It was so cool to learn the streets were so well planned in Buenos Aires. All the streets start from an avenue called Avenida Rivadaria. From this place each block is 100m long and all streets have a logical naming norm and everything is regularly spaced. I find it interesting when a city is planned in a way that makes it easy to extend it and easy for people to navigate it. It’s hard not to compare with cities such as my very own – Nairobi – where planning is taking place after the fact leading to a lot of demolition and reorganization. When I complain about this to other Africans though, I am told that Nairobi is a success story. There are many other cities where you can have a house next to a bar next to a church next to an office (Addis is one example…I remember being so confused when I was there trying to understand where the residential and commercial areas were – everything was all together….)
We got to see lots of interesting buildings and monuments in Buenos Aires. “The thinker” an iconic sculpture by French Sculptor Auguste Rodin can be found in the city center of Buenos Aires. There are only 28 of them worldwide with most being in museums, but right in the city center, one can be found.
Another interesting building called “Palacio Barolo” is famously known as “Dante’s House” as it was constructed in accordance with the cosmology of Dante’s Divine comedy. Constructed in 1890 by an Immigrant Italian architect, the building has 22 floors, divided into three "sections". The basement and ground floor represent hell, floors 1-14 are the purgatory, and 15-22 represent heaven. The building is 100 meters tall, one meter for each section of the Divine Comedy. The lighthouse at the top of the building can be seen all the way in Montevideo, Uruguay. When completed in 1923 it was the tallest building, not only in the city, but also in the whole of South America. It remained the city's tallest building until 1935 when, on completion, the Kavanagh Building in Buenos Aires acquired this distinction.
The world’s largest avenue used to be in Buenos Aires, but just recently has been replaced by a wider one in Manaos Brazil. Other sites we saw included Café Tortorni – Buenos Aires’ oldest and most famous coffee shop built in 1858.
There is a huge obelisk in Buenos Aires. It is most notable for a safe-sex campaign in the late 1900s that saw the obelisk covered in a giant condom. We also saw quite a few places dedicated to Diego Maradona – who is likely the most loved Argentinian in Argentina after Evita. While world famous for his “hand of God” unpenalized foul that saw Argentina win the 1986 World Cup, in Argentina he is known as a demi-god. You can get into real trouble for saying that Argentina won that game unfairly.