Archive for September 27th, 2006

Carlos Gardel

Carlos Gardel

picture of Carlos Gardel

Carlos Gardel was the Buenos Aires tango king at one time. Although his birth place is a mystery , Carlos Gardel is generally thought to have been born as Charles Romuald Gardés in Toulouse, France to unknown father and Berthe Gardés. Whenhe was 2, he came to Argentina and his name was Hispanicized. When asked about his nationality he would answer I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the age of 2 years and a half.

Gardel began his career singing in bars and parties and in 1913 formed a duet with José Razzano (which would last until 1925), singing a wide variety of folk songs. Gardel made the music his own by inventing the tango-canción in 1917 with “Mi Noche Triste”, which sold a 100,000 copies and was a hit throughout Latin America. Gardel went on to tour Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Colombia and made appearances in Barcelona, Paris and New York. He sold 70,000 records in the first three months of a 1928 visit to Paris. As his popularity grew, he made a number of films, which were essentially vehicles for his singing and his matinee-idol looks.

Gardel possessed a dark baritone voice which he used with excellent musicality and dramatic phrasing, creating miniature masterpieces among the hundreds of three-minute tangos which he recorded during his lifetime. Together with his long-term collaborator, lyricist Alfredo Le Pera, Gardel also wrote several classic tangos, notably “Mi Buenos Aires Querido”, “Volver”, “Por una cabeza”.

When Gardel and his collaborator Le Pera were killed in an airplane crash in Medellín, Colombia in 1935, millions of his fans throughout Latin America went into mourning. Hordes of people went to pay their respects as the singer’s body travelled via Colombia, New York and Rio de Janeiro to its final resting place in La Chacarita cemetery in Buenos Aires.

Gardel is still revered in Buenos Aires, where people like to say of him “he sings better every day.” His fans still like to place a lit cigarette in the fingers of the life-sized statue which adorns his tomb. One of Gardel’s favorite phrases, Veinte años no es nada (Twenty years is nothing) became a famous saying across Latin America.

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El Tigre Argentina

El Tigre Argentina Tourist Information

El Tigre

The best day trip outside of Buenos Aires is to go to El Tigre. There you can shop, eat, take a boat ride and relax. The weekends offer lots of activity and everything is open. The weekdays offer peace and quiet and a boat ride.

On the northern outskirts of Buenos Aires is a place called “El Tigre”. This is where the Parana and Uruguay Rivers flow into the Rio de la Plata, one of the world’s largest estuaries. These rivers drain portions of Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, and Uruguay, and the silt and sediment that have brought to the delta with them now make up the hundreds of islands, which are now inhabited. There are no roads on the islands and residents must go to and from their homes by boat. There are supermarket boats, ice cream boats, and even pizza delivery by boat. It is a really interesting place to see, and it is easily reached from central Buenos Aires.

To get there, I recommend that you go to Retiro in Buenos Aires. (the large train station near Plaza Martin). It’s the first terminal, the Mitre Station. Buy a ticket from the ticket vending machines. Push “Tigre” and the deposit 95 centavos. This is a beautiful train station built by the British in 1900. There are several tracks so make sure you board the right train that says El Tigre on the digital sign.

This is a communter train and can be loud as well as crowded. It is known as the bad train but it is cheap and quick. You will arrive in El Tigre in about 45 minutes and get some great views along the way.

El Tigre Boats When the TBA commuter train arrives at El Tigre, get off and take a left to the small bridge. Then take a right and walk along the river there and pick out a boat ride from the various vendors. You may also want to get a map from the tourist informaiton booth near McDonalds.

El Tigre Boat There are many El Tigre boat rides to choose from. You can take a large one to Colonial Uruaguay over night. Or just for the day. You can take a 4 hour boat ride to one of the islands and have a meal. Or you can take a 90 minute boat ride of the area for 14 pesos. They leave every 30 minutes.

On the boat ride you will see the communites in this area that often have no roads but do everything by boat. You will also get a chance to see the things to do in El Tigre around the area.

