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There are no direct flights from Venezuela to Argentina so we flew from Caracas to Bogata, Columbia to Lima, Peru and finally to Buenos Aires.  We left the Caracas airport late, about 8:00 p.m., and arrived in Buenos Aires about 9:00 a.m.  Having left the marina at 7:30 a.m. the previous morning, we were exhausted after more than 26 hours of travel to Hotel Rochester in the center of town.  To orient us to the area, we all stumbled on to a bus at 2:00 p.m. for a tour of the city.

Pictured in the hotel lobby are the following from left to right:  Tut and Eddie of Tothill; Frank and Paulette of Amphitrite; Pam and Bill of Pamela Jean; Bob Welch and Joan Hamner of Viking Rose; Bob and Maureen, brother and sister-in-law of Jim on Three Keys; Jenny Gaither and Jim Hall of Three Keys; Charleen Poffenberger and Will Albertolli of Top Cat; and Diane and Joe Asaro of Sirocco.   Don and Janice Pole of Pole Cat were not present for the picture.

Photo by Amphitrite.

BUENOS AIRES

Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina, covering 200 square kilometers.  It is subdivided into 46 neighborhoods with a population of 3.5 million in the city proper and a total of eight million people in both city and surrounding suburbs.  Its inhabitants are called porteņos, which comes from the word "port" because settlement of Buenos Aires began along the southern waterfront.  The city was first settled in 1536 but those Spaniards were killed by the natives.  The next Spanish effort to colonize in 1580 was successful.

In 1853, the Republic of Argentina was created with the drafting of their Constitution similar to the U.S. Constitution.  The Argentine Constitution abolished slavery and brought political order to the country.  Since 1853, there have been revolutions, coups d'etat, and restorations of democracy.  The military remained strong through the years and a military dictatorship took over from 1976 to 1983.  In the 1982 Falkland Islands War, the British repelled the Argentine invasion and after that,  the military collapsed.  In 1983, democracy returned.  Despite the current economic and political unrest, the military greatly reduced in size has been no threat to democracy.   The name of the country derives from the Latin word
argentos meaning silver and became Argentina.   

In the early years, immigrants flooded the city, mostly Spanish and Italian but also many other nationalities.  Although most Argentines are Catholic, the constitutional right to freedom of religion attracted many non-Catholics.  There is even a Russian orthodox church with blue spires in the city, patterned after a famous church in Moscow. 

Buenos Aires has an excellent public transportation system with railways, trams, and the first subway in South America so it's very easy to get around.  At no time did we need to take a taxi. 

Above, train to the suburbs. 

Some of the group with young locals who wanted their picture taken in front of the subway station San Juan 

The architecture of the city is varied, some buildings reminiscent of Paris with Mansard roofs and wrought iron balconies while older buildings are smaller, some reflecting a maritime heritage.  New buildings may be incorporated into old ones. 

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