Ah yes, the beautiful game. The crowds, the players, the cry of 'goooooal'.
You won't be surprised that our list of things to do in South America included seeing a live game. Our first attempt was the famous Boca Juniors of Buenos Aires, however we found that tickets here are grossly marked up for non-members. Our second attempt was to see the Corinthians play in São Paulo. This time it worked out.
The Corinthians are the reigning World and South American club champions, having won the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup and the 2012 Copa (thanks Wikipedia). So we were quite lucky to see 'em play a home game. We made a video to try and capture the experience.
The Corinthians stadium also hosts the Football Museum of São Paulo. This is an awesome multimedia extravaganza. Our favourite part was the radio section, which played a series of clips from famous announcers throughout the decades. Why did we like it? Because an astute ear will notice the evolution of 'gooooooal' over time 🙂 Good fun, highly recommended!
A group of deadly strikers.
Brazil will be hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2014, which kicks off in São Paulo on 12 June. We saw that work was underway on both upgrading existing stadiums and construction of new stadiums. Some are pessimistic that Brazil will be organised in time, but that's always the case with these events. Fixtures are already up, if you love soccer this will be huge!
The flag of the Vatican is flying high in Argentina this week, after the announcement that an Argentinian priest would become the new Pope, Francisco the 1st.
One person described the honour as being as exciting as if Argentina had won the soccer World Cup, and suddenly everyone in the country is a proud Catholic. Despite not being religious, it was quite special to be in Buenos Aires for something that is an historical moment for Argentinians.
A huge party was held on Plaza de Mayo, in front of Francisco's former Cathedral, where people sang, played music, and danced until 5am to watch his inauguration at the Vatican.
Thousands of people showed up in high spirits, and we were surprised how quickly the Pope's paraphernalia had been printed on posters, mugs, t-shirts and flags. The hawkers were out in full force, but there was a good vibe across the city, and it was nice to have been a part of it.
So the people at WordPress are promoting a blog photo challenge for the month of March. We thought we would jump in as this week's theme is 'lunchtime'. We had two Argentinian barbecue lunches over the weekend so the timing is perfect!
Lunchtime! An asado at an Argentine restaurant in La Boca, Buenos Aires.
The above is a huge asado, or barbecue, that we stumbled across in La Boca on Sunday. Asados are basically large BBQ meals slow cooked on a grill over coal. You will typically find chorizos (Spanish sausage), morcillas (a blood sausage), pork chops, kidneys, livers, lamb and beef all spread out on the same grill. On this day I went for one chorizo and a morcilla. They were served with bread (breadbaskets are typically free with the meal) and two traditional condiments: a basic onion salsa and chimichurri.
And what is chimichurri? Only the best barbecue sauce I've ever tasted! It is made from parsley, oregano, garlic, oil, vinegar and chilli. It is so damn good I am going out to buy a bottle from the supermarket right now…
PS I will write more posts on the asados soon.
La Boca is a working class suburb in Buenos Aires, which is best known for its soccer team, the Boca Juniors. Tourists flock to see the brightly coloured buildings of Caminito, and the Sunday markets are a lovely way to explore the vibrant streets, cafés and bars. We had lunch in a colourful café while listening to flamenco guitar and watching people literally dancing in the streets. It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon!
So colourful! Apparently the workers from La Boca painted their houses with paint left over from painting the ships in the port, which is why there is such an eclectic mix of colours today.
Colours of La Boca
Tango! Such a passionate dance, which Argentina is famous for. Apparently not many locals actually dance though, which seems like a shame when it is such a part of their heritage. It is put on for the tourists all over Buenos Aires, but nevertheless, it is beautiful to watch.
It may seem a little morbid that the Recoleta Cemetery is one of the top tourist destinations in Buenos Aires, but it was actually really interesting and quite beautiful. We spent a couple of hours wandering around the crypts, which ranged from elaborate statues adorning marble apartments, to what looked like run down cupboards with dusty, broken coffins on the ground. The cemetery is also home to the Duarte family crypt, where Evita Peron lies.
The cemetery provides an abundance of photographic opportunities, but here are just a few of my favourites.
Saskia and I finally arrived in Buenos Aires. We have moved here to study Español for two weeks. We are living in a nice apartment in central BA (in the Microcenter), about 30 minutes walk to school.
We still find it a bit surreal to think that we are studying Spanish in Buenos Aires. It's exciting but the classes are challenging. All the teaching is in Spanish so very much jumping in the deep end. In fact, esta más difícil que cagar en un frasquito.
Still, it is nice to be here with our own place. It is only been two days of study so far but we have a routine: revision over breakfast, class from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and then an afternoon activity with the school. The activities are good fun and mix sight seeing with learning.
The school we are studying with is called ELEBaires. It is situated within a magnificent 14 story stone and marble building. The architect that designed it was quite taken with Dante's Inferno and has designed the building based on the poem. Apparently there is a room for every verse and the tower on top represents Dante's description of the levels of hell. The entrance hall has bronze gargoyles and serpents across the ceiling. In short, this building is f***ing badass!
Palacio Barolo, home of our school.
Looking down on the entrance hall.
We love the elevators.
Will provide more stories on the weekend.