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tierra santa penguin2   I  penguin2 It is at one end of Buenos Aires' long riverbank. The airport's runway finishes and the city's buildings begin to lose height as we move into the countryside. In our humble opinion, the experience which this theme park has to offer is more interesting than all the tango, meat-eating-parties, Borges, Cortazar, football and other folkloric proposals that Buenos Aires offers.
The visitors go through a mystical experience from the first moment. From the moment they start queuing up to buy the tickets. The sun shines with all its strength at the entrance, going up to 35 degrees, and it seems the management have made the start of the visit hellish on purpose. Furthermore, while the long queues form, atmosphere is provided by playing Enya and Enigma through the loud speakers ... Louder than at the Ministry of Sound. And as if that were not enough, there are two cash tills: at one you can get change, and at the other you have to buy your tickets paying with the exact amount of change. Fortunately we had the right amount of money to be able to pay at the second cash till. That was the first miracle we saw. The cash till giving change was going faster than the one where we had to pay. The Lord moves in mysterious ways. With our tickets in our hands, we left hell behind and went into a paradise of papier-machĂȘ buildings and palm trees. As soon as we went in, a man dressed as a Roman soldier with a whip in his hand put us into another queue. It was there that we were more or less forced to buy the chance to have our official biblical photos taken. We had to wait for them to change the camera's film! The digital revolution has not yet reached the Holy Land, although we soon realised that the Philippine nun next to us had a digital camera. The man dressed as a Roman soldier came up to our flock of Christians again, stopped us in our tracks with his leg showing a huge tattoo of a Joker."I hope you are not a Real Madrid supporter", he asked us. I said I didn't. I supported Real Sociedad, unfortunately ... He said he preferred Athletic and he used his whip to order the poor Christians in the queue behind me to move ahead.
I won't go on. You have enough time to write a book during a short visit to Tierra Santa. But I will mention the attractions it has to offer: a manger, the Last Supper, the Creation, the Resurrection and musical shows with attractive names. The mystical experience of visiting the place cannot be explained in words alone. We also got lost in the streets and alleys of this papier-machĂȘ biblical land and suddenly came across a glass case, similar to the Pope mobile, which houses a statue of pope John Paul II; two buildings further on you come to Mother Teresa; little further on you can enjoy a sculpture called Homage to Gandhi; you can also see Luther looking like he has Downs syndrome. We were the only tourists who had paid to go in (the Philippine nuns did not have to pay because they were dressed as nuns) and all the other visitors were believers who had come from Buenos Aires or other parts of Argentina. But it's not all pleasure. Christians always keep sacrifice and penitence close at hand. The humidity and the heat of Buenos Aires in summer makes visiting Holy Land a test for their faith. The only public swimming pool in Buenos Aires is next to the theme park. Along with Enya's voice, the fresh-looking blue pool, where you can see the sinners enjoying themselves, is as big a temptation as Sodom and Gomorra seen from mount Calvary.
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