“Pic of the Week”, December 18, 2015: The Fitz Roy Massif, El Chalten

03 El Chalten 2014 (224)

For many years I’d wanted to see one of the most famous peaks in the world with my own eyes, namely the Fitz Roy Massif (aka Mount Fitz Roy or Cerro Fitz Roy).  In fact, seeing the mountains of Patagonia was my greatest motivation for visiting the southern reaches of South America.

This mountain is very near that small Argentinian town of El Chaltén, which abuts the Southern Patagonian Ice Field.  The Massif is situated around the poorly defined (and often disputed) border between Argentina and Chile, although the Argentinians claim it as theirs.  The mountain was named in honor of the famous captain by Argentine explorer, Francisco Moreno, in 1877.  Captain Fitz Roy and his ship, the HMS Beagle, traveled extensively around and …

Read More

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, December 18, 2015: The Fitz Roy Massif, El Chalten
.All Trips / Argentina / South America

Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires Recoleta Cemetery 066

Who would have guessed the most expensive real estate in Buenos Aires is found in a cemetery?  Not only is it expensive, there’s a line waiting to get in (seriously)!  You actually lease a plot here, as I understand it, and don’t permanently own it.  In the future your heirs can cancel the deal or let the lease expire, though it’s so prestigious to have a plot here few do.  Regardless, this piece of pricy land has become an interesting and popular tourist attraction.

Recoleta Cemetery is the final resting place of some of the richest and most important people in Argentina’s history, including politicians, Nobel prize winners, scientists and businessmen.  Obviously only wealthy people can afford the real estate (about …

Read More

Tagged , , ,

“Pic of the Week”, June 5, 2015: El Ateneo, Buenos Aires

El Alteneo 006

I love book and collect them (thousands of them — where to put them all?).  I make a point of visiting libraries and bookstores during my travels although sometimes these visits happen by accident.  So it was when I discovered El Ateneo Grand Splendid bookstore one evening in the Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires, as my wife and I were walking back to our hotel after dinner in a parrillo (Argentine steakhouse).

Buenos Aires is known as the “Paris of South America”.  Many elegant buildings were constructed a century ago when the country was one of the wealthiest in the world, before a string of progressively worse governments destroyed Argentina’s economy.  The result is a city that has a European …

Read More

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, June 5, 2015: El Ateneo, Buenos Aires
.All Trips / Argentina / South America

Nowhere is a Place: Visiting Patagonia, 3) Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

Argentina, Perito Merino Glacier 128

Our adventure in Patagonia is just beginning!  We’re going to start visiting and exploring those places people travel thousands of miles to see.  El Calafate may be a pretty little town but no one comes to Patagonia just to see it.  They come here to experience the magnificent landscapes of the Andes, the extensive Patagonian ice-fields, and the vast barren steppe.  The main Patagonian attraction close to El Calafate is the Perito Merino Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Glaciares National Park entrance is about an hour’s drive west of El Calafate .   You’ll drive mostly near the shore of Lago Argentino, the majestic Andes coming ever nearer.  We saw …

Read More

Tagged , , , , ,
.All Trips / Argentina / South America

Nowhere is a Place: Visiting Patagonia, 2) Laguna Nimez Nature Reserve, El Calafate, Argentina

031 El Calafate Laguna Nimez Nature Preserve 2-2014 001 Hawk

My first Patagonian post was an introduction to the travel hub of El Calafate. Today’s post focuses on the town’s best attraction.  Situated about a mile from downtown El Calafate, very close to the hotel we were staying at, Laguna Nimez Nature Reserve is a beautiful place worth exploring.  It’s especially a prime stop for bird-lovers, but also offers a nice easy hike in a natural setting.  The Reserve is situated at the edge of a great glacial lake, Lago Argentino, and adjoins a suburban neighborhood.  It contains two lagoons, Laguna Nimez and Laguna Secundaria.

The Reserve is fenced off and you enter through a small visitor center where a modest admission fee is charged.  Signage outside the …

Read More

Tagged , , , , , ,

“Pic of the Week”, February 6, 2015: Well dressed trees

La Baco 2014 077

We’ve previously visited the colorful barrio of La Boca in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  La Boca, a tough blue collar neighborhood, is known for its flamboyantly colorful homes.  As I was going through my photos of this visit recently, I was reminded that not only are the homes brilliantly decorated, but so is the vegetation!  These colorful knit coverings were on the trees — even the fire hydrants!  It only adds to the many shades of La Boca.

Note sure I’ve ever been anyplace else that decorated trees with anything other than Christmas lights and related holiday decorations.  Have you?

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, February 6, 2015: Well dressed trees
.All Trips / Argentina / South America

Nowhere is a Place: Visiting Patagonia, 1) El Calafate, Argentina

074 Sunset in El Calafante

While they look extraterrestrial, those aren’t flying saucers or wormholes in the sky; rather, they’re some of the most unusual cloud formations I’ve ever seen.  The above image (and more in the photos below) was captured at dusk my first night in Patagonia and it affirmed my desire to visit this corner of the world.  It had taken 20 years, but I finally made it!  The breath-taking and sometimes surreal and barren landscapes of Patagonia are unlike any other!

Many people don’t know where ‘Patagonia’ is, or consider it just the name of a famous outdoor clothing brand.  My first in depth exposure to Patagonia (the southern portion of South America) came from reading the book, “Nowhere is a Place“, written …

Read More

Tagged , , ,

“Pic of the Week”, December 5, 2014: Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires Recoleta Cemetery and Iglesia Nuestra Senora del Pilar tower 071

Who would have thought the most desirable, the most expensive and exclusive real estate in Buenos Aires would be in this cemetery?  Recoleta cemetery is the resting place of many local celebrities and dignitaries, from politicians to business people to Nobel Prize winners, but by far it’s most famous grave here is that of Evita (Eva Peron).

Situated in the exclusive Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Recoleta cemetery is adjacent to Our Lady of Pilar church (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar), built in 1732, whose tower you can see in the background of these photos.  The cemetery covers 14 acres and has just under 4700 permanent residents — not counting all the feral cats.  It’s mausoleums, statuary and …

Read More

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, December 5, 2014: Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires