Wednesday, February 8, 2012

South America and Antarctica 12 - More Buenos Aires

Or tour took us to the Caminito Area in Buenos Aires after the cathedral.  Settled by poor immigrants who worked in the nearby port, this was originally a poorer, as in very poor, part of town.  Now, however, the Caminito Area is a bustling tourist district.

One feature of this district is that a large number of the houses here are painted many different colors.

It is said that early immigrants were too poor to afford paint for the houses they built.  So they either purchased small amounts of paint at a time or stole the paint from ships they worked on.  Then they turned their houses into works of art.

Buenos Aires also gave birth to the tango.  Here a couple gives a brief performance to entice tourists into a longer show inside.

Figuring before we left for the day that our tour would be a simple bus ride, I left the DSLR back at the hotel, a decision I later regretted--especially here.  I did manage to grab these frames with the little Coopix.

On the bright side, the Coolpix does videos.  It took some effort, but I managed to find an unobstructed view of another couple and capture the last bit of their short performance.

La Recoleta Cemetery is also a famous tourist attraction in Buenos Aires.  Many famous Argentine people are interred here, including Eva Peron.  Each of the structures you see in these shots are mausoleums owned by a different family.

The cemetery is laid out in blocks like a city.  The place is huge.  It's very easy to get lost among the narrow "streets" here.

Most of the mausoleums are very well maintained.  However an interesting  characteristic of the cemetery is that land under each mausoleum, and the mausoleum itself, is owned by a family in perpetuity.

So, when families die out or are no longer able to afford upkeep on their mausoleum, no one else is legally able to take care of them.  The image above not only shows the terrible state of disrepair of some of the mausoleums, but also typical construction details.  The hole in the wall of this place allowed me a peek inside.

I had expected masonry niches with granite facings like I've seen in the states. But, as you can see, in these places the coffins are simply stacked on simple iron frames. Okay, I get this is way too much information for most.  Moving on...

We found this cozy bar/restaurant around the corner from our hotel that night, our last in Buenos Aires.  Food was good, the people were nice and, once again, the little Coolpix grabbed a not too bad shot of the place.

Early the next morning we flew down to Ushuaia, Argentina, the southern most city on earth, which officially bills itself as "fin del mundo," or, end of the world, in English. Here, later in the day, we would board Le Boreal, the ship which would take us to Antarctica.

Continue on to Post 13: Ushuaia, Southernmost City in the World, by clicking here.


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