More Buenos Aires pictures!
I’m glad we took so many photos on our trip–and that the weather was so nice. We could not have asked for more perfect weather–low 70s and sunny both days!
Remember those riot police we saw at Plaza de Mayo in the last post? Well, we found out where they had gone soon enough. They were all lined up outside of the Catedral Metropolitana, or the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires. We weren’t quite sure why they were there–but tourists were still going in and out of the cathedral with no problems–so we took our chances and went inside.
Originally built in the 1600s, the cathedral has been rebuilt several times. On several occasions, the cathedral just collapsed! The inside of the church is absolutely beautiful, with a breathtaking altar and gorgeous frescoes on the ceilings.
The highlight of the cathedral is the tomb of General Jose de San Martin, who is essentially Argentina’s George Washington. San Martin was actually born in Corrientes province (the same one Ituzaingo is in!), and became the prime leader of South America’s struggle for independence from the Spanish empire in the early 1800s. He’s a national hero in Argentina, as well as in Peru. His tomb is guarded by elite members of the Argentinian military.
The cathedral also offered several other smaller altars to specific saints, which were also beautiful.
The organ was especially impressive–filled with 3500 pipes and made in Germany. Apparently, the organist will give free concerts when the spirit moves him.
I thought the mosaic floors were very pretty and ornate as well:
The church is particularly important because it is the “home” church of the current Pope. Everywhere in Buenos Aires, there are reminders of how proud Argentina is that they are the birthplace of the first Latin American pope. There are all sorts of pope-based tours, and there were plenty of posters and exhibits in the cathedral itself about the Pope’s story.
After we had gotten our daily dose of church tours, we went back to the hotel and got ready for our tango show! Since Argentina is synonymous with tango, we felt we needed to take in this cultural institution–and we found a pretty good deal online with Tango Porteno that included a tango lesson, dinner and drinks, and a tango show. Although neither of us are big dancers, we were excited to be able to learn a few basic tango steps before the performance with some of the show’s professional dancers. We’re proud to say we can (kind of) now do the basic tango pass. Maybe with practice, we’ll learn some more!
The theatre the show is in is GORGEOUS. It’s 1940s art deco everywhere–and it has quite a history as a place for tango for decades. The show mixed old film footage of performers from the theater’s early days with songs (which were not our favorite–the word “caterwauling” was used to describe it several times later), and of course tango dances, either as an ensemble or showcase pieces.
The live orchestra was AMAZING–and definitely Argentinian. It was comprised of a pianist, a string bass, four violins, and four accordions–note the lack of drums, horns, guitar, etc!
The dinner was pretty good too! A three course dinner, with an appetizer of either potato soup (delicious) or buffalo mozzarella (acceptable), a main dish of bife de chorizo (acceptable) and matambre de cerdo (absolutely delicious–highlight of the evening), accompanied by wines from Argentina and finished with a trio of Argentinian desserts (flan, cheese and sweets, and dulce de leche ice cream with orange and cocoa).
It was very much an enjoyable evening–although very much a touristy experience!
Hopefully, we’ll practice the main tango steps that we’ve learned. Our lawyer friend mentioned that her sister is BIG into tang0, and goes to milongas, which are essentially tango parties where people go to dance the night away. I don’t think we’re quite up to that, yet!
Still a few more pictures in the corral for another post tomorrow! I know–I finally remembered I had a blog, and now I’m blogging every day. This is what happens when you don’t work every day and get to do some picture-worthy stuff! 🙂