Sunday, March 8, 2009

On the road in Argentina

A few things in Argentina, other than the weird sculpture garden apparently celebrating Trans-Atlantic communications...

First things first, Cyrus and I got to Iguazu falls and spent a two days there, one each on the Brazilian and Argentinian side. At that point, Cyrus caught a flight on to Buenos Aires, while I decided to hang around and relax for a couple of days. Being encouraged by the fact that I was staying at the nicest hostel I´ve ever been to:

Argentinian luxury! It´s a former casino, and yes that´s a huge pool out front!

After a couple of days of this, I managed to tear myself away, and started heading for Buenos Aires myself. Now travel in Argentina is pretty amazing - being in no rush, I hopped on a bus, which took 20 hours to get to Rosario (which is on the way to Buenos Aires):

Here´s what you get: three seats to a row, meaning you get nice, wide armchairs. It reclines almost 180 degrees, so you can actually sleep. You get dinner service on board. You get entertainment, which is a good thing when they play the last Bond movie, and a horrible thing when they decide to play some astoundingly bad early 80´s music videos... It´s a double decker, so my seat in the front row had a panoramic view of the surroundings (sadly, the surroundings were characterized by rain for much of the journey). And apparently, Iguazu-Rosario is a route they really should discontinue, as the bus was virtually empty. All in all, high luxury.

The next day, I was in Rosario, which is a pretty little city a little ways up the river from Buneos Aires. It´s certainly smaller, and not quite as touristy, but quite pleasant to walk around in, and I suspect that if the rain didn´t insist on persisting intermittently, the waterfront would´ve been a really pleasant place to hang out. There´s also a large monument commemorating the creator of the Argentinian flag:

Not sure why the eternal flame was there, but I thought it did make for a nice photo op

And then, it was another 4 hours on an Argentinian bus to get back to Buenos Aires, just in time to catch up with Cyrus once more before he was to take off for Seattle. Buenos Aires is pretty compact, so it was a few more days of walking around and sight-seeing all around:

The Recoleta cemetery may be the most famous landmark in the city. The tombstones and mausoleums are quite remarkable. And there´s remarkably little grass to be seen, considering that this is a cemetery

Of course, everybody runs straight for Evita´s tomb. It´s actually fairly unremarkable...

The aluminum flower of Buenos Aires. It opens up in the morning, and closes again at night

And I recruited some Chilean tourists to get a picture of me in front of the flower

The Argentinian Congress building is pretty cool... loosely modeled on the Capitol in Washington, DC

And I´m not sure what this was, but it was a cool sight

And for some more unexpected things to do in Buenos Aires:

Not sure who decided it was a good idea to name a pizzeria chain ´Kentucky...´My first reaction was to duly avoid, but I ended up going there a couple days later and I have to admit, the KY special pizza with ham, mozzarella, mushrooms, anchovies, and roasted red peppers is actually quite good.

Also, the Davis Cup is on in Buenos Aires this weekend... So, I went and spent a very hot afternoon watching Juan Ignacio Chela beat somebody from Holland in five sets. The Dutch cheering section was the star of the show.

Today, I´m spending one last day hanging out in Buenos Aires, meeting up with Iris, who has also apparently decided to randomly show up in South America, then off to the mountains in Bariloche (on another fine Argentinian bus) this evening.

1 comment:

Mathilde said...

Hey you took a picture of my favourite building in BsAs. It's in plaza Lavalle, two blocks from my house! I love this mix of old and new, and everytime I can I pass by. I think they are offices, but like you I'd like to know the architect. I met one and asked her but she didn't know either.