Nobody was expecting an Argentinian Pope – least of all the people of Argentina. So when Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Bishop of Buenos Aires, was chosen earlier this month it was an unexpected coup for tourism in Argentina. There had been speculation that the next Pope was going to be from the new world although it was generally thought if this was to be the case then it was going to the Brazilian, Odilo Pedro Scherer, who is the Bishop in Sao Paulo. However the white smoke came quickly and a new Pope had been elected, Francis I.
The Argentines clearly delighted at this extraordinary piece of news took to the streets and rejoiced in their thousands. Focal points around Buenos Aires such as the infamous Plaza de Mayo and the Cathedral became filled with throngs of people celebrating the unforeseen election of their countryman. Shouts of Viva Argentina resounded around the country. Even Maradona, probably the most famous living Argentine, had something to say about another hand of God from Argentina…
A Vatican spokesman said it was hoped that Pope Francis’ first official trip abroad will be to his homeland. It is without doubt that there will be others who will also being heading in that direction. It is believed that nearly a quarter of world travellers like to take in religious sites or sanctuaries. Pilgrims like to visit a Pope’s homeland, places he worked and churches and communities that he served. After the election of Pope John-Paul II there was a surge in visitors flocking to Poland and it is believed that the same will happen in Argentina.
There are so many reasons to visit the spectacular country of Argentina and also the captivating city of Buenos Aires – and it seems like one more has just been added. Already the most visited country in South America the draw has just got even bigger and the tourism office of Buenos Aires is not going to let this go unnoticed by announcing that they are going to put together Pope tours. Quite how this will work or what it entails is not yet clear but obviously such a tour will be taking in the highlights of the Pope’s various locations over the last few years.
This Pope tour is likely to be based in and around the city of Buenos Aires and sounds like it will be an interesting starting point of any trip to this great country. However once there you might as well make the most of your time and spend some time off the beaten track enjoying a little relaxation at one of the country’s beautiful estancias, have a look at www.historichaciendas.com for some inspiration.
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