Tuesday, November 24, 2009
(new) Dead lazy.
I don’t know whether it was because we were at the tail end of our time in Latin America or because this was our second visit to BsAs but this morning I didn’t feel like doing much. It didn’t help that the air was heavy with humidity and the forecast called for rain. We puttered around the hostel. In our lethargy we decided that we’d head straight to the last big thing we wanted to do in South America – the mighty and magnificent Iguazu Falls – and hopefully find our travel mojo for our last couple of weeks in South America. Lucky for our lazy bones the hostel was able to book and print out tickets for us, saving us a trip to the chaos of the bus station.
Mintaut then invited us to join her and another girl in a trip to La Boca but I passed admitting that I was rather tired and cranky and not very good company. Plus the weather forecast called for thundershowers (again) and I didn’t think my mood would be improved by getting stuck in the middle of a downpour. Mintaut understood and they took off leaving Adrian and I to figure out what we were going to do today. Adrian suggested the Evita museum but I hemmed and hawed and when the sun came out I suggested we head to the other art gallery in Recoleta and then a bit of walking around. The museum was a good choice and better than we thought it would be. Not because it was free (and everyone knows how much I like free). Not because it was air conditioned. But because it was a perfect size with a good eclectic collection and almost next door to one of Buenos Aires biggest tourist attractions – Recoleta Cemetery.
Now, we had been to the cemetery before and had been to many Latin American cemeteries over the last 8 months. So we were hear only for a nice stroll. But Receoleta Cemetery surprised me once again. I forgot just how spectacular it was. No really, it’s like Rome, Florence, Paris and Athens all rolled into one. The world’s most beautiful architecture but in miniature. Every tomb is better than the best monuments of the world with detail and artistry that makes you forget that you’re in a cemetery full of bones and dead people until you look closely at some of the engraving or interiors and realize that nice design is a skull and crossbones or that those pretty tablecloth covered things are actually coffins in various states of decay. I couldn’t help but snap tonnes of pictures, thinking particularly of a certain cemetery obsessed friend of mine back home (Victoria, I dedicate them to you). Even Adrian who was less enthused about this detour at the first didn’t want to leave until he’d found Evita’s tomb. In the end it was I who dragged him out and not the other way around.
We made our way through one of the poshest parts of the city – past the five star hotels and super expensive designer shops. I had read that the Polo store was in a particularly nice old mansion. We popped in but immediately felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Women (and it was only Polo not Prada) we did a quick tour, flicking off the salespeople and continued walking until we got to the French embassy. Of course it was another beautiful building but there was also an interesting story about it. When the Argentinean copycats decided to redo the city layout, they attempted to buy back the French embassy so they could bulldoze it and extend Avenida 9 de Julio. The French government said Non with a sneer – perhaps they were a bit miffed with the copyright infringement on their city design. The embassy stayed and the road ended. But it marks the beginning of one of the city’s most impressive avenues that we followed back to the Obelisk getting there for the tail end of the flag lowering ceremony.
At Adrian’s insistance we had grabbed dinner at a certain American franchise that begins with Mc and ends in Donald’s and made our way back to the hostel. Adrian stayed up to watch a couple of Argentinean movies while I called it a night. I was dead tired and I wanted to fix that before tomorrow’s night bus.