So it was a rainy day in Buenos Aires. Good time to visit a cemetery, right?
Our intrepid guide, Pedro picked us up at the appointed hour for a stroll towards the Recoleta area, a mostly residential neighborhood but noted mostly for the famous Recoleta Cemetery.
Pedro, AAC CPA, Leslie & Ron go on the town
On the walk over, we stopped in at the Café Biela, which is frequented by locals and natives alike and, in 1999, was declared to be a Place of Cultural Interest by the city of Buenos Aires. Just inside the entrance is sculptural art of two very famous Argentine writers, Adolfo Bioy Casares and his buddy, Jorge Luis Borges, both of whom frequented the café.
Casares and Borges at table #1
Just across from the café is this enormous rubber tree, hundreds of years old. To keep it from collapsing, low-hanging branches have been propped up as in this photograph:
That’s one big rubber tree!
Continuing along, we approached the 2nd oldest church in Buenos Aires, Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Pilar, dating back to 1732. As Sunday mass was underway, we didn’t go inside to take a look around, but it’s pretty impressive from the outside.
Just down the street is the entrance to Recoleta Cemetery. There are many notables buried there, but one towers above them all. On the way to that mausoleum, however, we noticed this very interesting deco artwork:
And then, there it was:
It was raining pretty steadily when we arrived at the Duarte mausoleum. Pedro was full of information about the many travels of the remains of Eva Duarte Peron from her death in 1952 until her final resting place in this cemetery, over 20 years later.
After strolling through the cemetery a bit more, we went across the street and up to the top floor of a nearby building where I was able to take this overhead shot of the cemetery:
TRAVEL TIP: Recoleta Cemetery
By then it was time for lunch and we strolled to a local restaurant for some empanadas. Along the way, we saw this placard at the Hotel Meliá Recoleta Plaza:
That girl is EVERYWHERE!
By the time lunch was over, it was raining pretty steadily, so we decided to cab it over to La Boca, another neighborhood wherein Italian immigrants (particularly from Genoa) settled. It was a very poor neighborhood and its residents lived in abject poverty. Today it is of interest to tourists because of its colorful houses some of which are adorned with art, as well as restaurants and tango clubs. As we walked through, we saw couples dancing the tango on slightly raised stages at several of the restaurants on the Caminito, the main street of La Boca. Outside of this small tourist area, the neighborhood is still one of poverty.
Three Argentine Passions: Polo, Evita and Tango
Frieze in honor of the Tango
Live Tango on a Rainy Sunday Afternoon
Dog Day Afternoon at La Boca
Pedro escorted us back to the hotel and we thanked him for the 2 days we spent together while he showed us his city. Again, if you’re planning a trip to Buenos Aires and want a personal tour of the city, Pedro is the guy for you.
TRAVEL TIP: About Pedro
Then it was time for some relaxation before heading out for dinner.
While I was having some down time, I checked my wallet to make sure I had enough pesos for the evening, and look what popped out:
And there she is again!
Tonight we dined at La Cabrera Norte, another restaurant notable for its beef and large portions. While the food was delicious, the service was problematic.
When we arrived for our reservation at about 8:30, the restaurant was practically empty. But, within 15 minutes, the place had filled up. Our waiter presented us with menus and some “tasties” to get us started, and we ordered an excellent bottle of wine – Angelica Zapata Malbec 2011 – as we checked out the menu. As we did at Fervor 2 nights earlier, we decided to share a couple of first courses, followed by several cuts of excellent Argentine meat and sides.
So far, so good.
The first course arrived after a few minutes and all was well. But a few minutes later while we were in the middle of enjoying our food, platters of beef and pork and papas fritas and other side dishes arrived. There wasn’t even room on the table for everything, not to mention that the plates from our first course weren’t replaced by fresh ones. While it’s not as if we were confronted with an earthquake or hurricane or being diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, it did put a big dent in the evening.
We soldiered on, however, and kept eating and eating and eating and, again, the beef and pork were delicious. The Argentines really know how to treat their meats.
What’s interesting is that we arrived at 8:30 and by 9:25 we had completed our entrée, setting a record for the quickest meal of the trip.
However, by the time we ordered and shared a dessert and departed the restaurant, another hour had gone by.
So, maybe it was just an off-night with lousy pacing of the meal. Or maybe that’s the experience of dining at La Cabrera. We noticed that the tables were being turned over with great frequency, so who knows?
I can tell you with certainty that, after the amazingly good service at both Fervor and I Latina, the service at La Cabrera was several notches lower.
And thus concluded our 3rd day in BA.