El Zanjon Granados is a mansion dating from 1830, originally built by a wealthy family in the San Telmo neighbourhood of Buenos Aires. During a renovation of the mansion and some surrounding buildings, an ancient zanjón (ravine) was found running under the whole block. The tunnels that were used to channel water from the stream were sealed during the yellow fever outbreaks in 1871.
The Plaza de Mayo is one of the oldest city squares in Buenos Aires.
The Casa Rosada is the presidential palace built in the late 19th C. The Argentine president works here but lives elsewhere. Domingo Sarmiento painted the building pink as a symbol of unification between two warring political factions – the Federales colour was red and the Unitarians colour was white. Local legend says the original paint was whitewash mixed with bull’s blood. The balcony facing the plaza is the presidential podium where Evita Perón made her speeches to rally the working class.
Puente de la Mujer (the Bridge of Women) is a pedestrian suspension bridge across the Rio Darsena Sur connecting the Centro with the waterfront Puerto Madero area. The white section of the bridge is meant to abstractly represent a couple dancing the Tango. Most of the streets in the surrounding neighborhood are named after women.
Dinner tonight was at Siga La Vaca, an Argentinian parilla buffet. We left stuffed.
The neighbourhood of San Telmo is defined by the tango, the dance that made Buenos Aires world-famous. Tango was born among the immigrants of Buenos Aires who lived closely together in tenement houses with the poor citizens. The word tango likely means ‘dance’ in a West African language.
El Viejo Almacen has been the home of traditional tango shows since 1969. The show was awesome and very entertaining.
Tomorrow we head out of town to the pampas region for a ranch experience with Gaucho and horses.