La Boca – the area within Buenos Aires that is influenced strongly by the Italians. Many of the early migrants came from Genoa. In 1882, after a long strike, the area seceded from Argentina and the rebels raised the Genoese flag, which was immediately torn down personally by then President of Argentina Julio Roca.
Remember I mentioned this President during our walk around BA.
The street in which his statue is located is a favourite for demonstrations.
President of Argentina Julio Argentino Roca Paz, as he was in 1914.
As we entered the area everyone seem to want to stand on balconies and wave to those below – it must be catching.
There are many bars & restaurants in and around the area. This one is famous for a couple of footballers. Not having an interest in football I am unable to supply the names of either player who’s images are painted on the walls of the entrance. I am sure someone will tell me their names.
Plenty of tourists around.
Everywhere was brightly painted – shops, bars, cafes etc.
Even side alleyways competed to catch your eye with colour.
The ‘Tango’ appears to be the only dance, but it is done very skillfully.
Multi – ‘colourism’ was every where.
Come up and see me sometime . . .balconies and more balconies.
We stopped for lunch at a street cafe (La Barrica) and this gentleman came out of the cafe and started to sing. He was quite good.
After a couple of songs, a couple came out and started to dance the tango.
They were popular, and it was interesting to watch their feet, obviously they knew each other’s dance movements very well. . . . . as you see dancing the Tango close to diners is common, the dancers don’t require much space.
Maureen and I had a half hearted attempt at the tango in our bedroom, thanks to the dance steps being embroidered on the carpet . . .
Our bedroom dance floor from a different angle.
We are not quite up this standard yet!
The street where the above couple danced is in the main shopping area.
As we left the La Boca area we passed a street monument for José Francisco de San Martín y Matorras who was a Spanish army officer, and later an Argentinian general.
He’d enrolled in the army as a cadet at the grand old age of eleven. Four years later after campaigning in North Africa on behalf of Spain, he was promoted to Sub-Lieutenant. He moved in to the Spanish navy and was captured by the British during the Second Coalition, when Spain was allied to France against the British. Later he transferred back in to the army when Spain was allied to the British, and in 1804 was promoted to Captain.
He fought against the French and was part of the army that recaptured Madrid from the French. For his part in the action he was awarded a gold medal and promoted to Lieutenant colonel.
The French controlled most of the Iberian Peninsular, and San Martin fought as an officer under the British General, William Beresford, who was one of Wellington’s generals campaigning to clear the French out of Spain.
San Martin sailed for Argentina in 1812, and so began a new life of freeing Argentina from Spain. There is much more to this man’s life for those who may be interested.
If there was ever a life of an adventurer, just begging to be turned in to a novel José Francisco de San Martín y Matorras life has it all.
José Francisco de San Martín y Matorras portrait painted in 1828.
After we left La Boca we visited the Recoleta Cemetery, which was in my recent blog, and after leaving the cemetery we came across a touch of London.
I tried to find out why or how these two boxes arrived in Buenos Aires, but I failed. I had a thought that perhaps they had been ‘captured’ during the short occupation of the Falkland Islands in 1982. Just a thought.
Near the London phone boxes is El “Gran Gomero,” –
a rubber tree – said the be well over 200 years old.
Supports and a statue holding up the giant branches. I told Maureen that he’d drop it if she kept tickling him.
Thought I’d give the guy a hand . . . the tree was huge.
and finally it takes Two to Tango