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2014-03-14_MardelPlata
Seaside, downtown, museum.
  • No KMZ (Google Earth) for this traveldiary.
The morning
At 9am went down to have some breakfast, joined the other guys. Every Hungarian already knows the correct reply to the Are you Hungary? question: Always then imitates a Hannibal Lecter facial expression then slurping. You can also mirror Bela Lugosi if you wish.

Check-out after the breakfast and 10am then strolled to the tower when I learned what I should have realized yesterday: Lunes a Viernes aka they're open only Monday to Friday: but the Gregorian calendar showed Sunday. Hooray. Next time.
d02_01 (2014-03-16 10:31:46) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_02 (2014-03-16 10:48:11) -- show location on Google Maps
The Juan Carlos Castagnino Municipal Art Museum can be seen. Unfortunately the bluntly gray and cloudy weather created a U-shaped histogram.

The Belgian Gustave Serrurier-Bovy designed the building in 1909 for the Ortiz Basualdo family. Its style remarks Art Nouveau but you can see French and Neo-Gothic elements too. The main exhibition items of the museum are Castagnino's paintings, photographs and personal belongings but the building occasionally gives place for other events as well.
d02_03 (2014-03-16 10:52:19) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_04 (2014-03-16 10:53:08) -- show location on Google Maps
Yup, already have the fourth DNI.
d02_05 (2014-03-16 10:54:43) -- show location on Google Maps
Lazy people on a lazy Sunday morning, to the right an improvised tango show entertained the smaller group of locals and bigger group of tourists.

panorama01
Like the Heroes Square for Budapest, Broadway for New York...I won't write all for now...those notable buildings are the already mentioned Gran Hotel Provincial and Casino de Mar del Plata, the landmarks of the city.

Alejandro Bustillo designed the joint buildings after the inspiration of the French Hôtel du Palais. The casino opened in 1939 and the hotel in 1950. Their style is Eclectic but one can spot French Neoclassicist elements too. The walls are built of red bricks and quartzite, the mansards are covered with slate.

And now something completely different: a political speech echoes in the distant.
d02_06 (2014-03-16 11:49:57) -- show location on Google Maps
The Downtown
d02_07 (2014-03-16 12:01:19) -- show location on Google Maps
Eclectic here, Neo-Gothic there - a bit of eighties with the feeling of Socialist architecture here.
(Hungarians learned that in the eighties)
d02_08 (2014-03-16 12:04:35) -- show location on Google Maps
The Saint Peter and Saint Cecile Cathedral was built in 1893 with Neo-Gothic style and consecrated in 1905.
d02_09 (2014-03-16 12:11:49) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_10 (2014-03-16 12:14:10) -- show location on Google Maps
The gym of Mar del Plata.
d02_11 (2014-03-16 12:18:07) -- show location on Google Maps
The Town Hall named after General Martín de Pueyreddón.

History lesson
Juan Martín de Pueyreddón likewise to San Martín was a very famous and important person in the Argentine history - nothing lesser than I'm passing by a station with his name on the D subte everyday. Příští stanice: Pueyreddón

Pueyreddón was born on 18th of December 1777 as the 8th child of a French-Basque father and Irish descendant mother. The young boy of the wealthy merchant family started to learn the business in 1795 at his relatives in Cádiz, where he married his cousin Dolores Pueyreddón. During the 58 days of mentally and physically stressful voyage back to Buenos Aires Dolores miscarried their child and later despite of the medical attention in Buenos Aires, after a second unsuccessful pregnancy Dolores died on 27th of May 1805.

Pueyreddón made his fortune with his business in Spain and France, then joined the battle for Río de la Plata. At this time we're writing 1806: the efforts of the independence, the breaking away from the Spanish Crown already charged ahead unstoppable. In parallel the British eyeballed the region of Río de la Plata from the beginning of 1700: the owner of the South Sea Company and the governor of the Bermuda Islands John Pullen lobbied at Queen Anne saying Río de la Plata is the best place in the world for a British colony.

The Queen nodded yes, so the First British Invasion came into action in 1806, which successfully seized the power in Buenos Aires; thanks to the Spanish Viceroy Rafael de Sobremonte they pretty much just marched into the city. One reason was the Viceroy didn't want to give weapons into the hands of the approximately 45,000 inhabitants, secondly Buenos Aires (Buen Ayre yet) that time wasn't that important like Córdoba. Thirdmost it was believed the British will attack the Uruguayan Montevideo.

