Tue 4th Sep
Ohhhh…head is pounding! What time is it, what happened, what time did I get in!?!? I muster up the required energy and go see who’s about downstairs and bump into a few from last night and sit and laugh about last nights antics!
Rather than waste the day, a few of us decide to go on the other city tour that Free Walks offers. My head isn’t in this at all but figure I should go. We start at the Congress Palace.
I was hoping for some info on the palace but we’re quickly frog marched down The Avenue (which connects the Congress Palace to the Presidential Palace) and get another rendition of Argentina and Buenos Aires history – independence, to glory days of agriculture etc. I don’t recall being told why, just that its an important road and some buildings were knocked down to accommodate it.
We pass many an interesting place but the information seems to be on repeat mode only rather than anything new or interesting.
On The Avenue or Avenida de Mayo we pass the famous Palacio Barolo.
The Palacio Barolo was designed in accordance with the cosmology of Dante’s Divine Comedy, motivated by the architect’s admiration for Alighieri. There are 22 floors, divided into three “sections”. The basement and ground floor represent hell, floors 1-14 are the purgatory, and 15-22 represent heaven. The building is 100 meters tall, one meter for each canto of the Divine Comedy.
The next building of note is the building of the Ministry of Health which is located on the main thoroughfare of the city Avenida 9 de Julio. It is noticeable because on both the north and south faces it has enormous portraits of Eva Perón.
Former president Cristina Fernandez inaugurated and backed the project. She was given the idea by seeing similar in Cuba of Che Guevara. It was unveiled on the anniversary of her death, 27th July 2011.
Next we pass the La Prensa building famous for being the headquarters of newspaper La Prensa. The Beaux-Arts exterior is notable also for its spire, which is topped by a gilt bronze monument to freedom of the press.
Due to the decline of the newspaper, the Paz family sold the building in 1988 where it became the Ministry of Culture and was declared a national historic monument in 1995.
Our last stop is Plaza de Mayo, the main square and it’s name commemorates the May Revolution of 1810 which started the process of the country’s independence from Spain in 1816.
The square is home to a number of important buildings one being the Metropolitan Cathedral. You can tell the Spanish didn’t invest much here as this is one of the most least impressive buildings I’ve seen…especially considering how many phenomenal churches are in Cusco alone.
This does now house the remains of San Martin.
It also houses the Cabildo or Town Council which took years to build, underwent many facelifts and when near completion it’s 3 most northernmost and southernmost arches were removed to make way for The Avenue and another street.
The building most noteworthy is obviously the Pink Palace or Casa Rosada – the home of the president, or government office.
It is considered one of the most emblematic buildings in all Buenos Aires and also declared a national historic monument. It is probably more famous for the balcony than anything else where Eva Peron used to address the masses below in her famous speeches.
Our tour ends here but a bit sooner for us as we bump into some friends from the hostel. We feel a bit bad as we never caught back up with the guide to give her any money. Context wise she’s very good and knows a lot of detail. I would say delivery needs a bit of work thou as addressing your audience and explaining everything with your eyes closed is extremely off putting!
Knackered and needing a rest before tonight, we head back to chill and get ready.
We go for a great dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant called Saigon then it’s on to a tango show. Buenos Aires is the birthplace of the tango so a must for any visitor to the city. Many options are available but the one with dinner didn’t seem worthwhile so we opt for the show only. We pay 650 pesos and the show starts at 10 and the venue I think is at El Querandi. Malbec ordered
and the Argentine tango commences.
It’s incredible. It’s a cozy little place which is quite nice and intimate. The dancers pass our tables to get to the little stage. This venue also has song interludes sang by real tangueros.
I don’t know much about this dance apart from what I’ve watched on Strictly but this is awesome, powerful and seductively sexy.
The show is over before we know it – just over an hour and we’re booted out without being able to finish our drinks which did leave a bit of a bad taste…especially when we were told when booking it finished later than it did.
On the way back to the hostel, someone mentions a cool bar opposite and being the last night for many of us, we can’t resist and head into the bar with the little red door. A few beers down and it’s another late night.
I awake feeling like pants and meet the others at breakfast feeling just the same! We while away the hours laughing and joking in reception until I’m the first to leave. My seat is huge on the bus
and after a few hours of Orange is the New Black, I recline my seat and sleep for 10 hours! Best night bus yet!