Buenos Aires – November 2019 – Unguided Tour

Another sunny Saturday was the perfect day to take a ‘Tours for Tips’ of a neighborhood, this time back in San Telmo. Unfortunately the tour guide didn’t show so we set off on our own – finding plenty of unique sights.

We arrived at the 2nd major rail station in Buenos Aires – Constitucion. It is a classic!
















Next stop was Parque Lezama, and the Palacio within.













We continued on into the main part of the neighborhood.




… checked out the shops in and around San Telmo Market.













Santo Doningo Basilica




A close up of the Casa Rosada




Puerto Madero




And finally at the Kirchner Cultural Center. Who needs a tour guide!






Olivos, Argentina – November 2019 – The Sun, The Sky, and The Sea

The Argentina National flag features a sun, which is appropriate as the sun shines quite often here. The official presidential residence is in the suburb of Olivos, and the small, but well kept park on part of the grounds features a number of sculptures depicting this Incan sun from the flag.













Olivos is situated along the Rio de La Plata, which is called a river. It is a 30 mile wide river near Olivos and Buenos Aires, widening to 150 miles at the mouth at the Atlantic.

Olivos has a small harbor full of sailboats.






















It is also in the landing path of Jorge Newberry Airport.




With the ‘river’ comes great sunrises, with this photo an interesting mix of clouds, sun and ‘sea’.





Buenos Aires – October 2019 – La Chacarita Cemetery

While Buenos Aires is home to the famed Recoleta Cemetery, it is by no means the only impressive cemetery in town.

We went on a tour of La Chacarita Cemetery with Pablo, an interesting person with a vast amount of knowledge of the history of the city.




While it has some similarities to Recoleta, it is much larger.



There are many massive tombs that were used for societies, as this one dedicated to, and for the use of people of the Spanish immigrants society.





Chacarita has more famous Argentinians than Recoleta, including Jorge Newberry. Jorge lead a very interesting, if short, life as an early aviator.

One of the two airports for Buenos Aires is named after Jorge. He died in an early attempt to fly over the Andes Mountains. The plaques on the wall are dedications to him from other groups.



While most of the crypts are well kept, some are in need of repair.



Carlos Gadel was a singer, songwriter and actor. It is said he gave Sinatra pointers on how to become a more polished performer.

People often leave lit cigarettes in his right hand for good luck.



More scenes of Chacarita…
















But there is more to Chacarita than the large crypts, much much more. Built in the brutalist style there is a massive underground area.

It is an unreal sight with over 1/4 million people entombed below.















Beyond this area is an area dedicated to famous Argentina performers. These are not just statues, the performers are actually buried here.





Beyond that area is a massive ‘common grounds’




The crematorium is in the center of the cemetery. The place is so large taxi’s troll through looking for fares.

One urban legend says to never take a taxi in the cemetery – if you look in the mirror the driver will not have a reflection.




Additional monuments are scattered throughout.




Another stunning sight is the perimeter wall – it is lined with more crypts. In all there are well over a million people in the cemetery.




For the most part the cemetery is in nice shape, however there are portions that need some repair, as shown below.




We spent over 2 hours wandering about La Chacarita Cemetery. It was an amazing, and visually stunning experience.




When in Buenos Aires look up Pablo, under Walks with Pablo. He is an excellent guide.






Columbus – July 2019 – Bird Walk at Audubon Park

Audubon Park is located just south of downtown Columbus in a reclaimed ‘brown field’, aka – old industrial areas. The transformation to a nature preserve is amazing.



We were there on a Saturday morning for a ‘Beginning Birding Hike’. Our guide Erika was knowledgeable and enthusiastic.



We started out with the easy ones in the feeders.



While ostensibly we were there to check out the birds, the flowers and plants were interesting as well.



Not to mention twin turtles.



The bees were busy…



Of course I was too busy taking photos to pay attention to what type of bird this was!



As always wandering off from the crowd, who came away with more knowledge about birds than I did.



The boardwalk across the wetlands provided more flower and plant photo ops.




More birds..





The small, but passionate group was very focused.



An egret,



And a blue heron.



