As the plane came into Ezeiza International Airport one couldn't help but become aware of what a huge city Buenos Aires is. There is the city itself and then the suburbs and together they are called Greater Buenos Aires and half the population of Argentina live here.
The other thing that you notice once you have landed and are on your way to your hotel is the sheer amount of traffic around and feel relief when you remember that you won't have to drive the motorhome through it. The traffic is fast and furious and unlike Estonia where you can happily walk into the traffic knowing it will stop here in BA you have to find some traffic lights and hope the traffic stops on red so you can safely cross and even then you walk pretty briskly.
On our first full day in Argentina we were taken on an escorted tour of the city with an excellent guide called Mattias who comes from Quelfes which is also the home to Argentine's favourite beer.
Our sight seeing included visiting the Cementario De La Recoleta which is where Eva Peron is buried. This cemetery is where the very rich and famous are buried in extravagant mausoleums which cost as much as an apartment in the more exclusive parts of BA. Eva Peron died of uterine cancer in 1952 at the age of 33 and the generals (with whom she was not popular) arranged for her to be buried in Italy under an assumed name and she was not brought to the Cementario De La Recoleta until 1974.
If you know the words of the musical Evita then the Casa Rosada is a name familiar to you, this is where the president of the country works and it is located at one end of the Plaza de Mayo. Evita would give speeches to the 'shirtless ones' from here. The President still works there and Mattias explained that she lives 20kms out of town and comes to work by helicopter which lands in the Plaza and then she takes a car for the 100 yards or so to the Casa Rosada.
Our trip also took us to the La Boca district, home to Boca Juniors football team and El Caminito which is a short street with very colourful houses made of corrugated iron and painted in vivid colours. A great tourist attraction now with tango dancers, street theatre, restaurants and gift shops. The district is called La Boca (the mouth in English) as it is at the mouth of the great River Plate. Boca Juniors is probably one of the more famous Argentinian football teams and its colours are blue and yellow. When the team was first constituted there was some disagreement as to team colours and so it was decided that the colours would be those of the flag of the next ship to come into the docks. It so happened that the next ship was from Sweden, hence the blue and yellow.
As we headed into Puerto Madero for our lunch we passed a number of shanty towns, called favelas in Brazil but they are villas miserias here (villas being pronounced bishas here as the Spanish double LL is pronounced 'sh' here and 'v' is always 'b').
Lunch was at La Bisteca, a rather upmarket spot in the regenerated Docklands area. A huge buffet of food was available and I think our whole party ate heartily, which could have been a mistake as we are all scheduled to go out again later on tonight for another dinner.