A walk in the cemetery

I first saw the cemetery when the bus took us past it last month. Since then I have been `dying` to see it. I will be going home on Thursday, so I decided to go there this morning. The weather was not great but at least it was not raining.

I sneaked in through a side door – I didn`t want people to think that I am being disrespectful. I was not trying to photograph people but I was looking for artistic photos. People might think that I am weird and maybe I am but I love to go to cemeteries. It reminds me that life is fragile. All the people buried there had a story, a life and people that loved them.It intrigues me. I love to find the old graves and to read the inscriptions. Thinking and wondering….

When I walked into the cemetery I couldn`t believe all the beautiful, fresh flowers! They were everywhere. It was wonderful and lifted the sombre mood. This is the second cemetery that I have visited in Argentina. The biggest one is in La Recoletta in Buenos Aires. I have never seen anything like that before. This cemetery is much bigger and very different. It has far less tombs and is more personal.

Alta Gracia Cemetery in Argentina
Rows and rows of tombs inside a wall.

I stopped many times to admire the flowers. Once I even reached out to touch it, because it looked so real and I wanted to see if it was…it was!

Alta Gracia Cemetery
Beautiful flowers everywhere.

As I turned the corner a man came up to me and asked me if I needed help. He was friendly at first and when I told him I was here to take photos for my Blog he wasn`t that friendly any more. I explained to him that I am looking for some very old graves and would like to photograph it, if I may. He lightened up and took me to one that dated back to 1906. In fact, I was looking for this one because one year ago I visited the Dubois Museum and read that the man was buried here. I was happy to have found it.

Dubois grave at the Alta Gracia Cemetery
The stone of Dubois, a French artists that lived in Alta Gracia.

He took me to two more that dated back to the early 1900`s.

I really liked the peaceful atmosphere and walked around for a while. I saw some interesting things and I was very happy to see that people take care of the graves of their loved ones. In South Africa so many people want to, but it is becoming too dangerous.

Alta Gracia Cemetery
An angel watching over you.
Crosses,cemeteries,Alta Gracia,Argentina
A cross made from mosaic tiles.

I am not sure if the Spaniards influenced this but you will find that rich people built tombs where they buried all their family members. This is very much evident in Buenos Aires in La Recoletta Cemetery with huge tombs everywhere. Poor people were buried some place else. Although these tombs are beautiful, they need to be maintained. If not, they become the liability of somebody else. I have seen some tombs that are almost falling apart. It is my personal opinion that this could not be hygienic at all. A chat later to the `unfriendly` man, confirmed that.

Tombs,Alta Gracia, Cemetery
A modern tomb in Alta Gracia Cemetery
Tombs,Alta Gracia, Cemetery
An example of a tomb that deteriorated over the years.

I took a walk through the older part of the cemetery – I felt calm and relaxed.

Cemetery,Alta Gracia,Tombs,Graves
The older part of the cemetery.

As I made my way out, I looked up and saw the beautiful colours of autumn! I stepped extra hard on the dry leaves..the sound made me grateful to be alive!

The sound of the dry leaves cracking underneath my feet.

Date: 8 May 2012

Where: Alta Gracia Cemetery,Argentina

I have been fortunate to have done quite a bit of travelling over the last 10 years. By heart I am an adventurer and I love exploring new places, cultures and food. Travelling can become stressful and expensive. Over the years I have learnt to travel as cost effective as possible, simply by travelling more clever. Nelmitravel.com is a Adventure and Budget Travel site where I review Airlines, Accommodation, Transport, Restaurants and give helpful travel information.


  1. Amazing, just amazing. Reading this post has reminded me of an article I read a while back in a National Geographic Traveller brochure; it was about cemeteries and had wonderful descriptions and photos as well. I’m not afraid of graveyards but for reasons unknown I have never in my life visited one. Perhaps because I was too young, perhaps because I didn’t have a reason. Anyway. This post may just inspire me to man up and visit one during the summer. It will be interesting.

    Marvellous photos and a thought-provoking post. Thank you.

    1. Thank you so much John! Glad you liked it 😉 Many people are scared of cemeteries..I am only scared at night. Back in South Africa I have many loved ones buried in the same cemetery and I used to go there on a regular basis to leave some flowers and just have a quick chat. I loved the peace and quiet that I found there. Many tears too but overall a sense of peace. If you do get an opportunity, go and let me know if you had the same kind of experience.

      Thanks for the visit! Oh, we (well actually I) am planning to visit some very old monasteries in Moscow and I have read that there are cemeteries close by. I am planning to go there to..so watch the space 🙂

      1. Moscow is a wonderful place. I’ve been there during a transit flight (temporary stop for 9 hours in Moscow) and it was a really picturesque city. I do hope you enjoy your trip and of course snap some photos for us. 😉

        And, I will definitely keep you all updated when and if I decide to visit a cemetery for real.

  2. Dear Nelieta,
    What a lovely, thought-provoking post. I really enjoyed your photos. The contrast between the modern tomb and the deteriorated one is amazing. I can’t wait to see what you bring back from Moscow…Lovers’ Cove will be awaiting some romantic inspiration (smile). Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Andy, the contrast is quite big, yes and sadly you see quite a lot of them. They make great photos though 🙂 I will try not to disappoint Lovers` Cove and I hope the photos will be inspirational for some wonderful love poems!

  3. Nelieta, believe it or not, I share your attraction to cemeteries. They are so serene and peaceful, reminding us of the brevity of life and how important it is to live ours to the fullest.
    Last summer, I visited the historic cemetery here in Kennesaw, GA. It is filled with the names of fallen heroes from the Civil War, from the World Wars, and from families whose names are still today reflected in road signs that commemorate them. We have an iconic character here in town who runs a Civil War memorial store, unfortunately, replete with white supremacy. He already has his monument in the cemetery, carved, and predicting he will die this month and this year. Mayan calendar? And, here, all along, I thought he didn’t like people of color!
    Oh, well, “Wildman”, as he calls himself, is still with us. Wonder what it will cost him to have his marker altered? 🙂
    Blessings to you, my dear, and thanks for these wonderful photo and beautiful reflection. Have a safe and blessed trip to Russia!

    1. Hi Martha, the story of “Wildman” made me smile..poor man, predicting your own death. That is a little weird. I find cemeteries fascinating. There are some beautiful and very old cemeteries in Moscow and it took some convincing to get Andrey to agree that we can visit one…I have two on my list but he doesn`t know it yet! I am looking forward to take some photos there too and get to know more about the history. Thank you for sharing this story with us…I enjoyed it! Take care Martha and I will be posting on a regular basis 😉

Thank you for visiting. Have a fabulous day!

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