We went by cab from San Telmo to Recoleta, transferring barrios as the portenos had done in response to a yellow fever epidemic. Well, the portenos did not include the cab part. (The inhabitants of Buenos Aires are called portenos or people from the port.)
In Recoleta we visited Buenos Aires’ top tourist attraction, Cementerio De La Recoleta. A cemetery as the top tourist attraction? Take a look at the photographs and you will see why. I took more pictures there than anywhere else in the city. Boris and Rocky got so tired of waiting for me, they planted themselves in the center until I finished. To be honest, I never finished; I just stopped taking pictures.
I have been to the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris (“reputed to be the world’s most visited cemetery”) in the winter, complete with black crows and mist. But visiting the Recoleta cemetery in the summer in the bright sunshine, one got a completely different feel. The crypts are tightly packed in and there is very little green space, but the beauty and variety is astonishing. You could wander in here for days.
Most head straight to the Duarte crypt to see Eva Peron’s final resting place. There was a long line which Boris stood in. I followed a tour guide around the other side and got a shot of Boris by the crypt without the long wait. I was far more intrigued by the detail on the other mausoleums.
We also took the time to visit the cemetery church, with its beautiful wood split panel doors. Surrounding the cemetery on three sides were large plazas. Knowing the tourists would come, craft market booth were lined up along the pathways. Boris got a working telephone modeled after the original wall design. (Since our return, the phone has worked intermittently.) I was enticed by a hand-knitted poncho with a flower closure.
Recoleta is a very upscale barrio and the shopping is wonderful and very expensive (unless you stick to the craft market and bargain). There are also lots of sidewalk cafes catering to tourists.
On the way back to the hotel we passed by Plaza San Martin and the English clock tower (Torre Monument) in the barrio of Retiro.
This is the part of the blog where I vent. (Husbands beware!) Boris had certain dining spots he did not want to miss in Buenos Aires, all good choices by the way. So, he made reservations for every night we were in BA except New Years Eve, probably the only night we absolutely had to have them. Don’t get me started. The concierge wanted to laugh at us when we asked about availability. We ended up ordering pizza and cheap champagne (cheap as in quality, not price) from room service which was backed up for over an hour and a half. I took a bubble bath-nice by the way.
The saving grace was the location of our hotel. Our room was on one of the upper floors and the fireworks were shot over the waterway outside our hotel window. Warm and toasty from my bubble bath (and still pretty mad), I pouted and decided to stay inside. Good call. The fireworks exploded literally outside our window. It was an amazing sight. We saw others in the distant sky and still more reflected on the glass of the building across the street. Don’t tell Boris, but it ended up to be a fabulous evening. Rocky and I enjoyed the fireworks and were able to just crawl into bed afterwards. Boris missed them-he was long asleep, having enjoyed his champagne and worn out from being yelled at.