Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Day 2 Monday 29th December

Remember - if you want to see a larger version of any picture - just double click on it

An uneventful flight to Sao Paulo - the route goes over Spain towards North Africa and then turns west at Senegal and heads across the Atlantic for South America. Although cramped, it is better than Ryan Air and there is plenty of choice on the "video on demand" system. 11 hours and three films later we stop in Sao Paulo to change crew and some passengers before heading off again for Buenos Aires.

Pat on the plane at Sao Paulo

Three hours, no films (VOD broke down) and one meal later we were at the main airport for BA (two hour time difference). Immigration is not really sized for Jumbo jets but the airport is not as bad as the reviews say and one hour later, our bags have appeared and we are in the pre-arranged remise heading for the City.

Our first impression is that Argentina is very green (as a contrast it is winter in the UK) and very busy. It takes 30 minutes to get to our hotel - the Sheraton Libertador which is very close to Florida and 23 hours after closing our front door we are in our hotel room.

Hotel Sheraton LIbertador 

The Hotel is decorated with Christmas Trees, lights and all sorts of seasonal things - we find this very strange when it is so warm and bright outside.

We soon hit the streets on a self guided buildings walk because even though we are tired, we are not in a mood to sleep.

There are some wonderful buildings in Downtown BA. This is the Centro Naval (Naval Officers Club)  The building was
opened in 1914 and was designed by Swiss architect Jacques Dunant.

Centro Naval

Over the doorway

Doorway Centro Naval

is a rather impressive freeze of "A nude sea god in a Spanish galleon, announcing triumph through a conch shell".

Freeze over Centro Naval

This is the Gallerias Pacifico. Although not bad looking from the outside,

Gallerias Pacifico

it is inside where the visual marvels are. The guide book says "The Galerías Pacífico was opened in 1891. The building was designed to recall the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, with its long halls, glass cupola, and several tiers of shops. An economic crisis shortly after its opening, however, meant that it was converted into office space for the Pacífico Railroad Company. In 1992 everything old became new again, and the building was converted back into a shopping center."

The murals were painted in 1945 and represent: Brotherhood


Domination of Natural Forces

Domination of Natural Forces



Further down Florida one comes across a variety of ornate and impressive architecture including the Sociedad Rural Argentina

Sociedad Rural Argentina

A ceiling inside "Burger King"  who converted a grand turn of the 20th Century House

Ceiling site of Ana Diaz

the Galeria Mitre - now the Chilean Falabella store

Galeria Mitre (1)

Galeria Mitre (2)

The HSBC Building

HSBC Bulding

The Bank of Boston (often a site of protest against things American)

Bank of Boston (1)

Bank of Boston (2)

and the Roque Saenz Pena Monument which commemorates a President of Argentina who died in the early 1910s.

The only blip in our first day was that a pickpocket emptied Pat's back pack of all of its makeup! Nothing of real personal value was taken because we had been careful not to take anything. We then had an interesting time replacing the stolen items in local shops.

How tired we were after this day is best illustrated  by a picture of PatPat 'Dead to the World' 

"out for the count" or looking more like "dead to the world!"



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