are charming. The Ateneo bookshop looks like an opera house. At the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar (no, we don’t know what this dedication means), Jesus sits puzzled and weeping, and we can’t figure this out either.IMG_3399.jpgIMG_0345.jpg

Alejandro brought us (B&H + Doug and Jane Kline) to a bar called Atlantico for lunch: leek empanadas, grilled cheese (just cheese in a little pan), bread, fried capers, and pickled onions and peppers. IMG_0347.jpglarge_IMG_0348.jpg

We are very happy cruisers.

Posted by HopeEakins 13:03 Archived in Argentina

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