When you get back from the boat trip, step off and take a left. As you walk, on your right you will see beautiful old mansions dateing back 200 years. You will also find some decent places to eat. El Tigre

You will walk past many boats, then see an amusement park that is only open on the weekends. It is large and has a nice ferris wheel that can offer spectacular views of the area.

At the El Tigre Amusement Park, you will also find a Casino that is open everyday. Just past the Casino is the Tren De LA Coasta. An excellent train and your ride back to the city.

If you walk past the Train, you will find yourself in the neighborhoods of El Tigre. Simple Spanish homes and a typical small Argentina town. Keep walking and you will cross the train tracks, then pass a another huge Casino. Then if you take a left down a small road you will find the Puerto De Frutos. On the weekends, this place hosts one of the most amazing shopping centers around Buenos Aires. Everything is cheap, high quailty, and great. You can spend hours here. On the weekdays, it hosts a few shops of fresh fruits and wood used to make the funiture you will find for sale all over Tigre.

Tren De La Costa Then when you are done at the Puerto De Frutos (Estaci), head back the way you came and buy a ticket on the Tren De La Costa. This is perhaps one of the nicest trains in all of South America. It is small and quiet. The all day pass is 6 pesos and you can get off and back on at any stop.

The best place to get off is at San Isidro. This is the best suburb of Buenos Aires Argentina and is a great place to shop. At San Isidro you will first see a large outdoor shopping mall that is open everyday. Past that is a small hill, walk up that to find downtown San Isidro. An amazing church is present to the left. Walk past that against traffic and then take a right at Belgrano. Then you will be in the shopping center of San Isidro and there are plenty of worthy things to buy and see. San Isidro Buenos Aires You also might want to get a coffe in San Isidro. They have fantastic restaurants and coffee shops.

Back on the Tren De La Coasta, which comes every 20 minutes, you can head back toward the city. At the final stop, Maipo, you will get out and walk down a long hallway to catch another train. Along this hallway there is some shopping booths during the weekends that can be very interesting.

You will reach another train. Buy your ticket to Retiro for less than 90centavos and wait for the train. This train is not the worst train, but not the best either. It is a long ride with many stops. But eventually you will end up back where you started. In Retiro in Buenos Aires.

Evita Peron

The History of Eva Peron (Evita Peron)

Eva Peron picture

Eva Peron was born Eva Duarte in the province of Buenos Aires in a ranch town called Los Toldos. Her mother was an unwed cook at the ranch of Juan Duarte. She was one of 5 illegitimate children. When Eva turned 15, she left home and came to Buenos Aires to seek fame and fortune and spent several years having a difficult time until she found work as an actress in radio and then later in film. Eventually she met her husband, Jaun Peron at Luna Park. After they were married, all her films were banned in Argentina because it was frowned upon for politicians to marry entertainers. Eva Peron supported her husband and helped him to finally become president. Due to political pressures and her health she could not accept.

Eva had humble beginnings and often used this to rally support behind her husband. She was hated by the blue bloods and middle class of society for not having a proper education and being so powerful in government. But everyone else loved her intensely. At one point she was clearly the second most powerful person in Argentina next to her husband and easily the most powerful women in South America. She used her power to make health care available to all classes in Argentina and she created a political women’s party. She also helped in giving the women the right to vote in 1952.

Eva died of cervical cancer although some think it was leukemia. She died at age 33 but the public was told she was 30 because she altered her birth certificate before entering public life and changed her illegitimate statue and also knocked a few years off her age. A few moments after her death was announced, the entire country of Argentina stopped working and began to mourn. She died at the height of her popularity. She was given the title, “spiritual leader of the country”.

Eva Peron´s funeral At Evita’s funeral, over 1 million people paid their respects. 17 people were actually crushed to death and many others were injured. There were plans to construct a monument larger than the stature of liberty with Eva Peron buried with an open coffin, but before that could happen, Peron was overthrown in a surprise coup and was forced to leave the country very quickly. Thus leaving behind Evita´s body.

