By Judy Pinegar
Feb 12, 2013
With the Subte working a little better we rode to the Plaza De Mayo, a national park. right in front of the Casa Rosada (The Pink House) which used to be both the residence and office of the Argentine President. Now it is just an office, mostly for diplomatic purposes, and on weekends and holidays we found it is now open for tours. We has also discovered that Monday and today were a national holiday “Carnival”, although we saw nothing that looked like a party where we were.
Amazingly different this time… when we were last here, maybe 4 years ago, there was a huge military presence (like an armed guard every 6 feet) all around the park which itself was also in great disrepair, and the Casa Rosada was barricaded off entirely, except for a small museum around to the side. This time the park was beautiful, although very crowded with pigeons, a lot of the barricades were down, and you could walk right up to the Casa Rosada, and we discovered, even take a tour!
It was fantastic, over an hour long in Spanish and English covering three floors. Among our favorites were Eva Peron’s room, the famous portico from which Argentine presidents speak to the people in the plaza, and of course the similar Presidential office (like the Oval Office in the White House).
There was one long hall with pictures of famous Argentine people including actors, musicians and soccer players which had all the other tourist ooing and ahing, but John and I didn’t know anyone! There were two different rooms made up for the President to make major speeches, one was very ornate, with a lot of gold leaf on all the decorative wood pieces. All in all a very beautiful building and a fascinating tour.
The current president is Cristina Elisabet Fernández de Kirchner, now on her second term, although we here grumbling that many Argentines no longer like her. She is supposed to be out after this term, but we also hear she is trying to change the constitution to allow another term. She is the wife of the former president who also had two terms, but has since passed away.
For more information and pictures of all the rooms in the house (including the ones in we were not allowed to take pictures) go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casa_Rosada
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