06 December 2010

tucumán, argentina

Everyone raves about southern Argentina, but we found northern Argentina to be lovely, too.

Tucumán impressed us with its varied and beautiful architecture, and it's where the Argentines declared independence from the Spanish in 1816 (which Spain finally acknowledged in 1862), where legendary singer Mercedes Sosa (now that's a voice) was born, and is the home of a vibrant arts and culture scene and the prestigious National University de Tucumán. They have a huge music festival in September, attracting folk and rock musicians alike from all over the world.

And in case you aren't familiar with Mercedes Sosa, here's a video (with a nice acoustic guitar accompanist) to get acquainted with her work:

There isn't much to look at in this video, but it's a beautiful rendition of "Todo Cambia" (Everything Changes) to listen to, with acoustic guitar and flute. My father-in-law, a Bolivian musician, would often have Mercedes Sosa playing in the house, and my Bolivian partner has kept up the family tradition. She quickly became one of my favorite singers, and it's funny to compare the simple beauty of her music to other popular musicians, especially in concert: no fireworks or sets, no fancy costume changes, no huge entourage of musicians and producers, all she has is her powerful voice. And if you're wondering how popular she is, this live version of "Todo Cambio" or this video of "La Maza" performed with Shakira gives an idea.

But, we all know why we look at blogs, so without further ado, here are the photos of Tucumán.

Plaza Independencia, a square lined with gorgeous buildings, each more impressive than the last (and all quite different, too):

Just walking around town, I loved the colors and the variety. There really was a bit of everything.

Argentine jerseys were everywhere, of course.

It's funny, too, how markets around the world often look the same:

And unfortunately for my tall partner, most of the world isn't designed for tall people:

You can visit la Casa de Tucumán (officially la Casa Histórica de la Independencia), where they actually declared independence from the Spanish, and it's quite lovely on its own merit, even without its important place in history.

I don't know why there were people in costume hanging out, but there they are.

And when we left, we saw a full circle rainbow, which I'd never seen before. It was pretty spectacular.

I'm still catching up, so next up: Bolivia!

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