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buenos aires: identity & branding

Buenos Aires, emblemas

Recently the city government completed a major project that involved a massive amount of coordination: adopting an official coat-of-arms for each of the 48 barrios in Buenos Aires. Originating from a 1989 decree, a local committee was responsible for the selection of each design based on the following criteria: neighborhood history, ethnic groups, urban planning & prominent activities.

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tucumán: cementerio del oeste

Argentina, Tucumán, San Miguel de Tucumán, Cementerio del Oeste

Whenever I visit somewhere for the first time in Argentina, I automatically think about its most famous residents. There may be family plot in the local cemetery or more information to add to my Recoleta Cemetery blog. No, I’m not morbid… however cemeteries are great equalizers, filled with history & wonderful architecture. Seeing how people are remembered also helps understand what they represent today. So I began digging into the history of San Miguel de Tucumán.

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tucumán: city center

Argentina, Tucumán, San Miguel de Tucumán, street scene, Art Deco

The ride from Cafayate to Tucumán was a lot longer than we’d estimated, & the scenery wasn’t very interesting until we got closer to Tafí del Valle. So I read. As we rode into San Miguel de Tucumán along Avenida Presidente Néstor Kirchner, Darío & I gave each other a suspicious look… it seemed like an urban planner’s nightmare. Our first impression didn’t improve much after navigating through a sea of people at the bus terminal. Absolute chaos. I guess the cute & quaint part of our vacation was over.

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argentina: cafayate

Argentina, Salta, Cafayate, Bodegas El Porvenir de los Andes, vineyard, viñedo

After three days of early rises & a couple of extensive excursions from Salta, I was really looking forward to some real vacation time in Cafayate. But we still had to get up at 05:30 to catch the bus, mainly due to the long ride… the winding route through the Valles Calchaquíes made it a six-hour trip although it appears much closer on the map. And unfortunately we didn’t have very good seats, so no photos of the spectacular rock formations —different from those we’d seen previously— but that just means I’ll have to go back. It would be a great trip to do by car. At least I got to begin the book I’d brought with me three days ago & hadn’t had time to open since leaving Buenos Aires.

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argentina: salta excursion

Argentina, Salta, landscape, paisaje

After having a great time on the Jujuy excursion, I was excited to see more of Salta. The famous Tren de las Nubes only runs twice per week, & we hit none of those days. Bummer. But there’s a trip to San Antonio de los Cobres which follows a large section of the same route. The price is better (1/3 of what the train costs) & we would have better views of the infrastructure. Sounded wonderful.

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península valdés: whales & beautiful scenery

Argentina, Península Valdés, Puerto Pirámide

Puerto Madryn is gateway to all the wonderful wildlife which can be seen in Península Valdés. We asked around different agencies & they all charged the same price for excursions: $220 pesos for whale-watching & ditto for a ride around the peninsula. Add in park fees & the total was $460 pesos, or a little over U$S 100 for the day’s activities. But it’s a captive market, & who doesn’t like watching whales??

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