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Wednesday March  16,  2011.  Plaza de Mayo is where the Pink House, the equivalent of the White House, is located, as well as other important historic buildings.



The Pink House is the Government Residence. The president lives there. In front of it there is a statue honoring San Martin, the liberator of Argentina.



There is an obelisk commemorating the events of the 25th of May, 1810, and a building named Cabildo, where the revolutionaries met to declare the Independence of Argentina from Spain, on July 9, 1816. Flags and other souvenirs are sold all over the plaza. People stop to feed the pigeons, as they do in St. Mark's Piazza in Venice, Italy.



The National Cathedral is there as well, and inside is the tomb of San Martin, always guarded by granaderos, an honor guard.



As we were walking around the neighborhood, we were treated to an impromptu concert by the philharmonic orchestra of the Colon theater, protesting musically and peacefully a series of negative working measures taken by the managers.  It was a superb concert.



Our next stop was the neighborhood of La Boca, made famous by the painter Quinquela Martin, whose statue presides by the entrance of a very famous street called Caminito, meaning "Little Road", in a place dedicated to all kinds of artists and their crafts.





Of course there are innumerable practitioners of the famed tango dance, and al fresco restaurants amid the colorful streets.


Signs everywhere proclaim what the dwellings were many years ago, and there are many craft shops everywhere, selling all kinds of knick-knacks. On the next row, the first picture says in Spanish "Here are the f......ng keys!" A shop carrying all kinds of Quinquela Martin's mementos is called "Quinquela's Corner", and more colorful painted houses with human figures.



While we were having lunch at an outdoor cafe, we were treated to a demonstration of tango  and a smattering of folklore dances, such as malambo (tap dancing wearing gaucho boots) and dances using the boleadoras made of weights on the ends of interconnected cords, designed to capture animals by entangling their legs. Notice how a participant covers his "private parts" while awaiting a boleadoras maneuver.



Kate decided to learn how to tango, so she went up for some lessons from the pro.



We continued strolling in La Boca, stopping to be photographed by some iconic mules,



and we stopped to see the museum dedicated to Quinquela Martin. We were not supposed to take pictures, but I snapped one of a colorful kitchen.


The last stop was the neighborhood of San Telmo, where we visited the famous Bar Britanico, where WW II British patrons gathered with the British railroad workers. The Argentine railroads were owned and run by British corporations. We sat at the bar for hours; Ines joined us and we fixed the worlds' problems while drinking beer and eating sandwiches de miga. (ham & crust free bread sandwiches). Another nearby bar was The Hippopotamus.



Tomorrow Pat & I will fly to El Calafate.


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