Monday, September 13, 2010


Chic Buenos Aires. I'm staying in the suburb of Recoleta, which is an upmarket neighbourhood. I've got an apartment here for one week, with plenty of space and some basic cooking facilities. I can boil and microwave things, and I've been getting supplies from the two supermarkets nearby.

It's Monday morning and it's raining today. Since my arrival on Friday it has been dry and mostly sunny. Today could be an indoors day, reading The Devil Wears Prada. Kirsten gave me that in exchange for another book I passed on to her in Denmark. I have also been reading another book which I found abandoned in Munich airport, but that one has hundreds and hundreds of pages, and I can easily return to it at a later date.

One of the first things I did here in BA was to visit the cemetary in Recoleta, where the elite are laid to rest in tombs. There are ornate statues everywhere and the cemetary is like a mini-city with family buildings containing the coffins, some of which you can see through glass doors. The most famous is that of Familia Duarte. There is always a crowd of tourists looking at Eva Peron's burial place. Adjacent to the cemetary is Our Lady of Pilar Basilica and cloisters.

I've also been to the downtown shopping area. Of course, there's a long pedestrianised mall, like in any respectable major city. The Galerias Pacifico complex has lovely ceiling paintings. In Recoleta there's a book shop and cafe in a former theatre, which is quite stunning. The cafe is on what was the stage. There I had a "submarino" hot chocolate. A glass of hot, frothy milk and a chocolate bar to sink into it - like a submarine.

Yesterday I met up with a local contact and went walking in San Telmo, where there are cobbled streets and grand old houses. There was a Sunday antiques market in Plaza Dorrego and tango dancing displays.

I'm looking forward to seeing the Plaza de Mayo when it's sunny again. The famous Casa Rosada is there, along with an important cathedral. The parliament building is a short walk away. Perhaps you've heard about the grand avenues and European feel to this city. It's quite true. At times it's like Paris or Madrid.

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