Buenos Aires, Argentina is the 170th city of 100 000 people I have visited! Argentina is the 54th country I have visited! Bit more trivia: Buenos Aries EZE airport is the 2o0th airport I have been to! I rated it 84.3% on my ranking.
Our plane touched down 23 minutes early into a grey 9 degrees celsius (48F) day. The curse of landing early and getting through means that my car was not of course waiting for me, so I got to watch the airport activity for a while with people greeting each other with hugs, kisses, tears and business like handshakes. My driver got there after 15 minutes.
The ride into Centro Buenos Aires was a lot less hair raising than expected and milder than some of my other rides into cities. The freeway limit is 130km/h (91mph) which surprised me. Cars of course took the limit as advice not requirement!
We moved onto Aires 9 de Julio, the widest street in the world with nine lanes wide and gardened medians between the two traffic directions. Looking up, I saw a massive picture of Eva Peron, gazing down on “her” people. I asked my driver about it and got five minute lecture on Peronist politics.
At the intersection of 9 de Julio and Corrientes Avenue is El Obelisco (the Obelisk) that represents Buenos Aires and the independence of Argentina. Built in 1936, it stands 67.5 m with a blunt tip measuring just 40 cm. The four sides of the obelisk each represent the defining moments in the city’s history:
- its founding in 1536
- its second and definitive foundation in 1580
- the first raising of the Argentinian flag in 1812,
- declaration of Buenos Aires as the nation’s capital in 1880.
During the Peronist government in the 1970′s a sign which read “El silenco es salud”, (Silence is health). Was it referring to sounding car horns or expressing alternative political views? In 2005, the obelisk was dressed in a large condom for World AIDS day! Unfortunately, the public is not allowed cannot climb its 206 steps to the top.
My hotel is around the corner, near Plaza San Martín (pictured) in the Retiro neighbourhood at the north of the city. Off to explore now!
Dinner tonight was “typical”:Argentinian steak with salads and breads, red wine and a very late night! I forgot to take photos. Dessert flan with Dulce Leche. Yum!
Graffiti in Central Buenos Aries.