Always good to get out of the city sometimes so I took a trip to El Tigre which is a 45 minute drive from central BA but a world away in style and pace.
Once again I utilised the Services of the excellent guide Patricia from Eco Buenos Aires
First we made a stop at the beautiful rose garden in one of the central parks.
Then a quick stop at the memorial for the people killed in two terror attacks in the 90s in Buenos Aires aimed at the Jewish population but which in fact impacted many others. Each block represents someone who was killed and each has an etching on it determined by their surviving relatives that reflects who they were individually – hence everything from handbags to bicycles. A really nice idea to humanise a memorial.
In El Tigre we had a look at the local market – the wood required for wicker is grown here and so there are a lot of woven goods and then a boat for a leisurely ride through the islands that make up El Tigre. They are only accessible by boat and include permanent residents and those with summer homes as well as a lot of recreational sites for picnics and walks. Supermarkets are accessed by boats carrying all manner of goods.
Then we made a stop at the house of Victoria Ocampo – an early feminist and creator of a feminist magazine that run during the 30s to early 60s. She was quite the lady – did what she wanted and scandalised many but i think she was pretty cool and her own person.
On my last day I paid visited Teatro Colon – the Italian style magnificent opera house in the centre of BA. Refurbishment was completed about three years ago and the outcome is splendid. Book your times ticket in advance as there are only limited spaces for English speaking tours. A highlight of the city for me together with Recoleta cemetery.
Next stop – my 100th country!!!
What a great city Buenos Aires is – and an excellent place to spend a few days just taking in as much as possible. Great climate at this time of year too – perfect for wandering about.
First stop is the renowned Recoleta Cemetery just down the road from my hotel – the beautifully restored Palacio Duhao plus gardens
The cemetery is especially famous for its sumptuous mausoleums (cUSD12000 per square meter to buy), for being the place where Eva Peron (née Duarte was buried) but the big surprise for me was to find “the only Jew in the cemetery”! Note the Star of David on Benjamin Breitman’s tomb.
My fabulous guide was Patrica Kanelson of Ecouruguay (but don’t be fooled bye the name – they do excellent small group or private tours in Iguazu and Buenos Aires too). Another must see is the La Boca area – once a run down port but now a lively and extremely colorful area – one of the few parts of the City that does not look early century European.
The European feel plays out in the charm of the surroundings – cafes and parks.
And there are always reminders of Evita as you stroll past the Casa Rosada – and the balcony she waved from is first floor (or 2nd if you are from the US) 2nd balcony to the left of the main arch. Apparently the guides have to let some visitors know that Evita did not actually sing Don’t cry for me Argentina from that spot (or indeed anywhere else!).
Then a quick whirl round the main cathedral – especially well known as this was home to the current Pope before he headed out to the Vatican 3 years ago. I also caught the changing of the guard that takes place every two hours by the main tomb.
Of course I couldn’t not go an visit any art galleries so I chose MALBA which focuses on Latin American art and includes one Frieda Kahlo and one Diego Rivera. Like the country the art is very colorful .
Last stop is one of the top three named most beautiful bookshops in the world. It’s called El Ateneo and by chance the store is owned by the family of someone I met in Melbourne who now lives back in Buenos Aires! It is wonderful – formerly a theatre and now a book haven for everyone to enjoy.