Buenos Aires - SEE
This weekend was a whirlwind. I got home in the early evening on Sunday from weekend travel. Monday was a weird day and I was in a funk by the evening and not in the mood to write this. I do always have fun writing though, so I altered the publication date with plans to work on this today instead of pressuring my blank mind to do it last night. I’m still not out of the fog, I thought I was getting out of this totally, but feelings come in waves and I can’t apologize because I’m only human.
Before we dive in to all that we did ( a lot) please know that we took Ubers nearly every where. Buenos Aires is large and sprawling and I might write a post on neighborhoods to give you a lay of the land with points of interest on it. Uber is really easy to use here and the drivers are friendly and helpful, as were most Argentinians.
Recoleta Cemetery - Every famous Argentinian you can think of is buried here. The most famous being Eva Peron (we also went to the museum dedicated to her life and VERY mysterious death). It was cold and cloudy the morning we went and we kind of felt like we crashed military funeral upon our arrival, it was very solemn and they even played Chopin’s funeral dirge (thanks to the Warsaw Chopin museum, I know that now). This cemetery is huge and not very well labeled, so a lot of the time we spent here was wandering looking for Peron’s mausoleum and getting lost in the process of doing so. However, after awhile, we were cold and hungry and were just on a mission to find it. It is not easy. I almost suggest printing out a map and your path and the graves you want to see in advance and be prepared to get lost a few times. It was enjoyable to wander and see all of the ornate graves. And also, a bit morbid. Cemeteries are interesting and weird places to visit while traveling but I always wonder about the lives of the people buried there. Anyway, I suggest going here for the history and if you’ve been to Paris and Pere Lachaise, you’ll enjoy your visit here too. (lots of pictures below!)
MALBA - We did go to the contemporary art museum! It was great, it had one large exhibit going on plus some smaller exhibits being set up. I really liked the female photographer, Cindy Sherman, who they were showcasing, Richard Sherman, not so much. The space of this museum was sleek and contemporary and filled with natural light in its main spaces, I loved that. The gift shop was also really great and we went kind of nuts with leather goods here. Recommended and pictured below.
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes- (Fine arts museum) This is your standard fine arts museum, national art, famous international artists, it was fine, nothing special. I feel bad saying that but maybe I’d reached my fill of art at this point in the trip. Nothing memorable stands out. Skip or go if it is raining or cold and you want to be inside. Have I ever said that? I don’t think so.
La Casa Rosada - A government building open to the public, available by scheduled tour only, and there is strict security. They will check your passport about 8 times total, just warning. But, it is a functioning government building so it makes complete sense. I enjoyed our tour here, we saw the only (I think) painting of Eva Peron and Juan Peron where they’re smiling, we say government offices, courtyards, the balcony where the Peron’s gave their famous speech. The building overlooks a beautiful plaza and the biggest flag I’ve ever seen (Argentina’s, obviously). It was worth the time, the passport checking, and the effort to go here. It isn’t every day you are allowed access to such building. (no flash photog allowed, so I chose to not take any because I was also kind of lazy that day and the lighting inside was meh).
Palacio Barolo - This office building is really interesting because it is modeled upon/tells the story of Dante’s Inferno. What a creative architect, right? He was an Italian, Mario Palanti, there is a lot of Italian influence in Argentina. When this was completed in 1923, it was the tallest building in South America. There’s a twin building in Montevideo, Uruguay. We booked this tour and got to use the really old elevators, go up in the light tower that was like an actual lighthouse, and see the building and the city of Buenos Aires from various terraces and small balconies many stories up. This tour was another one we paid for, perhaps about $25-$30 USD, but it was worth it. We learned all about each floor and how it related to the Inferno and at the end, we got a glass of wine and got to see the office of the tour company, which was historically accurate to the time the building was built. We also posed in some fun/silly hats and had a good time chatting and dressing up. Highly recommended. (Pictured below)
San Telmo Market - I already mentioned this in the EAT post, but there are vendors who sell more than food. I bought a really nice angora poncho here and Lindsey and I spent a good bit of time in a small shop that sold candles, perfumes, and other home goods. I also really enjoyed digging through the stalls of antiques because I bought three cute lapel pins very cheaply, all vintage.
Ateneo Grand Splendid - A really large and beautiful bookstore built in an old theater. Definitely a tourist spot, but one you should see anyway. The cafe is huge and takes up the space where the theater stage was. (Pictured below)
Teatro Colon - Oohh, we were going to see a Brazilian opera here one night. But we were tired. We took photos of the building in the daylight and then headed back to the Park Hyatt BA for dinner and the pool and spa. I was grateful for a relaxing night. I’m sad we did not go to a show there because the interior looks beautiful in photos, but oh well. Next time!
Eva Peron Museum- I learned so much about Eva Peron here, especially considering I knew very little to begin with. I didn’t know she did so much for women in Argentina (especially in relation to political representation and suffrage), how young she was when she married and burst into the public eye, that she was an actress originally, and that her death was very strange and mysterious (really, google it). I really recommend this place. It is small but there are a lot of photos, videos, and placards to consume. (no photos here either)
Japanese Gardens - My goodness, I’d forgotten about these gardens until I started going through pictures for the post. It was very inexpensive to visit these lovely gardens and the weather was starting to warm up and become more spring like during this day, so we went here before MALBA. Worth it. Clean public toilets too! (pictured below!)
Now that I’ve typed this out, all that we did, no wonder we skipped the Opera one night, we were tired! We’d been traveling and going for two weeks and packed a lot of activities and sights into one city. I’m impressed, we did a good job. (Thanks Lindsey for being the social chair of our trips to my logistics chair). I really can’t say that you should skip any of these other than the Fine Arts museum. That said, maybe add an extra day in here, if you can. And I’ve got an idea for another post about visiting the busiest city of a trip last.