On monday Asa had some work that he wanted to do so I decided that I would go ahead and explore more of Buenos Aires on my own.
I spent a while reading reviews of tourist attractions and figuring out when things were open. I decided to head out walking toward the botanical gardens. It sounded like a nice quiet spot where I might be able to do some drawing. Monday was an Argentinian national holiday so everything was closed, but that didn’t stop the still numerous people on the streets from window shopping.
It took me almost an hour to walk from the downtown area to the botanical gardens, but the weather was nice and the walk was pleasant.
The botanical gardens are free, which I found can have its ups and downs. An up is that it’s free! A down is that anyone and everyone can get in. When I got there almost every bench was full and only the ones in front of mud puddles or in the sun were empty. There is a central building and a greenhouse, but the day I was there both were closed. There were several sculptures and water features, but none very impressive. It was just a nice fenced-in park. I walked through and went on my way.
I strolled back toward the cultural center and Recoleta cemetery. On my way I passed by the city’s central library and an impressively large sculpture of Evita in front of it. I wandered through the street fair in the park again and centered my sites on the cemetery, this time with the desire to do some drawing. I meandered through the rows of mausoleums and finally settled on some nice statues. About an hour later, with pictures drawn, I headed back to the hotel by way of the grocery store again.
The next day, a tuesday, the Museo de Nacional de Bellas Artes was open. I headed there after an adventure to the post office which was around the corner from our hotel. I was delayed there for about 20 minutes because I had to take a number and wait in line to send my 10 postcards to the states. For anyone interested, it cost about $1.50 US to send each post card and hopefully they will get to you lucky ones soon!
Anyway, back to the art museum. I was impressed with it’s collection. Although small, it was well-rounded and interesting. They had a very nice collection of small Rhodin sculptures (about 15 in total), and paintings by Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Degas, Gauguin, and Renoir to name just a few. They also had an interesting temporary exhibit featuring drawings and paintings from the “Claridad” magazine which featured prominently in the socialist and anarchist movement in Argentina in the 1920’s and 1930’s. This museum is well worth the free entry fee!
This sums up my tourist activities in Buenos Aires. Things that I would like to do if we get a chance to go back include a tour of the Casa Rosada (which are given in spanish or english), explore the sunday market/fair in San Telmo, and see the La Boca neighborhood with it’s brightly painted houses and street performers. Until next time!