Argentina 2013: A Wonderful Hunt and Fantastic Vacation, Touring Buenos Aries

by david on September 3, 2013

Thursday, May 30th 2013

Our flight to Iguazú was not until 4:20 pm, and our ride to the airport was not due until about 2:20, leaving the morning free.  Janice had read about the capitol building complex (Plaza de Mayo) and had marked it on the map.  It looked like it was 15-20 blocks and, though it is a long walk, it was completely doable.  The walk started off benignly enough, until we had gone about three blocks.  From that point on, it seemed like at least 85% of the sidewalks and 50% of the streets were torn up and being reworked or repaired in some form or the other (and no I don’t think I am exaggerating).  This left less than three feet on both sides of the street for all of the city’s inhabitants to walk on.  After an hour and fifteen minutes, we had only made it half-way.  It was time for a family conference and we stopped in the first wide spot we happened across.

The maps came out and we were all trying to figure out an alternative route.  At some point in the process, Kristine noticed there was not one but two Plaza de Mayos and we were headed towards the wrong one.  To add insult to injury, the one wanted was in the opposite direction in which we had been traveling, and, in fact, it was fairly close to our hotel.  I was almost brave enough to tease the boss lady about it, but, luckily, common sense soon returned and I thought better of it.  Who knows, I may have made the same mistake.  After all, who among us, after finding where we are looking for on a map, stops to look for another of the same name?  The good news was the wide spot in the road we happened to have stopped in was the entrance to the subway.  Due to the time we had already lost this morning, we headed down into the subway and in three short stops we were at the Plaza de Mayo.

The buildings themselves were pretty interesting as architecture goes and one was a very interesting pinkish rose color.  Janice remembered reading the color was the result of the blood of the patriots who died in revolution being mixed in the masonry topcoat.  I have my doubts as blood dries and ages to a dark brown color.  If she wants to believe the legend, however, who am I to dispel it?  The Argentines were here in force and snapping pictures a mile a minute.  We snapped pictures for several dozen and others were simply holding their cameras out at arm’s length and happily clicking away.  Janice made the comment as to why so many people were asking her to take their pictures.  She really had to look no further than around her neck.  She was using her fancy-shmancy, new, professional-grade Christmas present to take her own pictures.  People had taken one look at her camera and made the assumption she was a professional photographer.  And who better to take their pictures?

Behind the capitol, there was a neat little museum and it saved me for the day, because if I had had to watch my girls take one more picture, I would have probably sat down and cried.  Even though the museum was small, there was quite a lot of Argentina history represented.  Just about everything from the very early days of the country to the turbulent period around the lives of Juan and Eva Peron was there, in some shape or fashion.  It was a good way for me to break up the day.  After the museum, it was time for lunch and then back to the hotel.



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