It was a dark and stormy night . . . . Well, not really. When we first visited the world-famous La Recoleta cemetery in Buenos Aires, it was a beautiful, sunny spring morning. Even so, my first impression was that La Recoleta was the creepiest place I’d ever seen. But as we wandered around, gobsmacked by the incredibly ornate mausoleums in every state of repair and disrepair, I began to feel more reflective. It doesn’t really matter how much money your family spends on an elaborate tomb – once you’re gone, you’re gone. And eventually, our earthly remains all end up in the same state whether we’re in a stunning marble monument created by the best Italian sculptors of the day, or a pine box in the ground. It’s all just . . . . (sorry, Kansas) . . . dust in the wind. We spent eight days in Buenos Aires…
That’s how one of our tour guides described Buenos Aires’ architectural heritage. The city is a dazzling wonderland of architectural styles, and some of them – the French revival buildings, for instance – are not so much authentic (how could they be, seeing as how they’re not in France) as they are eye-poppingly, over-the-top gaudy — a kick to look at and to walk through.
Buenos Aires retains very little of its colonial heritage (one notable exception is Our Lady of Pilar church next to La Recoleta cemetery, built in the early 1700s). That’s because the city went through a
Ah, Buenos Aires – I just can’t get my head around you! I’ve been trying to write this post for days but BA is such a complex, colorful, musical, noisy, frenetic, delicious, exhausting city that I just don’t know how to capture it. So here’s a cop-out, a few of the stories that have had the biggest impression on us (so far):