Buenos Aires is most definitely a city for lovers. Evegrvhere we have observed couples of all ages holding hands while walking sitting on benches in each others arms, and kissing at the bus stop, the park, restaurants...everywhere!
11.25.2007 - 11.25.2007
Sunday is a day of rest — unless you are John and Susie on vacation. We were up before 7 a.m. (Why? We could have slept until 9:00...)
Breakfast is part of the deal here, and it was good: 0J, coffee, many versions of croissants and sweet rolls, fruit, and ham and cheese. Then it was off on another walking tour; this time down Calle Florida, a street known as the place you can shop 'til you drop. Nothing is open on Sunday morning, so we viewed a lot of beautiful buildings from the 18th and 19th century. We bopped down to the Plaza de Mayo, a historical place where Buenos Aires was born. A large monument to May 25, 1810 is in the center, dedicating the independence of Argentina. Facing that is the Casa Rosada — that is, the Presidential Palace (it's pink, no kidding) where Eva Peron spoke to the people (and where Madonna sang, "Don't cry for me, Argentina" in the musical movie).
By 11:00, we were at Metropolitan Cathedral for Mass. We had some idea of when they said the Lord's Prayer and that was about it, but what a glorious cathedral!
After Mass, we stepped across the street to tour the Palicio de Gobiemo (formerly where the mayor works) and the Casa de Cultura (once the home of La Prensa, the grand Argentinean newspaper). An English-speaking guide was nice enough to take both of us through a guided tour of both buildings and answer all of our questions.
Lunch was at the wood accented Cafe Tortoni, the city's oldest cafe built in 1858. Then we dropped down to the subway (the "Subte") to take the A line down to the Plaza del Congresso. The subway was built in 1913 and they still use the original wooden-framed, wooden-benched cars! At the next plaza, we viewed the most imposing building in Buenos Aires where the national congress meets. Next to it was a park, a fountain, a large monument with statues.. .the entire area meets the requirements for a notable stop.
The Subte took us back toward our starting point, but we got off at the Peru stop. This is where we took a few minutes to visit an old monastery (the tour was in Spanish, so we didn't take in the entire thing) and the Cabildo, the original seat of city government that was built in 1751.
By that time, we were hot and dry (it got up to the mid 80's) and happily the Cafe Gran Victoria was right outside the Cabildo. After a refreshment — I sampled my first Argentinean beer — we walked back the way we came. Calle Florida was teaming with shoppers and many local crafts were laid out on the street. We were also entertained by musicians, human statues (who are these people who cover themselves with metallic paint?), and tango dancers.
The last stop was the Ii Gran Caffe. We split some bruschetta (the tomato topped bread was good, the anchovy and eggplant...not so good) and a proscuitto ham and mozzarella pizza. That was enough to get us back to the hotel for a hot bath, an ice cream, and bed.