Despite the heat it was a great way to spend a couple of hours, thanks to the parks and our guide Erika.





Buenos Aires – June 2019 – Views of the City

It was a great 10 days in Buenos Aires. I am not certain what I was expecting but whatever it was, BA exceeded it!

The Nueve de Julio Avenue is the center of the city. Created in the 1930s by wiping out an entire city block wide, and nearly 3 miles long, it is an impressive sight.



The city exists because of the huge estuary of the Rio de La Plata, creating one of the world’s great ports.



The city is full of great architecture starting with the Retiro Train Station.





The Torre Monument is in the plaza in front of Retiro. The tower was completed in 1916 by the same architect who built Big Ben.



Just down the street is the Kavanagh Building, an Art Deco masterpiece.



One of the highlights of the city is the number of ‘Palacios’ remaining from the early 1900s. While there were once more than 100, less than 40 remain, but those that still stand are magnificent.













In addition to the Palacios there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of impressive buildings.

















The city was the first city in South America to have a subway, starting over 100 years ago.





As with any city, not all are enjoying the good life. Buenos Aires has some ‘Villa’s, basically shantytowns for the very poor. The city says they have a plan to help improve the lives of the people living in the Villas, but only time will tell.



No visit to Buenos Aires is complete without a stop at the Obelisk.



For now it is time to fly, but not before joining the crowd to watch a soccer game while waiting on the plane. True Buenos Aires!






Buenos Aires – June 2019 – A Walk Down the Avenida de Mayo

Of all the important streets in Buenos Aires, none is above Avenida de Mayo, May Avenue. Named in honor of the May Revolution of 1810 that lead to the Argentine independence, the street takes you from the Plaza of Congress to the Presidential Palace.

The Congressional Building graces the far end of the plaza.





The plaza has a massive fountain and a collection of statues.



The view from the plaza looking down Avenida de Mayo.



The Confiteria El Molino, an Art Noveau coffee house was completed in 1917. All of the marble, ceramics an glass was imported from Italy.

The windmill was in honor of the Molino Lorea, the first flour mill in Buenos Aires.



Across the plaza is the Senate Building.



Most of the buildings along the street have character.






None have more character than the Palacio Barolo. Once South America’s tallest building, the entire structure is an ode to Dante’s Divine Comedy.

The height of one hundred meters corresponds to the one hundred cantos of the story. There are nine access points within the building, representing nine circles and nine hierarchies of Hell.

The 22 floors of the building reflect the number of stanzas in the poem. Even moving up the building takes one through hell, purgatory and paradise.

The building is a beautiful masterpiece.







This relatively plain, Spanish mission looking building is the Cabildo. It was used as the center of government during the colonial era. Since 1610 there has been a government building on this site, with this one dating from the late 1700s.



The Piramide de Mayo, or May Pyramid, was originally constructed in 1811 in celebration of the revolution. It was renovated in the 1860s.



During the ‘Dirty War’ of the 1970s dictatorship in Argentina, up to 30,000 people ‘disappeared’, without a trace, including many children. During this time 3 people together was considered a mass assembly, with possible arrest.

Beginning in 1977 women began together in the plaza in public defiance of the ban on public gatherings, they wore white head scarves to symbolize the diapers of the ‘lost’ children. This is memorialized in the pavement of the plaza.

Many of the children taken were given to families of those in power, and raised as their own. To this day the ‘Mothers of the Mayo Plaza’ continue to pursue to reunification of the now older adults to their rightful families.




The Casa Rosada (Pink House), is the office of the President. While it is officially the Presidential Home, in reality the president lives elsewhere in Buenos Aires.



Soldiers from the Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers march from the Palace every few hours.



The Metropolitan Cathedral is the state church for Argentina. Before he became Pope, Francis was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in this cathedral.



The interior is impressive.






The tomb of General San Martin is located in the Cathedral. As the Father of the Nation of Argentina, he is honored with guards.

Argentina at times has had a volatile history, but they seem to make sure all aspects are remembered, and the Avenida de Mayo is the best way to understand what makes up Argentina of today, by understanding their past.