The military dictatorship that took over made wax copies of the corpse to hide her exact location although strangely, there were always fresh flowers at the secret place here body was kept.

Eva Duarte and the Duarte family tomb One time, the man guarding Evita’s body accidentally shot and hilled his wife when he thought she was a kidnapper. Or body snatcher. And once the chauffeur driving the body died suddenly of a heart attack. Eventually, the government flew the body to Milan and buried it under a different name. There Evita rested in peace for 20 years until the old dictatorship reveled the hiding place and Jaun Peron had it flown to his home in Spain. During this period, Evita’s body was kidnapped again and finally recovered in an exchange deal for another kidnapped body. Finally, Evita was given to here sisters and they put her in their family vault here in 1974. She is buried under 5 meters of steel.

Buenos Aires Culture

Buenos Aires Culture

Buenos Aires Cultures

10 Things To Know Before Visiting Buenos Aires Argentina.

Argentina Wine

Argentina Wine


History of Argentina Wine

Argentina wine arrived from Spain in 1557. It took some time to find the appropriate locations for the cultivation of wine however it was indeed discovered that parts of South America were excellent for wine growing. But during those early days, due to navigation troubles, and sparsely populated regions, wine became scarce. It was only later when religious services and missions demanded wine, and the need for wine for the sick, that serious wine production began in Argentina.

The cuttings cut from vines in Spain during the winter budded during the long voyages, having passed through the more southerly and hence warmer latitudes. Arriving at their destination they were planted in an inappropriate season. Later, material in pots was tried hoping to solve these problems, but again problems of transportation occurred. It is also known that seeds from grapes were used in the formation of those first vineyards. The problem here was the varietal characteristics of the original grapes were not the same. However these plantings would be the origin of numerous native varieties that populated the colonial vineyard and are still used today.

Many varietals in Argentina reflect its Italian and Spanish immigrant population. Italians brought Sangiovese, Barbera, Dolcetto, and Bonarda. The Spanish brought Tempranillo, (Spain’s answer to Cabernet Sauvignon), and Torrontés, a white wine grape from Galicia. Torrontés can be a delightful wine with crisp acidity and a lovely Muscat-like aroma. Other Bordeaux varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, and almost all reds, achieve the same deep color and soft tannins found in Malbec. This is largely due to the increased ultraviolet light from high altitude plantings (as high as 5400 feet in some areas.

Mendoza wine Although there are several regions of Argentina that grow wine, Mendoza is the largest producing 60% of all wine in Argentina. This region is snug against the Andes Mountains and is sunny most of the year. The soil is excellent due to snowmelt drainage from the mountain range. In 1598, the first wines from Mendoza appeared in Buenos Aires. Two preponderant factors influenced the huge growth of viticulture: on the one hand, the large proportion of European immigrants in Mendoza originating from South European countries where viticulture was a large industry. On the other hand the arrival of the train in 1885.

Why Is Argentine Wine So Good?

Argentine winemakers have traditionally been more interested in quality rather than quantity. Due to the high altitude and low humidity of the main wine producing regions, Argentine vineyards rarely face the problems of insects, fungi, moulds and other disease that affect grapes in other countries. This permits cultivating with little or no pesticides, allowing some organic wines to be easily produced.

There are many different varieties of grapes cultivated in Argentina. The most popular is the Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon among the reds. The Torrontés and Chardonnay among the whites.

The Malbec

Argentina wine The most distinctive grapes are the Malbec, introduced in the 19th century and currently Argentina is the world’s number 1 producer of it. . Malbec is a minor blending grape in Bordeaux and California, but in Argentina, it is a primary varietal. Malbec in Argentina produces a dark, juicy, spicy, and meaty wine, a great match for Argentina’s wonderful grass-fed beef. Malbec is said to provide a more compelling personality than the top wines from Chile.

Argentine Wine Industry

Argentina is the fifth largest wine producer in the world and the largest wine producer in South America. However it is the 13th largest exported of wine in the world. Argentineans drink less wine than they used to, so there is plenty to export. Total production in 2000 amounted to 440 million gallons, but less than five percent of that was exported. But after the devaluation of the Argentina peso, there is more money to be made and foreign investors have helped to increase quality and production such as Moet and Chandon, the French based company.

