Buenos Aires – Part 1

Posted on November 7, 2008


Over the weekend we visited Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina and has a population of over 12 million people, 4 times the total Uruguayan population. It is located about 3 hours upriver from Montevideo, and we were able to get there via a fast ferry. The ferry was big and had large, airline style seating. On the way there I slept the entire journey, and woke up refreshed in Buenos Aires, ready to celebrate Halloween.

We met five of the Chilean EY Fellows there in Buenos Aires, they having flown in earlier in the day. As it was Halloween we decided to head over to Brujas (“witches”) for a few drinks. In South America, everything is a bit slower and we did not manage to get back to the hotel until after 3am. This is also normal here south of the equator, especially in a Friday night. I had my first taste there of Brahma, a Brazilian beer that I would rate medium on my yumminess scale.

First thing Saturday morning we walked over to La Recoleta Cemetary. From Wikipedia “The Cemetery includes graves of some of the most influential and important persons of Argentina, including several presidents, scientists, and wealthy characters. Internationally, Eva Perón is the best known person buried in this cemetery.

The entrance to the cemetery is through neo-classical gates with tall Greek columns. The cemetery contains many elaborate marble mausoleums, decorated with statues, in a wide variety of architectural styles. The entire cemetery is laid out in sections like city blocks, with wide tree-lined main walkways branching into sidewalks filled with mausoleums.

While many of the mausoleums are in fine shape and well-maintained, others have fallen into disrepair. Several can be found with broken glass, littered with rubbish, and on occasion you might find a mausoleum being used as a janitorial supply closet, with cleaning and maintenance products stored on top of coffins.

Each mausoleum bears the family name etched into the facade; brass or bronze plaques are added to the front for particular family members. La Recoleta is one of those cemeteries where the tradition of engraving a death date but no birth date has been maintained.”

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