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.