Friday, March 08, 2013

A full day

First order of the day was to buy a pair of gym shoes. My blistered feet are much happier after that. Next we opted for a taxi today down to Plaza del Mayo, the setting for Argentina's most politically turbulent moments.  It is a site for ceremonies, rallies and protests, and was the setting in the movie Evita, where crowds cheered for the Perons, who were standing on the balcony of the Presidential Palace, the Casa Rosada, which sits at one end of the Plaza; it was originally whitewashed with oxblood, and today is still a pink color.   The plaza has a strong police presence and is filled with people enjoying the out of doors.  Government buildings surround the square and the side streets.  We walk up and down several of them, admiring the architecture.  
We duck into the cathedral to read our guidebook.  Mass is in session and we are later to learn that people will throng here after the new pope, from Argentina, is announced. 

          We walk south to San Thelmo, to get a flavor of the area.  As we walk, we notice that the  
          neighborhood becomes more run down, and automobile repair and machine shops line the
          streets.  Grafitti is everywhere, some of which we admire for the great artistry and colors, others
          are merely words that destroy the historical brick and architecture.  The streets fill up in the late
          afternoon and we mingle with Spanish tourists, local residents and workers.

          Our return walk takes us past the Theatre Colon and in the direction of the Plaza San Martin.
          Huge Banyan trees are in the park, their branches propped by stands of varying heights.  Dogs 
          are everywhere, some strays, some with owners, none on leash.  The only leashed dogs are those 
          being walked in groups of as many as 10 or more by dog walkers!  I must say, this is a land of 
          Bichons as I have seen more white fluffy dogs than anywhere else.

          We are vigilent about where we read our map-it is unrealistic to think you can get by without
          looking at one, though we have seen so few Asians that I'm sure we stand out as tourists. We
          have not used the atms in the city, using the pesos we brought.  Even though the rate at Travelex
          was poor, we are convinced that was a good move.  We carry some cash in zippered pockets and
          my purse has only a guidebook, water and my old shoes.  We are careful where we walk and
          keep our belongings to ourselves, but neither did we see any bird poop scams nor any purse
          snatchings, even in this crowded area. So far so good!
         We had made another reservation at Las Pizarros and again enjoy a fine meal of duck breast and
         rabbit.  We felt sad that we would not be returning there any time soon.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home