A mosque and a rose garden

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There is something to be said about being a tourist in one’s home town. I’m experiencing that myself right now. Sean’s company sent him to Buenos Aires (of all places!) and we’re staying in a hotel in a happening part of town, the barrio of Palermo.  We’re within walking distance to loads of really good bars and restaurants and a short cab ride away from great shopping areas.

This week I visited two places for the first time. And so many more I need to explore! I think I kept putting off going to these places when I lived in the city because I thought they’d always be there. They still are, but I’m not. I’m an outsider now. A tourist in my own home.

I’d never been to a mosque before and since the biggest mosque in the whole of Latin America is about a 15 minute walk from the hotel, it would be foolish not to visit it. They organise free guided visits three times a week at noon. I got there in time for the security guard at the door to write down our names and ID numbers. He wouldn’t let a girl through because she didn’t have any kind of ID with her so she asked to talk to the imam and everything was all right. She was a French Muslim who’s in Buenos Aires taking an Anthropology course. We got talking and she said she was desperate to find a place where she could eat halal meat. “I can’t believe I’ve been in the land of the best beef for two months and I haven’t been able to eat any!”

The visit was rather short and uninspiring. Many areas were out of bounds because there is also a school on the premises and they don’t want strangers anywhere near the children, which I can understand. One thing really bothered me, though. I noticed that the Saudi flag was flying high on a mast but not the Argentinean one. When I asked, I was told that they always raise the Saudi flag because the embassy is there too. And what about the Argentinean flag? “It’s usually raised, I don’t know what happened today,” the guide said. Ahem!

El Rosedal de Palermo, the city’s rose garden, is not walled but fenced in. I was on my way to the Sivori Art Museum and this wonderful view caught my eye: endless rows of rose bushes in full bloom. I crossed the bridge over the man-made lake to the most stunning garden. The air smelled sweet and fresh. I thanked the starts I got the chance to see this place at its best.

Where will I go next?

 

 

About Ana O

Hi, I'm Ana. I'm originally from Argentina but I'm currently living in Dallas (USA) with my British husband. I'd like to share my experiences as an expat and as a traveller.

10 thoughts on “A mosque and a rose garden

  1. Pingback: Twitted by KatieAlley
  2. I just love reading your blog so much. You write like I’m there! I like to read first and then look at your pictures and your words are so perfectly descriptive that I don’t even need the photos!! Makes me want to go to B.A.

  3. Lovely, Ana! But I missed the mosque, can’t believe it… I find them incredibly beautiful. Next time, I suppose 🙂

    1. Probably because you said the visit to the mosque was uninspiring. You’re looking from a secular point of view, where to a religious person this is a place of inspiration.
      I have to agree that the buildings themselves are somewhat sterile. Rather like modern churches, they don’t have the design or ambiance of the old school. Everything is built for function rather than form.
      I always find your articles inspirational.
      Besos..

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