On Thursday morning we headed to Recoleta cemetery, a famous cemetery where Eva Peron (who the musical Evita was about) is buried. We joined a free English tour which was fascinating. The cemetery is nothing like a cemetery in New Zealand – it’s more of a collection of mausoleums owned by a family, with each monument having up to 25 people buried in the basement underneath. Families can sell their “section” but just like an apartment, they have to leave them empty of people when they change hands.
After the cemetery, we walked through the church next to the cemetery, and then had lunch on the grass – barbecued chorizo sausages from the street vendor. We then went to the Fine Arts museum. Although only the bottom floor was open it was still great to see some works by famous artists. On the way back to the Subte (Buenos Aires’ subway – incredibly hot but fast and cheap) we stopped to experience Dulce de leche ice cream. Dulce de leche is a common flavour here and is made with sweetened milk and sugar. You can get it as a spread too.
On Friday we did the Buenos Aires free walking tour on which a very entertaining guide led a group of us from Congress down to the Plaza de Mayo, and back to the Obelisk. It was really interesting learning more about the city and its history. We covered 25 blocks in about 3 hours so were ready for a rest after this.
On Saturday we made our way over to the Retiro bus station, and booked our tickets for the next part of our journey. The bus station is massive and has about 200 bus companies – we couldn’t work out how they all stayed in business. We have booked to go to Puerto Iguazu to see Iguazu falls, then to Cordoba, then on to Mendoza and then on to Santiago, Chile. We will be travelling about 3,680 km by bus over the next ten days – just a little more than twice the length of New Zealand.
We finished Saturday with some Argentine traditions – a coffee date where Reuben had a cortado (an espresso “cut” with a little milk) and I had a submarino. A submarino is a glass of foamed milk, served with a bar of chocolate on the side, which you then submerge into the milk like a submarine (hence the name) and it makes a delicious hot chocolate. Following that we had empanadas for dinner – stuffed filled pastries that are really common in South America.
On our last day, we explored the huge open air market at Plaza Dorrego, in San Telmo. There were hundreds of stalls selling arts and crafts, antiques and souvenirs, as well as tango dancers, musicians, street performers and lots of tourists. It was fun to walk through the crowded cobblestone streets, trying new foods like a chocolate churro with dulce de leche inside! We really enjoyed our time in la ciudad de Buenos Aires!