After nearly ten hours and more than 5,000 miles, I arrived in Buenos Aires at 10:15am local time this morning! At a latitude of 35° S, Buenos Aires is currently in late spring/early summer, and so we enjoyed a sunny 75°F day today. Check out our flight path from “Nueva York” to Buenos Aires (below).
Once at the hotel, I met up with the other two Grosvenor Teacher Fellows (GTFs), and we took a bus tour of the city this afternoon with some of our fellow travelers. Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital, is a fascinating city with a complex political and social history. We visited “La Boca”, a colorful neighborhood of Buenos Aires with strong Italian influences. The streets are filled with accordion players, beautiful street art (legal and even encouraged throughout the city with a permit), and busy street markets.
We also visited Plaza de Mayo, the square that has been the political center of Buenos Aires since it was founded in 1580. The square is regularly filled with political demonstrators, as Casa Rosada – the Argentinian President’s office – sits prominently alongside the square.
Speaking of protesters and political activism, our plans for tomorrow have been slightly altered by an anticipated city-wide strike in response to an expected decision about potential changes to Argentina’s retirement and pension program. We will be flying out of the city a few hours earlier than planned to head down to Ushuaia, considered to be the southernmost city in the world. For my students who are following along, I’ll be at a latitude of 55°S! Because of our unexpected early departure, we’re going to be able to make a surprise stop at Tierra del Fuego National Park before a planned visit to the Beagle Channel.
And then… we’ll board the National Geographic Explorer and begin our journey over the Drake Passage toward the Antarctic Peninsula! Seas are projected to be fairly rough (current predictions indicate a peak of 27 foot swells during the beginning of our journey tomorrow night), so fingers crossed that we manage to avoid seasickness and enjoy the experience. It’s likely that our internet access will be quite limited after today, so I’ll update as I am able.