Today Jill heard the word vamos repeatedly and I had 2 Gaucho encounters, but more on those things later.
We started with a tour of Buenos Aires with our guide named Ana. She took us to where Buenos Aires began in the Plaza de Mayo. We walked around and she informed us of what happened during the beginning. We also stepped into the church on this square that was run by the former archbishop of Buenos Aires who is now the Pope
We learned that when Eva Perón (aka Evita
) died, she was so revered that the memorial lasted 14 days and would have gone longer but the doctor/embalmer couldn't let it go any longer. The country also completely ran out of flowers and had to import some.
We learned that the coffee culture comes from all the Italian immigrants early on but here it is more about hanging out and not the coffee itself. Many cafes are in historic buildings and the government has paid for much restoration inside. Many have interesting art, remnants, stained glass, and more almost like a tourist destination themselves.
We entered a market or two in San Telmo and were told about how they drink mate
(pronounced ma-tay). At this point, Ana mentioned Gauchos
and both Jill and I laughed so I had some explaining to do. I told her the UC Santa Barbara
mascot is a Gaucho. I had to explain the concept of mascots a bit.
Then Jill googled some images
while we were in the car going to our next stop and showed them too her. She started laughing and not seeing much resemblance other than the mustache.
We then stopped at the Boca Juniors
stadium where Diego Maradona
played at one time. We then walked through "La Republica de La Boca
" near the stadium that used to have a statue of Maradona in the balcony but now that the Pope is from Argentina he apparently is worthy enough to replace the soccer legend in the balcony. You can't make this stuff up.
Jill found a great parrilla place for lunch - La Cabrera
- that is insanely crazy about the steaks. We got a huge rib eye along with several side dishes and potato sticks with sautéed sweet onions all over them. It was delicious.
After lunch we walked through Palermo over to Recoleta where Eva Perón is buried and discovered this huge cemetery with insane mausoleums
for a long way in all directions. We took some pictures and eventually found the Peron family one as well.
From here, we got in a taxi in a rush to get back to the hotel. Let's just say that getting a taxi where lots of tourists hang out may not be all that it is cracked up to be. The seat belts did not work, the interior (and likely exterior) was falling apart, and the meter ran far more quickly than the ones we've gotten at the hotel or after a meal. Very glad to get out of that thing and wash our hands (literally and figuratively).
When we got back to the hotel, Jill rushed off to REV Microcentro CrossFit
while I went down to the pool to swim. I swam hard for 45 minutes and came up to shower. Upon Jill's return, she knocked and I asked who was there. "¡Vamos!" is all I am hearing on the other side. I inform her that means "Let's go!" as I open the door. She then informs me that she just did a tabata
workout at the Crossfit and heard that word A LOT. Cracked me up.
For the evening, we went to a tango
show at Gala Tango
and got a front row seat that also happened to be the table that all the performers walked by as they got on the stage or walked off. Wow! The show was amazing and the athleticism / technical abilities of these folks is off the charts. I got my first Pisco Sour
and it was good while Jill got an Argentine Mojito
that she actually liked (she sticks to wine these days).
During the show, my second Gaucho encounter of the day occurred. One of the performers was classically dressed and danced with Gaucho balls (rope with a hard ball on one end) that he used to strike the floor in this amazing rhythm much like a drummer while he danced around and pointed these things at the audience. Very fun evening of entertainment.