They were tee-totally wrong, the British troops entered the streets of Buenos Aires from the southern direction - Ensenada and Quilmes - without any significant resistance. Although some citizens welcomed the British arrival but Pueyreddón was among those who didn't believe in the enemy of my enemy is my friend strategy: the British may be the enemy of the Spaniards but this won't grade a friendship with the Argentines. The first counterstrike to reclaim Buenos Aires is connected to Pueyreddón and the Battle of Perdriel. Perdriel was a ranch about 20 kilometers away from Buenos Aires, where the Argentine troops started to organize: alas, they weren't enough in numbers (100 Argentine against approx. 5-600 British) and in addition they neither had enough weapons: the British forced the Argentine soldiers to give up in one day.

Pueyreddón this time fled to Uruguay to strategically join the Spanish Santiago de Liniers and his group, which ultimately successfully drove the British away from Buenos Aires. The defeat of the British meant a great moral victory as well for the country: since after the Second (and last) British Invasion only 3 more years were needed for the May Revolution, which was the prelude of the Declaration of Independence of Argentina in 1816 - as known as shooing the Spaniards away.

Back to Pueyreddón's life, between 1807 and 1809 he was an Argentine representative in Spain, in 1810 joined the May Revolution where he was elected as the governor of Córdoba. In 1813 he was a member of the ephemeral First Triumvirate what resulted a 3-years long exile to San Luis.

In 1816 he was elected Director Supremo de las Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata (Supreme Director of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata) where he supported San Martín's Chilean operations, additionally founded the first Argentine National Bank and the national mint.

Three years later he was cast away again, now to Uruguay, thus from 1819 he participated only in smaller political, mediator roles. In 1815 he got married again the 25 years younger María Calixta Tellechea y Caviedes, they had one son Prilidiano Pueyreddón who became a painter.

Pueyreddón died on 13rd of March 1850 in San Isidro.
d02_12 (2014-03-16 12:25:04) -- show location on Google Maps
The Superpancho
Visitors of Argentina will meet the word superpancho quite soon, because it's a returning gastronomical image of the country just as the asado, the mate or the fernetcoke. It's been statistically proved that a maximum 3 blocks walk (300 metres, as you know) will show a kiosco where next to the sweets, phone and internet boxes also fresh pancho is sold. Consuming the pancho is devoid of location, age or sex - additionally you may call it as the It's 3am, I need a gyros after the party. local equivalent too.

Correction: parties herearound at 3am are only slowly starting, so the metaphor wasn't accurate. Let's say 8am.

Who is pancho?
Football fans already shout Öcsi Puskás, besides people familiar with the Mexican history also add Pancho Villa immediately. Of course none of the above Panchos could present any similarity with the superpancho, and we neither have historical evidences what was the opinion of the above gentlemen about this fast-food.

What is pancho?
Nothing less, nothing more than the hotdog in Spanish. Superpancho is super because both the bun and the sausage is bigger and longer. This is the basic, but there's an even more pumped up version where the Superpancho Ultimate Deluxe name would be more accurate: this isn't only bigger but thinly cut French fries, onions and others can be the topping as well. You will click here to watch.

Here's the basic version for 11 pesos.
d02_13 (2014-03-16 12:45:28) -- show location on Google Maps

panorama02
Gianetti ice-ice cream again. I tasted the sky (crema de cielo) and the pistachio (pistachio).

On a second thought I should have chosen two sky cream and one lemon or vanilla in between.
d02_14 (2014-03-16 13:20:27) -- show location on Google Maps
Coffee and itinerary planning. I visited the southern part of Mar del Plata yesterday, let's see the north.
d02_15 (2014-03-16 13:36:24) -- show location on Google Maps
I'm telling, it's not that hard to learn languages, you only need to walk with open eyes. Note: the Bordeaux colour is written, pronounced and has the meaning 100% same in Spanish and Hungarian.
d02_16 (2014-03-16 13:59:22) -- show location on Google Maps
Lorenzo Scaglia Museum of Natural Sciences
The museum opened only from half past 3pm, so made me a 1.5 hours relaxing: on this very close to rain but finally dry playground.
d02_17 (2014-03-16 14:09:09) -- show location on Google Maps
Plaza España.
d02_18 (2014-03-16 14:49:33) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_19 (2014-03-16 15:19:36) -- show location on Google Maps
After paying the 12 peso entry fee the museum opened: since 24th of February 1938 has been serving the audience. Julio César Gascón historian was the first director, then followed Galileo J. Scaglia who was the curator of the institute for 40 years. Scaglia's interest went back to family roots, his father Don Lorenzo Scaglia was an avid collector of fossils, archaeology artifacts, historical documents and ancient money (probably the first name of his son is explanatory too). These items were later acquired by the city to extend the exhibition items of the museum. Likewise various materials of other museums are displayed here, for instance from the José Fernandez Fundamentalist Museum and the yesterday mentioned Roberto T. Barili Municipal Historical Archive as well.

