Monday, December 12, 2011

Palaces to Mausoleums: The Life of Argentine Presidents (Nov. 7)

I am writing this in the Caesar Park Hotel of Buenos Aires, but by the time any of you read this, we will be sailing for the Falkland Islands.  Apparently, Internet is as expensive in Buenos Aires as it is aboard ship, so we opted to wait the posting of this entry until we were aboard our floating, temporary home.

We arrived safely in Buenos Aires this morning. After clearing customs, we spent roughly an hour and a half by car just getting to our hotel. Although we drove on the world’s widest road (La Avenida 9 de Julio), we were still subject to the detriments of every major city's transportation systems: traffic! The hotel is amazing and quite comfortable, but we will spend only one night here. With what little spare time we had, we decided to take a bus tour of the city with some of the other Lindblad guests.  We visited what is supposedly the worlds 3rd most selective cemetery, which was filled almost completely with after arriving, I realized those places really creep me out. We did see the resting sites of many Argentine presidents, Eva Peron, and even the Nobel Prize winner responsible for the discovery of lactose, but in the end, it was still a derelict place reminding me of our impermanence and fleeting lives in a world that we consider to be the only constant.  Plated coffins and marbled crypts bear no consequence in the ethereal yet wonderfully concrete world of tomorrow.

Later, we moved through the streets and squares and found the presidential palace, a beautiful cathedral, and other buildings and statues representing the tumultuous past of Argentina from the time of the Spanish to the war with Britain or their own civil war that began in the late 1970s. 

All in all, Buenos Aires was a beautiful city, but I'd much rather see the natural beauty of southern Argentina! Tomorrow, we depart from the hotel very early in the morning to fly 4 hours to the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia! We'll get to spend a few hours in the Tierra del Fuego national park cruising through the islands before finally arriving at the National Geographic Explorer!  


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