Buenos Aires: Opera, Cemeteries, and Tango

Buenos Aires, “the Paris of South America,” is the Capital of Buenos Aires and a huge freakin city. Upwards of 14,000,000 people live in the general area, and it shows.  When you fly into town, the city just seems to go on and on and on.  The city is divided up, much like New York, into many distinct areas that are diverse and totally different from each other.

In the interest of saving time, we limited our day to three things.  The Teatro Colon tour, the Recoleta Cemetery, and “El Caminito” in Boca.

Floralis Generica in Buenos Aires

Floralis Generica in Buenos Aires

The Teatro Colon is ranked by National Geographic as the third best Opera house in the world and for acoustics its one of the best.  I’ve visited Buenos Aires over 13 times and I’ve never had the chance to go inside.  For this trip, we made sure not to miss out!

Main lobby of Teatro Colon

Main lobby of Teatro Colon

The architecture and attention to detail inside the theatre is amazing.  It just underwent a multi-million dollar renovation project where it was closed for years.  Imagine closing the opera for years?  Well, during that time all the opera-tions (see what I did there?) moved to nearby theaters.

Inside of the Teatro Colon

Inside of the Teatro Colon

Construction ended in 1908, and at the time it was one of the largest structures around.  It can seat over 2,400 people, ad there is always a seat for the president if he should choose to attend.

Balconies of the Teatro Colón

Balconies of the Teatro Colón

No detail is left untouched.  From the ceilings to the chandeliers.

Roof of the Teatro Colon

Roof of the Teatro Colon

Chandeliers in the hallways of Teatro Colon

Chandeliers in the hallways of Teatro Colon

Once we had our fill of this awesome building we headed out to the complete opposite of fancy ornate buildings.  El Caminito in the Boca neighborhood.  You’ve probably seen pictures of it on the internet.  Brightly painted houses and tango music all over the streets.

Brightly colored facade

Brightly colored facade

And of course, you MUST have Evita in the middle (that’s soccer star Maradona on her right)

Statues waving hello from the balcony

Statues waving hello from the balcony

Not sure which is creepier, the butler offering me what looks like a stale pizza or the crazy lady with rollers in her hair about to yell at me.

Have a drink at the bar!

Have a drink at the bar!

Sometimes there were ACTUAL people in the windows!

BOCA buildings

Before we left, we stopped and grabbed a staple of Argentine street food, the Choripan.  Chori (chorizo) and Pan (bread) for only 20 pesos (about US$1.50) it’s what we needed to stave off our hunger.

We stopped for a Choripan sandwich, sausage and bread.

We stopped for a Choripan sandwich, sausage and bread.

Having had our fill of the Caminito and the Choripan, we grabbed another taxi and headed to our last stop, the Recoleta cemetery.  This is THE place to be buried if you’re wealthy in Buenos Aires. Or, I should say, were wealthy, as the cemetery is full.  It’s said that there is a waiting list to get in (in case the family line dies out or they want to sell their plot) but for all we could tell, this is just a rumor.

Reminds me of New Orleans cemeteries

Reminds me of New Orleans cemeteries

Some of the burial sites are in need of some TLC

Maybe we need a duster...?

Maybe we need a duster…?

Recoleta Cemetary

Recoleta Cemetary

Some of the names aren’t what you’d expect from a Latin American country

Tons of interesting last names here...

Tons of interesting last names here…

And of course, the Duarte family.  Eva Peron’s family’s buried here, as is she.  It’s the most visited tomb in the entire cemetery, as is evidenced by the constant flow of fresh flowers on display.

Eva Peron Tomb

Eva Peron Tomb

Walking through the cemetery is a surreal experience.  There are hundreds of tombs for the early leaders of Argentina, ex presidents, actors, writers, and wealthy business owners.  It’s the who’s who of dead Argentines.  Admission is free, and there are English tours that depart twice a day.

Have you visited Argentina?  What are your favorite sights?

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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