The current building was inaugurated on the 4th of December 1967 and since expressly focuses on the paleontology, geology, zoology and archaeology artifacts. The number of the materials - many of them are unique in the whole world - are continuously increasing and enriching the museum, as the artifacts of the various active explorations and personal donations get to the institute.
d02_20 (2014-03-16 15:55:14) -- show location on Google Maps
The hippidion was a small horse during the Pleistocene epoch, about 2 million - 10,000 years ago. They were herbivorous, grazed on the open grassy pampas. Their extinction is believed to happen around 8,000 years ago and the horses returned to South America only in the 15. century with the Portuguese-Spanish colonists.
d02_21 (2014-03-16 15:56:14) -- show location on Google Maps
The tectonic movements of the continents known as how the current drylands aligned.
d02_22 (2014-03-16 15:59:17) -- show location on Google Maps
You can see an individual of the Ceratitida order to the left. This suborder belonged to the Ammonoidea order which lived in the Triassic and late Perm epoch. Imagine a Danubitaceae to have the idea: that's an Ammonoidea.

The Pecten is a genus of the Bivalvia family. Named after its wide, comb-like shape. This large scallop has been the emblem of Shell since 1904: let's visualize the seaside-bathing scene in the Some Like It Hot movie with Marilyn Monroe, now there Tony Curtis waves a Pecten scallop.
d02_23 (2014-03-16 16:01:04) -- show location on Google Maps
Hermosiornis, in Spanish ave hermosa, aka beautiful bird; on the other hand its Hungarian name - killer bird - would likely be more accurate. This bird was a member of the Phorusrhacos family about 26 - 7 million years ago.

The killer birds weren't able to fly but they didn't have any need for that because their about 2.5 metres height, 130 kg weight, 60 centimeters long skull, rear legs able to run fast and the dreadful uncinate beak quite surely provided enough respect and prey for them. Their toes ended in large claws, together with their aggressively shaped beak they prove these birds were carnivorous predators. Probably it wouldn't be an overstatement to call them as the Tyrannosaurus of the birds.

There are some debates about the family, genus of the Hermosiornis, but this link leads to a taxonomy deduction in Spanish, explaining its closest relative most likely is indeed the Phorusrhacos. I'll skip the academic differentiation, along the similarities, the clear difference is the smaller body: the Hermosiornis grew only about 1.7 metres high - as this is depicted on the picture compared to the man.

Of course, still wouldn't be a very wise step to irate this bird.
d02_24 (2014-03-16 16:03:44) -- show location on Google Maps
Back to the amiable herbivores, the Glyptodon was a huge armadillo in the Pleistocene. Grew about 1.5 metres high, 3.3 metres long and weighed approximately 2 tons. As for own defence - see the so far and later exhibited carnivores - this armadillo had a 5 centimeters thick shell from the head to tail.

Although the Glyptodon had a strong tail covered with spikes and its 2 ton stumpy body with low center of gravity provided stability - likewise to the turtles unfortunately neither the Glyptodonts could do much if a predator rolled them over and started to maul the unprotected stomach side.
d02_25 (2014-03-16 16:04:00) -- show location on Google Maps
The holotype of a full sized Hermosiornis.
d02_26 (2014-03-16 16:04:14) -- show location on Google Maps
Smilodon, a genus of the Machairodontinae subfamily from the early Pliocene to the late Pleistocene. Likely there's not much need to introduce this animal, because it was one of the most famous predators of its time and still returns in the popular culture: one example watch the Ice Age animation movies.

By size the Smilodon would be similar to the nowadays lions and tigers but the build was more powerful: thanks to the reduced lumbar region and higher scapulas. The forearms had developed flexors and extensors, which helped to keep the prey on the ground securely.

