Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mucho mas

Okay so my Argentina blog has been in a pretty pathetic state. I experienced so much during my time there, and my blog reflects very little of it. Since I'm back where I have internet all the time and can actually upload pictures now I've decided to do some post-Argentina blogging about my trip. I've got tons of pictures to post and journal entries to copy, so here it goes!

The first part of the trip I want to revisit is mi primera vez traveling to "el centro," the downtown area of Buenos Aires. This happened on June 26th, and was quite an experience. A number of my friends went down earlier on the 26th to watch the protests of the mothers of the "los desaparecidos" which is the term given to the approximately 30,000 people who mysteriously disapeared (they were usually kidnapped then murdered) during the "dirty war" waged by the military junta government from about 1976 to 1983.

I didn't make it to the Plaza de Mayo in time to see the protest because I caught a later train and ended up walking all the way from the Retiro train station to the Plaza de Mayo, which took the better part of an hour (Michael and I obviously did not take the fastest route). But it was a cool trip because everything was so new to me. Even the train ride into el centro was interesting. The trains of Buenos Aires are decently clean, dirt cheap, and generally a great system of transportation, except often times they are super crowded, with people squashed against eachother standing up in any space available. And since a lot of people don't have anything to hold on to, when the train jolts sometimes everyone plays a little game i like to call "Human Dominoes."

Upon getting to Retiro Michael and I wandered through the busy streets, squeezing through crowds of people waiting for colectivos (buses) and passing all kinds of street vendors. I kept smelling this amazing, sweet scent that reminded me of cocoa puffs, and it turned out to be the sugar coated peanuts that are very popular and sold from almost every other corner in the city.

Eventually we got to the Casa Rosada, which was not only very big and pink, but heavily guarded when we walked by it. La Casa Rosada looks out over Plaza de Mayo, which is also bordered by a number of historic and important buildings such as La Catedral Metropolitana de Buenos Aires, and "La Jefatura de Gobierno de la Ciudad" or the headquarters of the city government. The architecture of these buildings is beautiful, grand, and pretty varied, as my pictures show.
After chilling around the Plaza for a little bit and being hassled by a few beggers/solicitors/panhandlers (sometimes it was hard to classify exactly what people wanted money for) we walked back to Plaza de San Martin via Florida, a pedestrian street which is always full of people. We met up with ourbuddies in a Cafe and took a few group shots in the Plaza de San Martin (which is right near retiro) before heading home.
Something interesting I heard from a friend of mine who is in Argentina right now is that on equestrian statues, if the horse has one foot up it means the rider was wounded in battle, if the horse has both feet up it means he was killed in battle, and if all four hooves are on the ground the rider died of natural causes.

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