Tranquillity in the Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays

We caught a crowded mid-morning Subte over to Palermo, emerging into summer heat and humidity with the Jardín Botánico right in front of us. On this surprisingly hot day, the lushness and coolness of this 19thCentury botanical garden were quite astounding and welcome, a total contrast to the frenetic pace of the urban jungle that is nearby Plaza Italia and Avenida Santa Fé. These gardens opened in 1898 and contain some of the most beautiful antique iron-and-glass greenhouses, jammed full of tropical plants and palms. These green-houses were originally built for the 1900 Paris World Fair Exhibition.

Today the Jardín Botánico was full of school students who sat quietly in clusters around the many statues and fountains in the garden, all set the same task of using a white pastel stick on a black board to capture the wonders in front of them. Of course some couldn’t tear themselves from their mobiles, but they mostly seemed studious, and many, on closer inspection, quite talented. In other areas of the garden were loads of infant school kids, in their mini-doctor-like white coats (good for painting and making a mess generally we’ve seen this a lot – Ant), running around shrieking in awe and wonder and released-from-the-classroom excitement. So cute!

A lovely wander through the fashionable, but today noticeably quiet, streets of Palermo Viejo, a spot of lunch then a taxi ride home along the stunning Avenida 9 de Julio.

Tomorrow we catch the ferry across the Rio de la Plata to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay for a couple of days.

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