“The next open space was a park in a burst of sunlight, then a boulevard, and a glimpse of Europe and the hurry and the fine clothes of people on a busy pavement.”

The house is getting a breath of fresh air for a bit then it’s back to summer hibernation. It’s unbelievably humid, and the air is so thick it’s almost difficult to breathe. It must have rained a bit earlier as the deck was wet when I went out there this morning. The birds are in full voice, especially the crows. Tonight is our movie night. I just hope the dampness gives way to a bit of sun so everything can dry.

Today I have to go to the dump, to Agway for bird seed and to the grocery store for a few things. I am now out of coffee, and only that and pet food will get me into the grocery store.

If someone had blindfolded me and dropped me in the center of Buenos Aires, I would have sworn I was in Europe. The city is gorgeous. It is called the Paris of South America and rightfully so. The architecture is colonial. Outdoor cafes are all over the main shopping area, which is pedestrian only. My friend had a long leather coat made in one of the shops. We walked all over the city through plazas, into churches and museums. The Rose Garden was lovely despite the lack of blossoms, it being winter there. The hats and colors of the mountain Indians had disappeared and were replaced by every day clothes. One day we took a bus tour to a large aestancia, a working ranch. It was a cattle ranch. One of the bulls, a champion, was so enormous that the man holding him appeared tiny, almost dwarfish. Our guide explained that the semen of this bull sells for an enormous amount of money and he brought us to the extraction area. He started to explain and stood where the bull stands before the process. I couldn’t stand it any more and started to laugh at the vision running through my head having to do with guide. My friend too started to laugh. We had to leave the group, and the guide asked if we were okay. We could only nod. At the ranch we had a beef dinner and were entertained by Argentinian dancers. It was a wonderful day.

My favorite part of the city was La Boca, a neighborhood where many of the earliest residents had come from Italy and where the off-beat still lived. The area is called la Boca because it is at the mouth of the Riachuelo. This part of the city was so amazingly colorful. The buildings were brightly colored in reds and yellows and blues. I loved it.

Our hotel was an old one in the historic district. It had a grand dining room and lots of wood and character. The US ski team was staying there. They had been summer skiing in Bariloche, Argentina. We met them at breakfast in the grand dining room. They were all young.

We had beef for dinner every night because it was so cheap. We’d walk around until we’d find a restaurant we liked. Not once were we ever disappointed by the food.

Being in Buenos Aires made us feel as if we had left South America. It was so unlike all the other countries we has visited before it. We could have been in Europe. I enjoyed Buenos Aires but I missed the vibrant colors, the Indians and the hats most of all.

We were getting close to our flight home so we didn’t have much time to spend in Argentina. I’m sure we would have found everything we were missing if we had left the city, but we had yet to go to Uruguay and then on to Brazil then finally to Rio and home and we had only about 10 days until then.

Uruguay and Brazil and home tomorrow.

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8 Comments on ““The next open space was a park in a burst of sunlight, then a boulevard, and a glimpse of Europe and the hurry and the fine clothes of people on a busy pavement.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Yes, another hot and dry day here in North Texas. It gets old when you get up at six to let the dogs out and it’s already 85 degrees and warming up to the triple digits.

    Did they demonstrate extracting the semen? Is it a manual or mechanical process? I watched a documentary once on the breeding of race horses. They don’t use artificial insemination, they place the mare and the stallion in a room and introduce them so that they do it the old fashioned way. It’s the only way they can assure the blood lines.

    I ate Argentinian beef in a restaurant in Santiago Chile. My students were all retired Aerolines Argentina pilots who work in Santiago two weeks on and two weeks off. They live in Buenos Aires and we give them airline passes and an apartment in Santiago. They knew what to order in every restaurant nightly. The beef was excellent.

    I think that there are no native pre-Columbian people who survived in Argentina. Everyone I met from Argentina look very European. Adolf Eichmann was living a very middle class life in Buenos Aires when the Israeli Mossad captured him and got him out of Argentina to put on trial for his war crimes. There is a great book on how the Israelis conducted that operation called, “The House on Garibaldi Street”.

    I can’t wait to hear about your impressions of Brazil.

    • Bob,
      Today the humidity chokes. I went out for errands and sweated the whole way from store to store. I couldn’t wait to get home back in the AC.

      The bull is so huge that it couldn’t mate with the cow in the usual way. The semen was, in those days, extracted manually. The bull was held in a stall like structure. This bull we saw was famous and had won many awards so its sperm was expensive.

      You are so right-the beef was excellent. I think we had a different cut just about every night we were there.

      There are indigenous Argentinians but not living in the cities from what I could see. The men working for the ranchers had very dark hair and eyes.

  2. olof1 Says:

    A rather nice day here but the weather has had problems deciding what to do, some clouds, one shower, lots of sunshine, sometimes windy and sometimes no wind at all 🙂 The katydids has started their serenade and they are so loud that almost nothing else can be heard. We must have loads of them this year.

    I’ve heard that about Buenos Aires, but they say most parts of Argentina is like that, like somewhere in Europe. One of the few things we learned about Argentina was that they had lots of cattle and that beef was cheap 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • Christer,
      I’m glad to know all is well with you!

      When I went outside, I was dying from the humidity. It is an ugly day. I’m thinking of showing the movie inside the house where we’ll be comfortable.

      The city was beautiful but so unlike the rest of South America, and you’re right about the beef!!.

  3. Zoey & Me Says:

    Famous Travel Log ended by School Break!

  4. Birgit Says:

    La Boca is beautiful. I wish we would have more colorful houses here.

    Christer had mentioned the non-colorful clothes in Sweden, but they have more colored houses. We have more grey cities and moderate colored clothes. Is there some kind of equalization in public colors? Does it also apply to South America? Just a thought…

    Buenos Aires 2005:
    Yes, too many photos (214)
    and no, I didn’t look for semen extraction photos 😉

    Have a nice (and dry) movie night!

    • Birgit,
      La Boca was the favorite part of that city. The paint was haphazard with no design-beautiful!

      The houses in South America weren’t, for the most part, colorful. They tended to be earth tones; some were almost adobe in color. It’s funny-I never gave them a thought caught up as I was with the clothes.

      Haha on the extraction photos!!

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