Sunday, July 31, 2011

Buenos Aires, Argentina

I was supposed to spend six days in Buenos Aires, but because of delays, I got three days, one of which was spent going across the river to Uruguay (a future post). Here are photos from my truncated time in Argentina's capital.

Buenos Aires might have the most graffiti of any capital city I've been in. Most of it is of the "tagger" variety, but this is one creative example.

Argentine flags near Cafe Tortoni

Inside the heavily touristed Cafe Tortoni

The amount of foot traffic is similar to New York City (to speak nothing of the automobile traffic).

The architecture in B.A. is justifiably famous.

A principal building in Plaza de Mayo.

The Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral, Plaza de Mayo.

Plaza de Mayo

The monument in Plaza de Mayo

Case Rosada, where Evita did her thing.

Inside the cathedral

Inside the cathedral

Mausoleum of General Jose de San Martin, national hero of Argentina

More foot traffic

Inside the Gallerias Pacifico (an old shopping mall), this unusual art looms over shoppers' heads.

More architecture

Inside my hostel in San Telmo

Shameless tourist that I am, it was time to tango.

The ladies practice first, then the men.

They say the tango is the sexiest dance on earth, and it's hard to argue against this.

I think this is the district of Palermo (or thereabouts), in the north of the city.

It was sunnier than normal, but still cold.

Teatro Colon, one of the premier opera houses in the world. It was constructed in Paris and then shipped over to B.A. in pieces. On close inspection one can see every jigsaw puzzle-like break in the facade.

The obelisk on Avenida 9 de Julio, one of the widest streets in the world. The national flag of Argentina was raised on this spot (if my Spanish serves me).

Architecture and commercialism on 9 de Julio.

La Bombonera Stadium, home of Boca Juniors football (soccer) team, in La Boca district.

Across the street from the stadium, the facade is painted in the team's colors.

Diego Maradona, star of Boca Juniors and one of the greatest players of all time.

La Boca is famous for its wild colors on buildings.

I was gaining appreciation of Buenos Aires as the days went on.

Art in La Boca

Riachuelo River, at the edge of La Boca

A reminder that Che Guevara was born in Argentina

The developed part of Puerto Madero. Behind me = some of the gnarliest slums I've ever seen.

The obelisk on Avenida 9 de Julio.

Argentine pizza is worthy of the hype, in my opinion. That's Rochefort cheese on the left, in this San Telmo pizzeria.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Santiago, Chile

After Peru, my plans were to go to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for a week to hang out with a buddy of mine. However, the volcano in Chile had caused an ash cloud to hover over much of Argentina, meaning I couldn't go there. Ironically, the one place I COULD go was Chile itself... so I spent two days in Santiago before finally making it to Argentina.

The scene at Lima's airport after it was announced that my flight was cancelled (not to mention other flights out of Lima).

Arrival in Santiago... love those mountains.

Poor Albania... oh wait, me, too. ($140, ouch)

My hostel's living room, complete with a dog and a bunny (near the heater).

Wait, did I land in Beijing?

Gotta represent! Plus it was freezing there (well, by California standards).

Barney on the subway... nothing to see here.

Colorful metro stop.

Even more color.

One of my favorite things about Santiago was how close the towering Andes were.

Palm trees... a nice touch in winter.

Exterior of the art museum.

Yours truly inside.

A painting by Roger Raveel.

A painting by Jose Basso, I think.

Lots of veins (statue by Rebeca Matte)

Christ statue by Virginio Arias

Que tal, hombre?

Santiago's main plaza, Plaza de Armas (I think it was called that)

The plaza attracted large crowds

I joined a free tour (tips only), which I highly recommend


This unusual statue honors the native peoples of Chile

The presidential palace

"None shall pass!"

A statue of the president deposed by Pinochet, Salvador Allende (most believe he was murdered, and did not commit suicide as was the official story)

Our tour visited this wine bar

Santiago's river is, in the words of the local tour guide, pathetic... but I still like this shot.

Dinner after the tour = beef cazuela (I barely ate any of it, it was so big)

The hostel bunny was pretty cool.

Day 2 = nice mountains, good visibility.

Pablo Neruda's house

Neruda's profile in graffiti

A llama being walked through the street (not at all normal in Santiago)

The tour of Neruda's house was interesting

This building was designed to look like a cell phone, since it's a telecommunications building (built in the 9o's)

Homer Simpson and Barney in the same city... weird.

Homero seemed a little pissed I didn't pay for this photo...

A quick peek inside Santiago's cathedral

The pre-Columbian art museum was fairly interesting (not too much art from Chile, however)

Finally, it was time to leave for Buenos Aires, the ash cloud being manageable. Here's a view of the Andes en route to the airport.