Recollecting Recoleta

6th Dec. 2016

Is that really todays date?Today we are going to revisit the Recoleta district which we cycled around four years ago. It will be good this time to go at our pace and not be governed by a tour pace. Instead of bikes, we start by getting the SUBTE to Plaza Italia at the furthest point on our route and we can then walk back to our hotel. The metro trip includes changing lines which is easy as long as you know what line and which direction you want before you set foot underground. Otherwise it can go horribly wrong (7P rule again!)

Monument de las EspanolesAs we exit at Plaza Italia, we can see that the square is being renovated, so quickly move on down Ave. Sarmiento to the Monument de las Españoles in the centre of a junction of two huge roads. These roads are so wide that it can take nifty footwork to get across before the lights change – and you do not want to be caught part way across when the traffic gets moving.

Dog walkerIt was then good to escape the busy roads into the park, which we had almost to ourselves except for the dog walkers, and I mean each walker has about a dozen dogs in tow. We then had to re-orientate ourselves and match up maps to find out which direction we needed to head as the park spread in all directions from the monument.

Typical Japanese featuresIn the park is the Jardins Japonés which has mixed reviews on TripAdvisor as to whether it is worth a visit. Today it was free for locals to enter but us foreigners had to pay the princely sum of about £3 each. We do like the bonsai trees, water features and red bridges which are typical of these gardens and can make great photos. This garden has all of these but we can also see that after the real thing in Japan this is a bit small and tame, but for the entry fee you cannot really complain.

Is there enough red?Heading back to the main road we pass Plaza Peru and it is sad to see that two of the monuments are without heads but maybe has something to say about relations between the two countries, I am not sure. Like last time we were impressed with the huge metal sculpture Floralis Generica in the shape of a flower. The shiny surfaces reflected the few clouds that were in the sky.

Floralis GenericaAnother place high on our to visit list is the National Bellas Artes Museum and Dave’s app called “City Art Search” keeps pinging him details of must see art nearby which frequently includes pictures in this museum. It is always good to see museums with free entry making it accessible to all. Not so good that there are so few people who take advantage of this.

Minimalistic displayWe start downstairs and are pleased that we can recognise the styles of some of the pictures and correctly name the artists. The most obvious was Gaugin as we spent some time in French Polynesia seeing his work. The Monet was less distinctive and disappointing and the Manet I did not guess. Picasso was obvious and that ends my name dropping. Some of the walls were crammed with paintings making it difficult to appreciate individual works of art. Whereas other rooms were very spacious and gave room to each work of art.

ProtestingIt was not all paintings and some individual collections had cabinets crammed full of fans, silver ware, trinkets and other items. Upstairs were works of South American artists but we had to scoot through these, otherwise we would have been there all day. As we left there was another rowdy but peaceful protest about something or other in passing vehicles.

_DSF4693We still had lots to see in Recoleta starting with the church, Nuestra Señora del Pilar, which was originally founded in 1732 by the Recollect Fathers, members of the Franciscan order. That is where the area got its name from. The church is the most ornate we have seen for some time. We also take the opportunity to visit the cloisters attached to the church which has been converted into a museum. This does offer views over the adjacent cemetery, which is our next port of call.

Sarmiento family plaquesIn the cemetery the main mausoleums to visit are Sarmiento, which is signposted through the maze of pathways and also the final resting place of Eva Peron. The latter is nothing special and not clearly marked but can be found easily by following the tour groups and seeing the fresh flowers left there.

San Martin at nightAgain we have walked miles and are ready to return to the hotel for a rest before moving on to some sunset photography. We have to earn our supper tonight and therefore spend an hour walking to the Puente de la Mujer bridge and the monument to San Martin before finally reaching our pre-booked restaurant. Last time we were in BA we had a delicious steak and have decided to revisit that restaurant. Luckily we included the name in our blog of the time and so could easily find it again.

Happy now he has his wine and steakWe had booked the restaurant under the name David as no one here can pronounce our surname! The waiter joked that one of the wines was called Don David, so we just had to have some! The steak was as good as we remembered and so tender and succulent – possibly the best steaks we have ever had (and we do consider ourselves to be experts). They are rather big though, so this time we did share one. What a great way to end our travels as tomorrow it is off to the airport to fly home. Signing out until our next adventure (whatever that may be)…

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