Last weekend we had our first group trip. We went to Buenos Aires by way of Colonia.
We got up early on Friday morning to head to Colonia. We stopped at a farm, Granja Arenas, just before we got to Colonia. It is known for its World Record or Near World Record collections of key chains, pencils, perfume bottles, phone cards, among other collections. They also make and sell a variety of types of jams and jellies. We could try some of them... It was kind of Bertie Botts Every Flavor Jelly...
|Part of the key chain collection|
|A few of the pencils, including one from ACU political science professor Mel Hailey's campaign.|
|Wimon and Andres trying to rehang the van door.|
|View from the cafe|
|One of the quaint buildings in the historic part of Colonia.|
We took a ferry to Buenos Aires (BsAs), its really the only way to get there without flying in a decent amount of time. From Colonia to BsAs is about an hour on the "fast" ferry. Once we got settled in our hotel, the Walkers and I went to our first night in BsAs restaurant: Brocolino's for fantastic fresh pasta.
Saturday morning we got up and went on a tour of BsAs. Our stops included Casa Rosada, the building that houses the offices of the President of Argentina, The Cathedral of BsAs where the current Pope was Archbishop, La Boca a colorful neighborhood, the metal flower that is one of the symbols of BsAs, and Recoletta cemetery. It started raining on us while we were in Recoletta, so we didn't get to spend as much time as we normally do. Fortunately, our plans for the afternoon included going to the national art museum.
|Our group at the flower|
|Several of the girls bought paintings from this artist in La Boca. He does not have use of his hands, so he paints with his mouth.|
This year we did not go as a whole group to a big tango show, because they are very expensive now. However, three of the girls and I went to a small show in one of the oldest coffee shops in BsAs. It was pretty funny, we felt like we were in the mob or something. Wimon had gotten us tickets in the morning. We went to the front door and a guy asked us if we had a ticket. As we walked through the main room, the guy asked where we were from. When I answered Texas, he, of course, asked the requisite questions of whether I had hat and a horse. Once he led us through the room, we handed our ticket to another guy, who took us through a door way into a dark intimate room with probably 10-12 tables and the stage. It felt very secretive. We ordered food, got teased by our waiter, and enjoyed the show. We also enjoyed watching the grandfather at the table in front of us play with his grandbaby.
|The band... we had debates about who was our favorite... The funny piano player with the big mustache, or the grumpy looking base player, who would break into a huge smile whenever the singer would speak to him.|
Sunday morning we went to church. After services the students and I headed to Casa Rosada to go on a tour. Its a free tour and really pretty cool. We got to see the presidents office, the rooms where they do the press statements, Evita's desk, and walk out on the presidential balcony where Presidents give their address.
|The view of Plaza de Mayo from the Presidential Balcony. (This is from where Madonna sings "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina," I think, in Evita... its been a few years since I saw it.)|
|The students at the President's entrance.|
Monday morning, Diana, Alyssa, and I went back to Recoletta cemetery to explore. It is really interesting to see all the different architecture and art work.
After the cemetery, we headed to meet Devin, Bethany, and Aubrey in La Boca for lunch. We enjoyed looking around. Several of us bought paintings. Then after being pestered by someone from every restaurant, we finally picked one. They had tango dancers. The girls all posed for pictures with the dancer. One of me with the dancer may or may not exist... but if it did it was on my camera and under my control.
Colorful buildings in La Boca
|Diana and the Dancer|