Ken is a good friend of mine from grad school whose 7 year-old daughter Hannah is participating in the Flat Stanley project. Hannah sent her flat friend, named Flat Hannah, to visit me in Buenos Aires. Here’s the story of my walk around Buenos Aires with Flat Hannah.

On a sunny Tuesday morning Flat Hannah and I went for a walk around Buenos Aires. Our first stop was Parque Lezama, just a block away from my apartment. I like to go there many days for a long walk around the park. Flat Hannah wanted to have her photo made in the park.

Flat Hannah in Parque Lezama

Continuing our stroll around the park we also saw the very blue domes of the Russian Orthodox Church, built in 1898. In this section of the park we also saw old men playing chess. I told Flat Hannah that those men are there just about everyday.

Flat Hannah in BA

Our walk then headed further up into the neighborhood where I live, San Telmo. This neighborhood, or barrio, is full of old buildings and cobblestone streets. Flat Hannah found it quite fascinating.

Flat Hannah in San Telmo

Walking further into San Telmo we came across a dog walker. A lot of people in Buenos Aires have dogs and hire someone to walk their dogs during the day. The dogs seem to really enjoy their walks. In the background of this photo you can see a dog walker and his ten dogs.

Flat Hannah in San Telmo

Then we made it to Plaza de Mayo, the main square of the city and, actually, of the country. There is a lot of history in Plaza de Mayo. Flat Hannah saw the Cabildo where the colonial government of Argentina was established and the Casa Rosada where the president of Argentina works. The Casa Rosada is kind of like the White House, except that it’s Pink.

Flat Hannah in Plaza de Mayo

Flat Hannah in front of the Casa Rosada

On the north side of Plaza de Mayo is the Cathedral. Flat Hannah really enjoyed seeing all these places around Plaza de Mayo and having her photo made. Before leaving the Plaza Flat Hannah posed for a photo at the end of Diagonal Norte, one of the main roads leading to the Plaza, and one of the many great avenues in Buenos Aires that is lined with beautiful buildings.

Flat Hannah in front of the Cathedral
Flat Hannah in dowtown Buenos Aires

Speaking of great avenues of the city, I just had to take Flat Hannah down my favorite street in Buenos Aires: Avenida de Mayo. Flat Hannah wanted to pose in front of the Plaza de Mayo subway sign.

Flat Hannah on Avenida de Mayo

We walked all the way down Av de Mayo so that I could show Flat Hannah one of my favorite building in Buenos Aires: Palacio Barolo. This office building was completed in 1920 and was once the tallest building in Buenos Aires. Like a lot of buildings in Buenos Aires it was designed by Italian architect. The Italians left a huge mark on Buenos Aires and the architect of the Barolo was Mario Palanti.

Flat Hannah & Palacio Barolo

Flat Hannah found this all fascinating. She dreams of being an architect someday (bet you didn’t know that?). While we were looking at the Barolo she became excited about the building right next door, La Inmobiliaria with its red cupolas. This is another building also designed by an Italian. Flat Hannah liked this building so much that she just had to have her photo made twice in front of it.

Flat Hannah & La Inmobiliaria
Flat Hannah & La Inmobiliaria

Just across from La Inmobiliaria, at the very end of Av de Mayo, is the Plaza del Congreso. The Congreso is the capitol building for the national government of Argentina. It’s quite an impressive building. This is also a good time to point out that Flat Hannah’s costume for the day was very appropriate for walking around Buenos Aires. She wore the blue colors of the Argentine flat and had a shining sun on her blouse, just like the Argentine flag. (She also had a dolphin on her outfit, but the flag doesn’t have a dolphin). Still, the outfit just by chance turned out to be very appropriate for her visit.

Flat Hannah in Plaza del Congreso
Flat Hannah in front of the Congreso

Next to the Congreso is another one of Buenos Aires most fascinating buildings: Confitería Del Molino. Built in 1917 it is a great example of art nouveau architecture in Buenos Aires. Notice the trademark windmill at the base of the tower that gives the building its name. Unfortunately, the Molino has been closed for a number of years.

Flat Hannah in front of Café del Molino

Okay, now Flat Hannah and I continued our walk and next we came across another one of my favorite buildings in Buenos Aires: Palacio de Aguas Corrientes. Flat Hannah just loved the way that so many buildings in Buenos Aires are called Palacio. She giggled every time I said that”¦Palacio, palacio, palacio!! We had a lot of fun with that word (though we did get a few strange looks from passersby on the street)”¦.Now, back to the Palacio de Aguas Corrientes, which literally means the palace of running water. This building was completed at the end of the 1800s and was built to house the city’s water tanks. Inside this beautiful building are water tanks that hold almost 20 million gallons of water. That made Flat Hannah thirsty, so we stopped nearby to get a bottle of water.

Flat Hannah & Palacio de las Aguas Corrientes

Next, we continued our wanderings and came to this lovely old church from 1732. Right next door to the church is the historic Recoleta Cemetery. It’s a fascinating place but I thought Flat Hannah was too young for a tour of the cemetery; I didn’t want to scare her. Maybe when she comes back in a few years for a another visit, then we’ll go.

Flat Hannah & Iglesia del Pilar

Meanwhile, the area surrounding the church and the cemetery is one of the top gathering spots in Buenos Aires. The area is a lovely park that’s filled with people on the weekend but is quite relaxing during the week, so we wandered around, sat under a tree for a while, took in some sun, then explored the shops in the Buenos Aires Design center.

Flat Hannah in Recoleta

After our rest we got ourselves up for a stroll down Av Alvear, one of the fancy shopping streets in Buenos Aires. We stopped in front of the Ralph Lauren Polo store to gawk at the majestic architecture of that building. Flat Hannah remarked that they don’t have stores like that back in Tennessee! I told Flat Hannah that the building where the store is located was originally constructed by a family to be their house.

Flat Hannah & the Polo Store

And speaking of fancy houses that are now something else, we continued down the neighborhood of Recoleta to see some more fancy buildings. First is the embassy of Brazil, which is in a gorgeous structure that also was originally built to be a private home.

Flat Hannah & the Brazilian Embassy

Then just around the corner from the Brazilian embassy is the French embassy, yet originally another private residence built in 1913.

Flat Hannah & the French Embassy

Flat Hannah’s little legs were getting mighty tired by this point but we didn’t have much further left in our tour. We made our final stop in Plaza San Martín. This is one of my favorite spots in the city, very relaxing with its large trees and shaded benches.

Flat Hannah in Plaza San Martín

And for her final photo in Buenos Aires, Flat Hannah chose to pose in Plaza San Martín in front of the Kavanagh building, which was once the tallest building in South America.

Flat Hannah in front of the Kavanagh

Flat Hannah and I had a wonderful day exploring Buenos Aires. She really enjoyed it and is looking forward to returning to Tennessee to tell her family and friends all about her trip. I hope to see Flat Hannah again in the future. She told me that she definitely wants to come back to Buenos Aires someday. And if she can’t make it, then someday maybe her big friend, real Hannah, will come for a visit.