argentina is a lot like texas in late spring. flat, hot and sunny with plenty of humidity and rain. it seems to rain in the morning or a couple hours after dark. no real pics to share since the countryside looks shockingly like texas. here in a few hours i hop on an overnight bus to puerto iguazu, with fully reclining seats, what they call a “cama” (bed) bus. i took a “semi-cama” bus from BA to rosario; its about a 5 hr bus ride @100km/hr in a seat that looks and feels like a first class airplane seat (reclines back as far as a laz-y-boy). A full cama seat supposedly reclines almost completely flat. i’ll find out here shortly, I guess.
rosario is pretty neat. its right on the river, and the whole area is nearly at sea level so you have these huge freighter ships going by, even though you’re 5 hrs inland from BA. theres also a huge argentinan war memorial with a huge flame and neat art deco architecture that overlooks the river and park.
the nightlife in argentina is very strange; people START cooking dinner starting at 9 or 10 at night, and then eat and socialize from 11-2, and then go out to the clubs from 2:30-5:30….in the morning. back in buenos aires the clubs don’t close until people start to go home, closer to 9:30am, when they head out to resturants for breakfast before going home. this happens every night(!) except mondays. on wednesdays it starts at 6pm instead of 10pm.
i got into the hostel at 5am this morning, and in my room of 8 people i was the first person there. people slowly trickled in until about 9am.
some government building and/or hotel across the plaza from the “pink house”, where the president of argentina lives, like our white house… except “pink”, although I thought it was more of a terracotta color. pink house sounds better to tourists though haha. mostly this just made for a good backdrop for the argentine flag. it’s also a good example of french architecture, which you’ll be seeing a lot of in the next (many) pictures. all of my pics look the same since all of downtown was basically built between 1890 and 1940 by french architecture. argentina recieved a lot of immigrants from europe in the same way that New York City did and for the same reasons. due to their agricultural exports they weathered the great depression rather well, and also had a lot of jewish immigrants during WW2. before i’d even got to my hostel in BA i saw a lady with her kids (wearing yamikas) cross the street infront of my taxi. it’s no wonder BA has the largest jewish population in the southern hemisphere.
BA’s first skyscraper. 100m (300′) tall. first building in s.america with an iron frame. tallest building in BA from 1890-ish until 1920 or so, according to the sign in front of it in 3 languages(!)
dramatic capitol building shot. the stairs are fenced off, but you can walk right up the the building on all 4 sides. the house and senate meet in this compact capitol building. theres all sorts of political graffiti written on the tarmac in front of the building (also a major public bus hub). weekly demonstrations are part of the culture here, their politics are easily as active as ours. Che Guevara spent his adolecence here in BA, his first name isn’t actually “che”; che is the nickname given to him due to his BA “che” accent.
capitol building, now with 100% more chad! also some of the many bronze statues on marble pedestals. every plaza, public space or park has multiple bronze statues on marble pedestals.
just a really unusual building. definitely still very french, but you can’t help but imagine a witch lives in the top floor, perhaps selling potions on ebay in this day and age. this is about 10 blocks from the main avenue, note the 5-10 story buildings next to 2-3 story buildings. everything is closed because it’s christmas day. the next morning everyone had their stores open and this was a busy street again.
rosario. on the river (you can see some of it on the left). this is a war memorial, absolutely stunning. on the other side are some stairs that lead to a marble lined plaza with the tower on the other side. you can see the park and river beyond that. the edge of the river was crowded with people fishing with bamboo poles with their kids, just pulling fish out of the water like it was nothing.
the other side of the monument. theres an elevator inside the tower that will take you to the top. only the second art deco building i’ve seen since i’ve been in buenos aires, and also south america. it’s worth noting because most of the famous buildings built in NYC during this same period (empire state building, 30 rock(afeller center), chrysler building etc) are all in the art deco style, and this region of argentina has many of the same european immigrants (italian, german, spanish). for some reason french arch. influence was greater here.
well, i’m off to ignazu, it’s a 20 hour trip by land. argentina is the 8th largest country in the world by area, right after australia and india. after that i’m off to rio, in brazil, the 5th largest, only marginally smaller than the US.