This time the formidable canines, up to 28 centimeters long started to work. These teeth were relatively prone to breaking by their sheer size, so the Smilodon didn't use them during the attack but when the victim was already securely subdued or floored, then bit the throat.

The Smilodon became extinct around 10,000 years ago. Likewise to many similar other species, the reason was likely the climate change, the appearance of mankind and their uncontrolled hunting.
d02_27 (2014-03-16 16:05:40) -- show location on Google Maps
If two paws with about ~150 kilogram force keeps you down on the ground and you see this above your head - I have bad news.
d02_28 (2014-03-16 16:06:11) -- show location on Google Maps
Megatheriums were elephant-sized big ground sloths. In respect of their size - 6 metres length, up to 5 tons weight - they won the Bronze Medal, because only the mammoths and Paraceratheriums were bigger than them.

Regardless to their overwhelming parameters and claws demanding major respect, these animals were herbivorous: ate various leaves and twigs. Mentioning their claws, generally Megatheriums used them to dig out various plants but besides they were sufficient to fright away those Smilodons which would have their teeth for adult Megatherium meat.

Similarly to the Smilodons, their extinction can be attributed to the appearance and growing population of mankind.

History always repeats itself.
d02_29 (2014-03-16 16:06:43) -- show location on Google Maps
The Ophthalmosaurus was a genus in the order of the Ichthyosaurs, class of the reptiles. They lived 160 - 140 million years ago.

They had an about 6 metres long, dolphin-like body, weighing about 3 tons. Named after the very prominent, about 4 inches/10 centimeters in diameter eyes. The eyes were protected by sclerotic rings, suggesting the animal hunted and lived in great depths. The diet of the Ophthalmosaurus consisted fish and squid.

The reason of their extinction is yet to be confirmed.
d02_30 (2014-03-16 16:07:16) -- show location on Google Maps
You can see a Kritosaurus australis to the left, member of the Hadrosauridae family. The australis (Latin word: southern, from the South) was attached because these animal in the Mesozoic lived in the southern part of the Gondwana about 70 million years ago. They inhabited primarily the seaside next to the Río de la Plata. Grew about 5 metres long and as herbivores consumed pineapples and pine needles.

Their existence was confirmed in 1984 when the Argentine paleontologist José Bonaparte and his colleagues found the fossils in the Los Alamitos Formations which formed back in the late Campanian and early Maastrichtian times. It's worth to mark Bonaparte's name, he made a lot of efforts to discover the dinosaurs and other artifacts which lived in Argentina.

To the right you can see a Piatnitzkysaurus floresi, named after the Russian-Argentine geologist Alejandro Mateievich Piatnitzky (1879–1959). The Piatnitzkysaurus lived in the current Argentina around 165 million years ago. They were carnivores, hunted in groups the juvenile members of the herbivore dinosaurs. Their length was about 4-5 metres and although their front legs were shorter and weaker but they terminated in 3 strong claws, additionally the strong rear legs were able to run very fast.
d02_31 (2014-03-16 16:07:39) -- show location on Google Maps
Mentioning dinosaurs, they'll return in Neuquén.
d02_32 (2014-03-16 16:09:36) -- show location on Google Maps
Magellanic penguin and Olrog's gull.
d02_33 (2014-03-16 16:13:51) -- show location on Google Maps
Yorick's fossil.
d02_34 (2014-03-16 16:16:43) -- show location on Google Maps
Mariposa. Mari-posa. Ma-ri-po-sa.
d02_35 (2014-03-16 16:18:41) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_36 (2014-03-16 16:19:32) -- show location on Google Maps
If you meet a butterfly sized of a fist - the proper reaction is falling onto your knees and starting to beg for your life.

Putting jokes aside, the Cocytius antaeus is the most common house guard in the Misiones region.
d02_37 (2014-03-16 16:20:35) -- show location on Google Maps
Closing the visit, you can see trilobites as well, they likely inspired H.R. Giger's Alien series.
d02_38 (2014-03-16 16:24:15) -- show location on Google Maps
Strolling back to the center
Instituto Saturnino Unzué, Saturnino Unzué Institute. The Neo-Byzantine building was founded in 1910 and served as an orphanage. In 1997 the institute was declared as one of the National Monuments.