Of course, “you can’t dismiss Chardonnay. It’s the driving force for American wine consumption,” says George Rose of Allied Domecq, the international beverage conglomerate that owns Balbi. “Chardonnay is incredible in Argentina. We sell twice as much Chardonnay as Malbec,” Catena says. “Altitude is the key. At different altitudes you get different characters. For example, more acidity from higher altitude, more tropical flavors from lower altitudes. When you blend them together you get a more interesting wine with a lot of layers of flavor.”

Nonetheless, Johnson thinks Sauvignon Blanc has a better future than Chardonnay because “it loves the heat.” Generally, Sauvignon Blanc in Argentina gets no oak treatment. In fact, says Johnson, “Argentineans are just getting comfortable with Chardonnay in oak.” José Alberto Zuccardi, proprietor of Santa Julia, likes Pinot Grigio and Viognier, particularly Viognier, which he says “shows a great adaptation capability to the climate and soil of the region (Mendoza).”

Argentina has the ability to produce good wine at very inexpensive prices. And it has also stunned the wine industry with it’s excellent wines, making it one of the most diverse and constant players in the wine world. With prices depressed, quality rising, and all things Latin becoming more and more popular on a global scale, this is the best time ever to discover Argentinean wines.

Argentina Wine Reviews and Recommendations

Because there are over 3,000 different labels of Argentina wine to choose from, it is difficult to pinpoint the best. Here we have narrowed the search to a few factors. Price and grape variental.

Argentina Malbec From Mendoza


Argentina wine

Producer: Finca La Linda

Wine: Malbec

Vintage: 2003

Appellation: Mendoza

Country: Argentina

Wine Type: Red

Varietal: Malbec

Grade: A-

Designation: Cheap and Good

Price: 20 pesos in Buenos Aires

This 2003 Malbec is a great deal. It’s a medium-bodied red with ripe fruit and good balance. Its central theme is plum and dark berry fruit, both in aromas and flavors. There are also soft floral flavors, some pepper, and then a creamy toffee and butterscotch finish that is silky and smooth. A good food wine or romantic wine. The Cabernet and Tempranillo are also excellent.


Argentina wine Producer: Altas Cumbres

Wine: Malbec

Vintage: 2003

Appellation: Mendoza

Country: Argentina

Wine Type: Red

Varietal: Malbec

Grade: A-

Designation: Cheap and Good

Price: 20 pesos in Buenos Aires

This 2003 was surprising excellent. From the first sniff, I got a sense of place, and a large body. It’s a large-bodied red with a dark berry fruit aroma. It was incredible from beginning to end and I was atonsihed at just how much I enjoyed the body. It is a sweet wine, but not too sweet and works as a desert, a romantic event, or just for pure pleasure of the grape.


Argentina Malbec Producer: Bodega Catena Zapata

Wine: Alamos Malbec

Vintage: 2003

Appellation: Mendoza

Country: Argentina

Wine Type: Red

Varietal: Malbec

Grade: B+

Designation: Cheap and Good

Price: $10

This Malbec displays ripe blackberry and cassis on the palate with notes of chocolate and espresso.


Argentine Wine Producer: Bodegas Lopez

Wine: Lopez Malbec

Vintage: 2004

Appellation: Mendoza

Country: Argentina

Wine Type: Red

Varietal: Malbec

Grade: B+

Designation: Cheap and Good

Price: (if in Argentina, 10pesos)

This is a excellent table wine from the Lopez vineyards who have been around since 1898. In Buenos Aires, this is a standard table wine to accompany most meat dishes in restaurants.

Contact Izic Wick at

tangohistorytours@gmail.com

for more information about Argentina Wine 

Buenos Aires Pictures

Buenos Aires Pictures

Casa Rosada

Buenos Aires picture taking tips:

Enjoy these Buenos Aires pictures and some picture taking tips. Many of these were taken on the Buenos Aires tours like the daily Buenos Aires city tour and the Tango history and city tours.

