Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Second and Third Adventures

On Thursday we walked out to the Recoleta cemetery. It is a city of the dead - there is no other word for it; a city that, in Lu's clever phrase, will be very busy at the Last Judgment! - six acres of monumental mausoleums, once an orchard belonging to the Padres Recoletos (we couldn't figure out what order that translates to!) We also visited the church beside it, Nuestra SeƱora del Pilar, which is very beautiful. Then we wandered out toward the Museo de las Bellas Artes, but ended up backtracking to a restaurant Tata had recommended for lunch and then walking back toward home, leaving the museum for another day and visiting one more church, San Agustin, on the way.

Today was very busy in terms of walking! Lucia, Rocio and I walked over to pick up Ignacio and Francisco, and we all took the Subte up to Congress, a beautiful building (which we only admired from the outside.) In the plaza everything was chaos because two opposing groups have been camping out in it to protest. What I gathered is that one group is the people from the farms, who are opposing the government's taking almost half their profits; and the others are for the government. So it was all big tents and microphones blaring and crowds of people from both groups and the media. We moved away down the Avenida de Mayo to the Avenida 9 de Julio, where we visited the Obelisk that is set up where the flag was first raised. From there, after eating some hot dogs by a fountain, we went to the Teatro Colon, which unfortunately is under intensive restoration so we couldn't go in. But we did visit the museum downstairs and saw the tiny models of the sets for previous operas, and the magnificent costumes and props, as well as a short video detailing some history and behind-the-scenes views.

From here we walked up to the Cathedral, where we scattered for a bit. I looked at the side altars and paused to say hello to Our Lord, and then we all went out and walked all the way around the Pink House. Francisco pointed out the President's office, and we saw the changing of the guard. Back where we had started, we crossed the Plaza to the Cabildo (the old government house), where a guided tour was just starting, so we attached ourselves to it. The guide took us up into the conference room and showed us a big painting of the open session in which Argentina decided to break away from Spain, because Napoleon had taken over and the last thing they wanted was to be under the French. The tour done, we boarded the Subte for home and tea. Tata is coming over in a while for dinner.

Tomorrow we are going to Tia Emi's house, and then Sunday we move to the de Erausquin side of the family, beginning with Alba's birthday party, and Week One will be over! Tempus fugit...


Anonymous said...

It all sounds very fun, Agnes, especially visiting the necropolis- at once very dark and very holy, in unison with my tastes. I imagine the cathedral was amazing, and buildings from a colonial period are always neat.

Say hello to the de Erausquin branch for me- what a name they have!

Agnes Regina said...

Haha... I will certainly do so. Yes, the Unpronounceable Name is a distinctive feature of our families immediate and extended; my mother's side are the Arbeletches and one sister married a Mihailovitch, so... yeah. That.

The Cathedral is not the finest outside, but inside it is really nice. The Tribunales, the old court building still in use, is really lovely and the Teatro Colon glorious (it's one of the top five theaters in the world, along with La Scala and so on.)