Thursday, December 8, 2011

December 4th –Mausoleums and Markets in BA

To work off last night's steak, we did a walk to the upmarket La Recoleta district, home to one of the most famous cemeteries in the world, the beautifully haunting Recoleta Cemetery. The cemetery is full of the grand mausoleums of Argentina's great and good, all watched over by a stone army of angels, cherubs and weeping Madonnas. It was amazing how grand so many of these imposing tombs were – grander than most of the houses in this enormous city of 14 million people.

In spite of the fact that many of the tombs were now beginning to decay -their glass cracked, their statues covered in cobwebs, and sprouting weeds – curiously enough, there wasn't a depressing or scary atmosphere in this peaceful city of the dead. It really seemed like a place where you could rest in peace, and even the tomb of Evita Peron, was an understated and restrained mausoleum for a woman whose life had been something of a rollercoaster.

After having a drink in a cultured Recoleta cafe, we swapped Recoleta's peace and quiet, for the crowds and boisterous atmosphere of the famous San Telmo Sunday Market. Here, thousands of stalls selling really ingenious arts and crafts lined the long Defensa street, so we browsed for Christmas gifts (although we only managed to buy for ourselves – how self-obsessed are we?), and soaked up the incredibly lively atmosphere.

Another fantastic day in an amazing city.