There are few things to do in Buenos Aires more satisfying that walking down the sunny streets in a glorious Spring morning. And there are few streets more fascinating that Alvear Avenue if you love Architecture and want to explore one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in town.
We had one hour to kill between appointments the other day, so we took our camera and began our walk. The weather was great--sunny and no humidity at all-- so we started at the intersection of Schiaffino street, right there where the huge and ancient rubber trees are located. Jacaranda trees are in bloom, and their purple flowers added a touch of unexpected colour in an otherwise monochromatic neighbourhood--most of the buildings are made of sand coloured stone or painted in that shade.
A great building by Alejandro Bustillo to the right, the Alvear Palace Hotel to the left...Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Cartier...so far away from Paris or New York, but still the same stores offering the same goods. After we crossed Callao Avenue, more upscale shopping and more fantastic buildings from the 40´s and 50´s. Then, after Rodriguez Peña street we found the only block that still has the original constructions intact: The Maguire residence, the Duhau residence--nowadays the Park Hyatt hotel--and the Fernandez Anchorena residence--that is, the Apostolic Nunciature in Argentina.
After this feast of classical architecture, we reached the Carlos Pellegrini square. Probably the most elegant park in the whole city, it features and impressive statue of former President Pellegrini and a fountain. This is where you can find the Embassy of Brasil, the Jockey Club and the Embassy of France.
At the end of our walk, exhausted and ready for a snack, we crossed the 9 de Julio avenue and ended up at the Sofitel hotel--just two blocks away-- for a quick lunch before going back to work.