top of page

Chambers at Large in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Updated: Mar 21



My memories of Buenos Aires will be of the extortionate inflation rate (211%), the workers strike, the tango show, the wide roads, the lovely parks and the marvellous steaks, washed down with a glass or two of Malbec.

My first day in  Buenos Aires was a little up in the air as there was a general strike, with workers flooding in from all around the country to protest about the new government’s strategies for dealing with the country’s fiscal difficulties.

My fellow travellers and I came across groups of workers walking from the railway station to the main square.  The protest went ahead quite peacefully and I truly hope the people of Argentina can reduce their inflation rate and return to being a prosperous country.  They certainly have a great deal to export especially the steak which was delicious and the Malbec (a red wine) which was like drinking silk; so, so smooth.  I have to thank the staff at La Posada de 1820 restaurant where I enjoyed more than one delicious meal.  (I usually only eat meat once or twice a week at home, but I made an exception whilst in Argentina!) 

Buenos Aires is extremely modern, with high rise buildings, wide twelve lane roads and a plethora of parks.  Due to the grid-like layout of the city a refreshing breeze wafted through the streets and the tree lined avenues allowed pedestrians to stay cool in the shade.

The Plaza de las Naciones Unidas boasted the modern sculpture Floralis Genérica; one petal of which had been damaged in a recent storm.  This sculpture was one of the first public mobile installations operated by hydraulics and photoelectric sensors.

The city has older buildings too.  To celebrate Argentine independence the English clocktower, stands proudly in a the Plazoleta Fuerza Aerea Argentina.  Unfortunately it was closed due to an electrical failure, possibly a result of the strike, or because I wanted to visit!

Not far from the clock tower is the memorial to the Falklands War (or Malvinas War) where two soldiers stand watch.

An art deco building, the Edifico Kavanagh, has a lovely legend attached to it. A man from the aristocratic Anchorena family was in a relationship with Corina Kavanagh, but his family did not approve and forced them to break up.  The Kavanagh family took their revenge by building this skyscraper to block the view of monuments and churches dear to the Anchorenas.  How true is this little tale?  Well, it is open to conjecture, but who doesn’t love a story of spiteful vengeance and lost love?    

The day after the general strike I visited the main square which houses a number of impressive buildings including the Argentine bank, the cathedral and the pink palace where the president resides when in the capital.  The president was in residence shown by the flag flying from the roof. 

One of the more famous presidents of Argentina was Juan Peron who is buried in the cathedral, and I witnessed a changing of the guard ceremony at his tomb.

His second wife Eva (Evita) is buried in a family tomb in the Cementerio de la Recoleta, which is a fascinating cemetery due to the numerous architectural features within. (Apologies for the quality of the photograph but I was there at midday.)

I find cemeteries interesting as they reveal personal histories and I meandered along the maze of pavements flanked by mausoleums and vaults, many decorated with statues and sculptures ranging from the modern to the classical. Political leaders, presidents, Nobel Prize winners and sportspersons are buried here and if I hadn’t been led to Eva Peron’s burial chamber it would have taken me some time to find it.

Messi is of course one of the most modern icons of Argentine football, but I passed the ground on which Maradona first played.  I then spent an hour walking around La Boca, a colourful Bohemian area, similar to Valparaiso in Chile, as the buildings are multi-coloured, the pavements too.  Artisans sold paintings and other crafts at market stalls, whilst outside some restaurants slabs of beef and sausages were cooking over glowing wood fires.  

A highlight of my stay in Buenos Aires was taking time out to see a tango show.  I have to apologise for the quality of the photo, but the dancers moved so quickly it was surreal watching them. 

My fellow travellers and I visited the El Querandi which reminded me of a 1930s bar, an intimate setting where the show told the story of tango from its origins to post 1955.  The costume changes, the dance and the songs certainly portrayed the movement of time, entertaining the diners after a three course meal.  It was a captivating, energetic evening where the food was of good quality and the wine flowed.  A big thanks to staff and performers for such a special night.

I also have to thank my fellow travellers who walked with me through the city, our guide Alejandro and Mercury Holidays for organising the Grand Tour of South America.  My few days in Buenos Aires were certainly memorable and I truly hope the new Argentinian president’s economic polices bear fruit.

 

***

 

My tour of South America was a trip of a lifetime and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Discover the other countries and sights I visited by clicking on the links:

 

 

 


 



My knowledge of soccer has quadrupled in recent months.  Not only am I aware of David Beckham, Messi and Maradona, but Renaldo comes from one of my favourite places on Earth: Madeira.  Please click on the links to discover more about this island paradise:

 

 

61 views1 comment

1 Comment

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Another fantastic review on South America

Like
bottom of page