Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 3 ANTARCTICA TRIP - Buenos Aires

3 March 2011

A hot day today.  We spent six hours walking around the city.  It is a great way to get a feel of a place, the rhythm of life here.  You would think we were in Europe.  Many buildings seem to replicate architectural styles of Italy, France, Spain.

Some buildings have been maintained whilst others look very tired or are in need of severe renovation work.  Interesting scaffolding in places.

What a city of contrasts!  The have and have nots.  Very obvious.

Beautiful old buildings, modern 'glass' buildings, derelict buildings all side by side.  Very wide main streets and very narrow avenues.  Footpaths are appalling.  Obviously government is not concerned about being sued if someone injures themselves.  Potholes, broken pavements absolutely everywhere.  Mainly modern cars but also some real heaps, but nothing in between.  The traffic seems to flow in an orderly fashion.  The cops and others in uniform all carry guns and many wore bullet proof vests.  This doesn't give a good impression.

After visiting the big 'I' we walked Florida street.  It is the main shopping mall and has everything.  Galerias Pacifico shopping mall is stunning with its painted dome ceilings.  You would think you were in a church.  A century ago it was called Bon Marche.  Same place, same purpose, same paintings.

The avenues and plazas - small open areas with trees are nice and shady.

We made our way to Catedral Metropolitan.

We couldn't work out what the occassion was but the Mausoleo del Gral San Martin was open and the coffin draped with a large flag and soldiers dressed in 1700s outfits stood guard at the entrance to the crypt.

Mayo Plaza was interesting in how it links the administration and government buildings together.  The statue has pride of place in the plaza.

Statues and sculptures abound in this town.

Christopher Columbus has pride of place to the side of Casa De Gobierro.

It was getting hotter as the day progressed but that did not deter us.  We made our way to Puerto Madero - the restaurant arcade is how I would call it.  Situated along the canal, that cannot boast that its water is clean, is a beautiful walk along four docks.  The stunning Puente de la Mujer is situated here.  It is a pedestrian swing bridge that opens to let boats through.  It's a stunning work of art as well as being a functional piece of architecture and infrastructure.  It is 160 metres long,  6 metres wide and the metal pole is raised 39 metres.  According to the artist it represents a couple dancing tango.

At Dock 3 there was also an old ship Fragata Sarmiento Ship Museum that was worth a look after we lunched at Fragrata cafe on the canal wharf.

We tried to get to the river but there was quite a bit of construction going on making it hard to get to it where we had planned to go so we turned aback and made our way slowly back.  We decided it was also time to indulge in some refreshments and stopped and enjoyed people watching near a corner with four different wine/beer houses.

We enjoyed the day.

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