The northern side, already renovated.
d02_39 (2014-03-16 16:46:00) -- show location on Google Maps
The eastern side, to be restored.
d02_40 (2014-03-16 16:51:40) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_41 (2014-03-16 17:29:54) -- show location on Google Maps

panorama03
The ship agrounded for eternity: you can find the Fishermen Club and a pertaining restaurant.
d02_42 (2014-03-16 17:43:27) -- show location on Google Maps
Plaza Colón, the central park of Mar del Plata. You can see the statue of Patricio Peralta Ramos and here comes the short history of the foundation and expansion of Mar del Plata. Who has interest in the uncensored version and bears the Spanish, please click here.

Peralta Ramos a businessman and land owner was born in Buenos Aires in 1814. He made his fortune between 1829 and 1852 by selling clothes to the Argentine Army, which at this time was commanded by Governor Juan Manuel de Rosas; one can spot the forecasting and resembling elements to the later junta (military dictatorship) in Rosas' style. Wars have always been and forever going to be extraorbitantly rewarding businesses, but Rosas' career ended in 1852 when he lost the Battle of Caseros and as you may suppose Peralta Ramos didn't run for the new public procurement tender.

But he travelled to south and on the 25th of 1860 he bought a 136,425 hectare land and a saladero from José Coelho de Meyrelles the Portuguese consul. The beginning didn't promise a fruitful future because the factory producing salted meat couldn't compete with the factories closer to Buenos Aires.

Against the choking and shortfall Peralta Ramos didn't loose his hopes: his new idea was dividing the land into sections and built a port next to the seaside - to enhance the effectiveness of the saladero. The owners of the other lands didn't like this, therefore a long and complicated legal and political merry-go-round started: about the use of the land sections, their size, their value, their taxation and others. All of these matters were finally closed in 1867 when Nicolás Avellaneda made intercessions in Peralta Ramos' favour.

With the approval of Governor Mariano Acosta the slowly but steadily developing seaside community received the village rank on the 10th of February 1874 and was officially denominated Mar del Plata. In 1877 the Basque Pedro Luro took over the leadership of the prospering village. Mill, pier and more houses were built along with the first hotel (Grand Hotel) under his hands. The inhabitants between 1881 and 1890 more than doubled from 4,030 to 8,639 persons.

By 1886 Mar del Plata also built the railway, in 1907 received the city rank, therefore nothing could slow down its country-wide image, the La Belle Époque started. By the turn of the century Mar del Plata became the most popular summer and bathing resort of the country - and as we know at the dawn of the 20. century it must had been terrific to live in Argentina. The aristocrat Argentines jumped to buy the land sections, to bath in the rippling water during the day, to pass the time on the walkways next to the beaches on the hot summer nights - to feast the bon viveur happiness in classy entertainment places and restaurants.
d02_43 (2014-03-16 18:49:33) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_44 (2014-03-16 18:54:43) -- show location on Google Maps
The dinner
Supper in the Lo de Carlitos restaurant. Salty pancake with chicken 55 pesos, plus small wine for 34 pesos.

The idea is good, although the half-bloated pancake resembling a sponge consistency left questions marks. Inspecting their other products, maybe their sweet pancakes do better. We're in Argentina, baby! :)
d02_45 (2014-03-16 19:29:21) -- show location on Google Maps
The evening walk, because it is a must
One could predict from the afternoon pictures...the storm hit the sky.
d02_46 (2014-03-16 20:33:34) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_47 (2014-03-16 20:42:25) -- show location on Google Maps
Rain, to the right the already presented rockstar on the first day, the prominent 125 metres high Demetrio Elíades building can be seen, built in 1969. The Greek Demetrio Elíades from a tie seller on the streets of Mar del Plata, he became one of the founders of the Havanna alfajores business: the Arabs already knew the alfajores for a long time but the discs of sweetness filled with dulce de leche rounded the Argentine story to a success. To honour this you can see the Havanna sign on the top.

While I was browsing the Wikipedia I found this picture and realized it's very-very familiar. Yes: this is the first Havanna factory built in 1958 and you'll meet during the walk to the Instituto Saturnino Unzué. If you crave for some sweets during this 30 minutes walking, they also have a little restaurant at the factory.
d02_48 (2014-03-16 20:43:21) -- show location on Google Maps
Hermitage Hotel and some of the most famous guests.
d02_49 (2014-03-16 20:48:44) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_50 (2014-03-16 20:49:20) -- show location on Google Maps
This ain't Django. This is Dyango.
d02_51 (2014-03-16 20:50:10) -- show location on Google Maps
Where's the end of the day?
Tricky, flip the next page.