More on La Plata

I wrote a review of La Plata for Trip Adviser web page and am attaching here, in case anyone wants to read more about it.  If not, just skip this blog! 

With some help from posts on here and our tour book, we made it to La Plata, yesterday.  Well worth the trouble.  Go to see the Cathedral, if nothing else; but the city is very pretty with many parks/plazas.   We caught the bus at Retiro, for 10 pesos each, each way.  Buses left every 10 to 15 minutes.  The bus was a Chevalier/Costera, but tickets were purchased at a small window of La Nueva Metropol.  We just kept asking until pointed to the correct ticket person.
As you may know, a lot of the time spent from Retiro is getting out of that area.  It took 40 minutes to get out of town; midday on a Monday.  People were getting on at other stops along the way.  Returning we asked to get off on Paseo Colon near the Plaza de Mayo, behind Casa Rosada; this saved us 30 minutes.  You can pick it up there, but we wanted the information we gained by going to Retiro.
In all, the bus ride took 1 hour and 40 minutes. (Contrary to what the guide book said, there were no views of the coast, only saw a little of the port area.)   Again, once in La Plata, you can exit the bus before the Terminal.  We stayed on and were able to ask questions at the Tourist Information booth and pick up a good map.
From the Terminal, it is about 14 blocks to the Cathedral.  We walked it.  The biggest problem is that some intersections do not have crossing indicators and there are angled streets coming from different directions.  Even more difficult to navigate than BA, if you can imagine.  We stopped at a Cafe by the Plaza Italia, Machu Pichu, and had a good Menu del Dia (25 pesos).  By the way, you can get off and back on the bus at this plaza.
We were so amazed by the Catedral de la Immaculada Concepcion, 1884.  It is the largest Neogothic one in all of the Americas with very tall ceilings and can hold 14,000 people.  It stands facing a beautiful plaza, Plaza Mariano Moreno.  We spent quite a bit of time here, just admiring inside and out.
On the other side of the plaza is the Palacio Municipal.  Also from the 1880’s it is in German Renaisaance style.  We went inside and in Cheryl’s limited Spanish were able to ask about seeing the interior, specifically the Gold Salon, Salon Dorado.  The security guard asked where we were from and when we said USA and Canada, he called someone to give us a tour.  The woman who showed us around spoke very rapid Spanish, but again Cheryl was able to translate 20-25%; enough to get the gist of it.  Very beautifully decorated, but beginning to crumble.  Rehab is badly needed, but the money is not available.
From there, we walked the central parkway to Plaza San Martin and the Palacio de la Legislatura.  Both lovely, but paled in comparison to our first experiences in La Plata.  There is much more to see than what we could manage in one afternoon.  We highly recommend this destination.

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