Sunday, June 17, 2018

Clare and Gaga's Adventure Day

OK I've decided to get back into my Adventure Days in my hometown. This week it happened to be a day where I shared it with my eldest grandchild Clare. We just happened to park the car next to a skate park and enjoyed watching the kids and adults practice their skills.

After lunch at Southbank it was time for what has become our little ritual, we headed to Walker Donuts for a little bit of decadence. 
Mmmmmm Walkers Donuts
We decided we would head to a couple of the laneways that are well known for the street art or graffiti in Melbourne CBD. As we walked up Flinders street we decided to go into St. Paul's Cathedral and view the magnificence of this beautiful building. This cathedral's design is English Gothic and was completed in 1891 although the spires were built to a different design between 1926 and 1932. 
St Paul's Cathedral
Next stop was Hosier Lane where we were entertained by a few artists creating their art. Clare loves looking at any art and was totally intrigued watching a couple of young adults create some ordinary and some amazing pieces of work. One young artist asked Clare what her name was and proceeded to climb up high and sprayed her name on the wall. Clare felt very happy that her name was on the wall and up high so it wasn't going to be painted over straights away.

Clare's been graffitied

Oh how sweet

Our last stop on our long day was ACDC Lane, named after the world famous Aussie band. The laneway is well known for some amazing pieces of art such as Jimmy Hendrix and a spectacular escaping sculpture of the late AC/DC lead singer Bon Scott. 

Jimi Hendrix

Bon Scott
Even though we were both pretty tired after our big day we certainly did have fun. 

After a big day they view back on the city was nice

Friday, June 15, 2018

Colourful La Boca, Empanadas and Tango

While on our tour of Buenos Aires city area I was excited to visit another of my bucket list items, the vibrant neighbourhood or barrio of La Boca. Situated on the Matanza-Riachuelo River La Boca is known for its colourful houses and zinc shacks, it's tango and of course, because we're in Argentina, it's football/soccer team, Boca Juniors. The actual touristy area is only a few blocks long, but outside this area it is a fairly poor working class area that has a fairly high crime rate.
I was mighty happy to check La Boca off my bucket list

Vibrant walls of Conventillo Historico de 1881

The vibrant colourful buildings were amazing
Since 2016 La Boca citizens has been threatened by the pollution of the Matanza-Riachuelo River as it said to contain high levels of arsenic and lead due to centuries of unstopped pollution. But as I stood looking out over the river I was comforted to see cleaning of any litter in the water being cleaned up.
The La Boca dock area of the Matanza-Riachuelo River
On the front of one of the colourful La Boca buildings is a quirky piece of art in honour of three well loved people by the Argentinians. Maradona for his football skills, Eva Peron for her gift to the people and Carlos Gardel a singer, songwriter and prominent figure in the history of Tango.

A quirky piece of art as a tribute to Maradona, Eva Peron and Carlos Gardel

After an afternoon recuperation nap, I was all set to head out to dinner and a Tango Show at El Querandi. Wow Wow Wow, what a great night it was. The Tango Show was fantastic. The band, the dancers and singers were absolutely amazing. There is so much emotion in the Tango - Love, Violence, Anger, Sensuality, Pain and so much more.

Tango is a partner dance which originated in the 1800's along the River Plate (Rio de Plata), the natural border between Argentina and Uruguay. The El Querandi Tango Show was a depiction of the history and evolvement of Tango. .

Sunday, June 10, 2018

My South America Adventure - La Recoleta Cemetery

I cannot believe I haven't posted on my blog since January 30th!! It's not as if I've been quiet, I just haven't got around to it. I have recently returned home to Australia from my holiday of a lifetime to South America. I was away for three and a half weeks and I went to Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Chile. I did a tour with  Chimu Adventures /Viva Expeditions and I couldn't recommend them highly enough. Our group consisted of eight people and we all got on really well. Our guide, Mel, who was amazing, was an Aussie but she lives in Ecuador, so it was very helpful with her speaking fluent Spanish, then in each location we had a local guide. From Australia I flew to Santiago for about a 4 hour layover then it was across the Andes to Buenos Aires. Flying over the Andes was mighty spectacular.
Flying over the Andes was certainly a special experience
I've started working on a photobook of my adventure - it could end up quite a big book. So as I come across various locations, I thought I would share them with you. One of our first attractions to visit was La Recoleta Cemetery, which is situated in the heart of Buenos Aires. I must say I do love heading to old cemeteries, but for some reason I wasn't that excited to go to La Recoleta. That was until I got there - WoW it was totally amazing. Built in the early 1800's the cemetery houses mostly the wealthy such as Presidents and Nobel Prize winners but is probably most famous for housing the body of Eva Peron, the First Lady of Argentina. Loved and respected for her fight for women and improving the lives of the poor. Eva Peron was born in 1919 and she died in 1952, so it is a mystery to me why the plaques on her grave all say different later dates. I guess I wasn't listening to our guide Pepe while he was telling us.
There are several plaques for Eva Peron, but all have different dates. 

If only I could read Spanish
An interesting fact is that the bodies are not actually buried, they are put into coffins and literally stacked on shelves, below and above ground level, with no dirt surrounding them. A lot of the coffins are put inside a second coffin to prevent smell and hygiene I guess. So whole families can be buried in the same structure. It was quite fascinating walking through what could have been a small city with it's tree lined streets and laneways.
As we entered La Recoleta Cemetery we were instantly greeting by
hundreds of elaborate marble mausoleums
It was intriguing wandering down the tiny laneways

Hopefully you can make out how the coffins are stacked behind my reflection
As we came out of the cemetery we were greeted by the biggest Rubber Tree or Ficus elastica, I have ever or am ever likely to see in my life. Said to be over 200 years old it spreads some 50 metres across.
One enormous Rubber tree

A piece of quirky are of a man holding one of the enormous branches
 that spread out over the plaza