Tuesday the 11th of March 2003- Day 21.
Did a walking tour tour covered the Barrio de San Telmo district. Excellent and I would highly recommend it. The company are called Eternautas. Led by a historians from BA university, the price was 9 P (2.6 EURO) for 3 hours. Fredricko, an economist educated in Switzeraland and now has three part time jobs to keep going was great. He works freelance as an economist for the government and the UN and told all about Argentina history and economic downfall. Very intelligent guy. Walking from the Pink house, national bank, city cathedral to San Telmo district. This tour shows the city’s highlights, looking through its history and culture: the historic development, the immigration process, the cultural topics (football, Tango music), the architectural heritage, Peronismo era and the features of the Argentinean society.
Showed us all the old colonial houses, the different architecture and old port area. Lined with cobblestone streets, San Telmo is the oldest area of the city. During the turn of the century residents fled from this barrio after outbreaks of yellow fever and malaria. Today it is a thriving neighborhood. By day San Telmo is home to antique shops, cafés and the Sunday flea market and outdoor Tango show (Calles Humberto and Defensa). By night San Telmo is the place for cabarets, nightclubs, and Tango bars. Can be dangerous at night. Two others on the tour Randy was the USA and Jill from Manchester. We went for coffee (beer) after we finished the tour at 13.00am. Jill and I took the metro (first time) back into town. Single price only .70 P (0.20 EURO). Decided to meet Jill again at 20.00 to go to San Temo for a tango bar visit.
At 14.00, went on a bike tour. Called Biketours. Cost was 20 US for hire, insurance and guide. Because today was cold (17 oc), only myself and a guy from London, called Conrad turned yp. Nice bikes and off we headed with the guide. Forget her name, but she was confident and had goof English. Cycled over over the docks area, San talmo and specifically La Bocca.La Boca is one of the older barrios of Buenos Aires, and was the original Port area of the city.
Many of the residents can trace their ancestry to the town of Genova, Italy. La Boca is where you will find many bars and nightclubs, and homes painted in bright colors with leftover boat paint. If there is a dangerous area to be at night in Buenos Aires. It was very run down. In the middle of this district are these colored houses. A bit touristic and reconstructed, but before the inhabitants used to build their houses from wood and zinc and painted them with left over paint from the boats. This tradition has been maintained (pictures are below. Home district of Boca Juniors and sw the stadium. Many shops selling Boca Juniors gear.
Diego Armando Maradona (El Diego) (born October 30, 1960) is a former Argentine football player. With the possible exception of Pele, he is widely regarded as the finest and greatest player of all times.
Maradona was born in Villa Fiorito, Buenos Aires, Argentina to a family of humble origin. He first played in the Argentine Championship, for Argentinos Juniors (1976-81) and then for Boca Juniors (1981-82). He then went to Spain, where, playing for FC Barcelona, he won a Copa del Rey. On July 5, 1984 he went to Naples, Italy to join SSC Napoli, where he won two Italian Championships (1986/87 and 1989/1990), a Coppa Italia (1987), a UEFA Cup (1989) and an Italian Supercup (1990), plus Napoli were runners-up in the Italian Championship twice.
Maradona led the Argentine national team to victory in the World Cup in 1986, the team winning 3-2 in the final against West Germany. In this tournament, he became notorious for a goal in the quarter-final game against the England, which video evidence later clearly revealed he had scored with the aid of his hand. He later claimed it was the “Hand of God” which had caused him to score the goal, to the general derision of the English public and in particular the tabloid newspapers, who still resurrect the incident occasionally even today, branding him a cheat. However, Maradona showed the other side of his nature just a couple of minutes later in the same match, by running half the length of the pitch and beating almost the entire English team along the way, to score what is widely regarded as the most exceptional goal of all time.
Maradona also captained Argentina in the 1990 World Cup, leading a far weaker team to the final again, where they lost 1-0 to West Germany. In the 1994 World Cup he was sent home in disgrace after failing a drugs test for ephedrine doping.
In Naples, where he is still beloved (having brought the local team their first scudetto), he also faced a scandal regarding an illegitimate son and was the object of some suspicion over his friendship with the Camorra, the local mafia.
Maradona left Napoli in 1992, after serving a 15 month ban for failing a drug test, and played for Sevilla FC (1992-93), Newell’s Old Boys (1993) and Boca Juniors (1995-97). He also attempted to work as a coach on two short occasions, leading Mandiyú of Corrientes (1994) and Racing Club (1995) . He retired from football on October 30, 1997.
Maradona spent much of the 1990s battling a cocaine addiction, which included a well-publicized spell in a detox clinic in Cuba. He apparently surmounted the problem for the time being, and then embarked upon a new career as a talk-show host, with which he had great success.
In 2000, Maradona was voted FIFA’s Player of the Century by Internet users in a millennium poll, garnering 53.60% of the votes. In a reconciliatory gesture, FIFA appointed a footballing committee which voted in favor of Pelé alongside the Argentine.
In 2002, the Argentine Football Association asked FIFA for authorization to retire shirt number 10, the number Maradona used, as an homage. At first, FIFA authorized it only to reverse their decision soon after. While retiring a shirt number used by a great athlete is common practice in American sports, there were no cases of this happening in Football.
Maradona’s brother is also a soccer player and his alleged illegitimate child is now trying to start a career in football, but he does not appear to have inherited his father’s skills.
On April 18, 2004, doctors reported that Maradona had suffered a major heart attack following a cocaine overdose and was in intensive care in a Buenos Aires hospital. Dozens of fans gathered around the clinic indicating his popularity even in 2004. Days after the heart attack, a male nurse was caught taking photos of Maradona in his grave condition, with a cellular telephone. The nurse had received an offer of six thousand US dollars by a tabloid newspaper to take the photos. He was, however, promptly fired by hospital directors. Maradona was hospitalized in a floor that was closed so he could be attended to exclusively.
After he showed improvement, he was taken off a respirator on April 23, and remained in intensive care for several days before being discharged on April 29. However, he returned to the hospital on May 5. Since then, he has entered a psychiatric facility for substance abuse treatment in Cuba.
Maradona is also known in Argentina as “El Pibe de Oro” (The Golden Boy). In 2002, Maradona published his autobiography Yo Soy El Diego, which became an instant bestseller in his home-country.
Met Jill at 20.00 and went to San Telmo by metro. Had a few drinks in a bar in the square and at 11.00pm went to a Tango Bar. Stayed there watched the Tango dancers and singers until 1.00am and went to a bar next door. Aanyway, finished up at 4.00am at night. Drunk. Jill is a BBC TV reporter working on regional news out of Manchester. Walking worked on newspapers. Very nice and intelligent girl and had a great time. She knew more about movies than I did. She flies back on Thursday.