Monday, June 13, 2011
El cementerio de la Recoleta
I had the day off Friday, so instead of working from home (like I sometimes do to keep up with my work plan), I decided to go exploring. The decision to go to the cemetery was an easy one - it's really the only touristy thing I'd heard of besides another European-looking chapel - and God knows I've been to my share of those (pun intended). Before going, my roommate said, "The cemetery? It's not really that pretty," which didn't really discourage me at all. I can see why walking among the dead's remains would be unappealing for some, but I also now understand how it is indeed appealing to others.
After walking around just a few minutes you find that each bóveda, or gravesite, has its charm.
Some you can see into, and some are private.
Some are modern with their black marble facades, while others are classic white marble fashioned in the Baroque style.
Some have a style all their own.
After my visit I went to Freddo, the best heladería, or ice-cream shop in town. I found a seat overlooking the great walled cemetery and contemplated on it a while.
Evita's gravesite starts out "Don't cry for me..." and that's just it - I didn't want to cry for her. Therein lies the beauty of a cemetery. It not only offers solace for mourners, but also a tangible, emotion-provoking experience for strangers of the loved ones. In this way, cemeteries really do carry the memory and a sense of the immortal for those who no longer walk among us. Their story is still told years later, though it's hidden beneath a little bit of mystery and a lot of chiseled stone.