on May 26, 2012
The Recoleta Cemetery is always listed as one of THE things to see in Buenos Aires. It is unique in its city-like quality, the dead recreating the lives they lived in Buenos Aires by crowding together in their final resting places. Entire families lie together in one tomb, and it's incredibly creepy to peer down the staircases that take you beneath the monuments to the depths of the crypts.The monuments are elaborate and interesting, and the list of the dead reads like a list of Buenos Aires street names. If you have particular graves you are looking for, it can be a weird little treasure hunt -- everyone seeks out Evita -- but otherwise it feels like wandering a maze, looking at dates carved on stone.I do get a kick out of some of the more modern tombs -- we passed one that looks like the front door to a lawyer's office next to massive stone statues that have been there for years.It's a little strange, because usually a cemetery has a certain silence about it, as visitors maintain a calm, respectful tone. Here, people (myself included) talk and laugh and take pictures. There's a sense that we can't decide where we are: in a cemetery or at a tourist attraction. And it's both, so you can see where the confusion lies.It's worth a stop, but don't plan to spend more than few minutes. It all starts to seem the same after awhile -- I feel strange about that because, after all, all those stones represent people who lived and breathed at one point, and none of them were the same in life.
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