Buenos Aires: Evita's Final Resting Place
After spending 36 days on a cruise ship, my parents finally disembarked and ended their South America cruise when they arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
They met their friendly tour guide Patricia. She showed my parents and another couple from the ship around this beautiful and expansive city.
It's easy to see why Buenos Aires is sometimes referred to as the Paris of South America. The building style, wide tree lined streets, public squares, and obelisks provide several similarities to the City of Lights.
Although, Paris doesn't have any palm trees...
Almost like the Champs Elysees! Well, almost...
My dad with a quirky public art display!
Where do you find one of the most beautiful cemetery's in the world? In Buenos Aires of course! Patricia led my parent's to the Recoleta cemetery, one of the most beautiful and famous cemetery's in Argentina. The entrance to the cemetery reads "Expectamus Dominum" which is Latin for "wait for the Lord".
The crypts here are mainly family mausoleums that contain multiple coffins. Some are small, modest crypts, while others could be considered ornately decorated houses.
Recoleta cemetery is full of stray cats! Legend has it that the cats living among the crypts are the guardians of the souls that were laid to rest here. No efforts have been made to rid the cemetery of the cats and so they can live here undisturbed.
Perhaps the most famous grave in the Recoleta cemetery belongs to Eva Perón, the beloved First Lady of Argentina and infamous pop culture figure from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Evita". After her death, her remains were shipped around throughout Argentina and even were buried in Italy for a time. They were moved around for nearly twenty-four years before being buried here in 1976 in a family tomb.
Visitors still bring flowers to Evita's grave nearly every day. On July 26, the anniversary of Eva Perón's death, thousands of her admirers and fans place flowers, notes, and cards on her tomb.
Former Argentine President Raúl Ricardo Alfonsín is also buried in the Recoleta cemetery. He was the first democratically elected President after the military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1976 to 1983 ended.
Rows upon rows house the dead here in the Recoleta cemetery. It's almost like a mini city with it's own streets and walkways.
The cemetery is truly built into the center of Buenos Aires. Right behind the tower (photo above) are apartment buildings that overlook the cemetery.
The Ministry of Health building can be seen in the background. This building has been around since the Perón's were in power, but it's most recent addition has been two 10-storey Eva Perón murals on opposite building sides. Seen in the photograph above is the northern side which depicts a defiant Eva Perón speaking to the city's wealthy, while on the south side (not pictured), she is smiling facing a poor area.
La Casa Rosada, or "the pink house" is the office and mansion of the Argentine president. This building also houses a museum that features artifacts from previous presidents.
This is the famous balcony that Eva Perón often used to address her supporters and also the setting for the iconic scene from the movie "Evita" when Madonna sings "Don't Cry For Me Argentina".
My parents with a La Casa Rosada guard.
My parents have traveled through many countries all over the world. They have seen numerous street markets during their travels, but none as large as the one found in Buenos Aires. They walked and walked and walked through this huge colorful market and never saw an end in sight!
A building found along the market features three cartoon-ish statues that could be considered the pride of Argentinians: Diego Maradona, Eva Perón, and Juan Perón.
Argentina is well known for its passionate tango. Drawings, paintings, sculptures, and live tango performances can be found throughout the market.
Similar to Brazil, one could say that soccer, or futbol, is almost like a religion in Argentina. Kids and adults alike can be found playing soccer on city courts, fields, and in the streets.
Buenos Aires has been named as the next city to host the Summer Youth Olympics in 2018. Professional Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi serves as the ambassador to the games.
After enjoying their tour of the city, my parents and the other couple in their group met Diego Kraidelman from Eco Uruguay Tours, the man who had organized their tour of the Buenos Aires and the upcoming tour of the Iguazu Falls. My mum had been in constant contact with Diego prior to their trip she was glad that they had booked their tours through him!
After spending two days in Buenos Aires, my parents jumped on a plane to fly to the Iguazu Falls.
Their plane flew over the port of Buenos Aires and my parents got one last glance onto the ship that had been their home for the last six weeks. The cruise portion of their trip was over and they were heading towards the final leg of their epic South America adventure, the Iguazu Falls!