There is a tremendous amount of things to see in this unique city but camera batteries can be expenisve and often difficult to find. Make sure you bring extra ones.

Tip: There are plenty of cyber cafes (locotorios) that you can download your pictures with and they are very inexpensive. Discs are about 1 peso each. To use a computer in a cyber cafe is about 1 peso per hour.

Tip: The best time to take good photographs is in the afternoon when the shadows are the smallest.

Tip: Taking great pictures in the city can be difficult due to the amount of poles in the way. It is a joke among tourists as to how many poles per picture.

Follow this link to view Buenos Aires pictures.

Mar Del Plata Argentina

Mar Del Plata on the Atlantic Coast of Argentina is home to the best beach.

Argentina beach at Mar del Plata

Mar del Plata is also known as “Ciadad Feliz” (celebration city). This young town became the popular tourist destination for portenos around 1900 and combines relaxing and nature with an exciting urban environment. This city hosts the most famous Argentina beach becuase of its long beaches, dunes, cliffs and ravines, as well as swimming, windsurfing, jet skiing, diving and sailing. It is also home to the biggest casino in the world.

How to get to this Argentina beach from Buenos Aires

By Bus – There are at least 10 different bus companies that run to Mar Del Plata from Buenos Aires. The trip takes about 5 hours and the cost is less than 50pesos for a luxury ride one way.

By Car – Driving from Buenos Aires is an easy jaunt lasting about 5 hours. However many of the roads require constant tolls and are often only one lane. Forcing you to pass trucks habitually. The scenery is mostly farmland and small farm towns along the way.

By Air – Flights from Buenos Aires to Mar Del Plata are common and last about 45 minutes. The cost is typically $200USD for the round trip.

What to do in Mar Del Plata

Interesting neighborhoods – The most outstanding attractions are the Colón Square, the Torreón del Monje (The Tower of the Monk), Los Troncos neighbourhood, the Harbor and Mar del Plata Sailing Club, Punta Mogotes, Barrancas de los Lobos, De los Padres Hill and Lagoon, and Chapadmalal Beach.

Mar Del Plata nightlife – This seaside city has an active nightlife especially in the summer months. Theater is huge here, often shows on the road from Buenos Aires. Tickets sell out quick. Casinos and bingos have a large following in Mar Del Plata. And of course there are amble amount of pubs and discos to choose from.

Outdoor activities – Not only is El Paraíso a zoo full of animals but also a fantastic botanic garden. Just a few minutes from Mar del Plata, this spot is ideal both for children and grown-ups to have a closer look at Mother Nature. The Gold Cathedral offers the possibility of playing along the sea, in the hills or in the cliffs. The famous golf cathedral is something unique and not to be missed. There is a surf school that also teaches a philosophy of life and a passion as well as how to surf this spectacular Argentina beach. You can cruise the water in various sea going vessels and get great views of the city or share a romantic meal with someone special. Diving and snorkeling is also available here to explore the sub aquatic brimming with fauna and colors.

Museums – The successors of Mr. Benjamín Cisterna created the Museum of the Sea in Av. Colón 1114, an amazing history and tribute to the ocean. “Juan C. Castagnino” Municipal Art Museum is on Av. Colón 1189, where the residence of the Ortiz Basualdo family used to be. Villa Victoria Ocampo Cultural Center is at 1851 Matheu Street. It is a building that was constructed by Mr. Manuel Ocampo as a present to Victoria’s grandmother- Mrs. Francisca Ocampo de Ocampo.

Write to me for more information about Mar Del Plata Argentina.

tangohistorytours@gmail.com

Follow this link for more pictures of Mar Del Plata Argentina.


About the author of this blog.

Tom Wick is an American expat living in Buenos Aires. An expert travel consultant and tour guide offering free travel inforamtion and private guided tours of Buenos Aires.

Contact Me

Please write to me about any Buenos Aires Argentina travel information or about living in Buenos Aires as an expat. tangohistorytours@gmail.com

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