Walking tour in Buenos Aires

I took a walking tour in Buenos Aires just after Chile beat Spain in the Soccer World cup.  Here‘s a few pictures of how Chileans celebrated the win in Plaza Italia.  Dirk and I went to Plaza Italia after Chile qualified for the world cup last year.  It was crazy.  People were jumping up and down on the roofs of bus stops and breaking down doors to rob a pharmacy.  We left just as the police arrived with shields and smoke bombs to intervene.  Insane.  Sadly, Chile lost against Brasil in a nail biter game that ended in a shoot out.

Also, just a special shout out to my sister, Joanet, who is someone who I know makes time to read the things I write in the mornings before she starts working.  Dankie dat jy lees Joanet!  Geniet jou dag en lekker werk!  Mis jou baie!

I did a walking tour in Buenos Aires with Free Tours Buenos Aires.  Like all the tour companies who offer ‘free tours’ across the world, they give you a ‘free’ tour and then you tip the tour guide afterwards.  The tour started in front of the beautiful Teatro Colon, one of the best concert venues in the world.  In front of the theatre there is an interesting installation of music books made out of real grass, on stands:DSC_5338There are many beautiful buildings in Buenos Aires, like this courthouse close by the Teatro Colon: DSC_5332We walked past this beautiful Jewish temple: DSC_5339Argentina has a large Jewish community.  In 1994 there was a horrible bomb attack on an Israeli Cultural center that killed 85 people, so apparently there are strict security measures at all Jewish temples.

9 de Julio is Argentina’s Independence day.  It is also my birthday!  The street named 9 de Julio in Buenos Aires is said to be the biggest avenue in the world.  You have to cross it in phases, because its width spans an entire city block!DSC_5341

A juicy Scandal

The rich families that lived in the city had large mansions that were passed down from generation to generation. Three families lived in this mansion which is now called Palacio San Martin (the mother wanted her two sons close by her, so they each got a wing to live in!):
DSC_5343The rich lady who owned the house, Mercedes Castellanos de Anchorena, had a church built a few blocks away that she could see from her house:DSC_5350DSC_5360DSC_5356DSC_5357As mentioned earlier, this lady was a bit overprotective of her sons.  When one of her sons fell in love and had an affair with Corina Kavanagh, a millionaire of Irish descent who was not from an aristocratic family, the mother did not approve of the relationship.  As revenge, Corina Kavanagh had a building built in front of the church, so that Lady de Anchorena could no longer view the church from her mansion.  That is the story of how the first Art Deco building was built in Buenos Aires:   DSC_5365Our tour guide Lolly, “not Dolores, because that is an old lady’s name”, showed us more luxurious houses in the city:DSC_5367 DSC_5382This house was bought by a the hotel next door and you can rent it for a ridiculous amount of a few hundred thousand US dollars per evening:DSC_5377We walked past Plaza San Martin.  I took the picture from this angle, because this way it looks as if the horse has an arm: DSC_5345People call this clock tower the ‘Big Ben’ of Buenos Aires.  The clock is made by the same company that made the Big Ben in London:DSC_5369   The tour ended in front of the Recoleta Cemetery.  On the way there we walked past a giant tree.  The branches are supported on crutches so that it doesn’t damage the sidewalks!DSC_5383

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