Time to Tango – Buenos Aires – Argentina
The posters behind this older gentleman are testimony that the Argentinian passion for music endures.
B.A. is a probably the most cosmopolitan of all the South American cities. It sprawls out from the city centre with its imposing colonial architecture and sophisticated shopping malls into different suburbs which seem to be demarked by income. From exclusive boutiques and tree-lined avenues with handsome houses (Vija Palmero) to areas with run down buildings and hard faced concrete buildings (La Boca), one is never far from the homeless and poverty or rich and wealthy. If the hustle and bustle of the city are too much, it’s only a walk away to the sea and it’s bordering bird sanctuary. Spend an evening eating at the local kiosks that front the wetland park and watching locals promenade and lovers snuggle into each other or listen to dance music blaring from each cafe and dance the night away. If that fails to whet your appetite make a bee line for the rejuvenated docklands area which is full of sophisticated eateries – with the emphasis on meat of course.
Inside one of the shopping malls
Parts of the city centre
Hire a bike if you get foot sore - there are lot of pavments to pound
A few of the restaurants we ate in
B.A. also has a vibrant street life. Wander around the streets and one will hear musicians riling up the crowd with flamenco music and see dancers performing the titillating tango. Street markets abound although the most famous is probably the Sunday market (San Telmo) where vendors and entertainers come together. This is a day to shop, be entertained, stop off for or a coffee in one of the many renovated buildings or wander around the stalls in the numerous plazas. Sign up for a dance class or just try the outfits on and use your imagination. Browse through the many retro second-hand shops or young designer clothes shops and visit the museums/art galleries. There is a huge amount of things to do in this city and when you’ve exhausted them head out to the towns by the river for some downtime.
San Telmos Sunday Market
Restored Colonial Buildings
Drum bands march the street with dancing girls, banging out a beats that get the feet going.
Chill out in between sights in the one of the many parks
A trip to B.A. would not be complete without a visit to its famous Cementerio de Recoleta. Sitting in the richest of neighbourhoods this necropolis plays host to generations of Argentina’s rich and famous dead including Eva Peron. The cemetery has many secluded nooks and crannies to wander around and escape from the tourists and one will find towering gothic tombs, marble angels overseeing the proceedings from on high, vines gripping tightly to crumbling mausoleums and neglected sarcophagi which are in danger of spilling their contents.
Eva Peron’s Mausoleum
If you are after a little more history follow the tourist trail map and visit the political hot spots and historical buildings in the city. Read about the dirty war and then head down to the main plaza and lend support to the mothers of the disappeared, innocent people who were arrested never to be seen again. They march every Wednesday afternoon in protest seeking justice and knowledge of what happened to their loved ones.
Expect the unexpected when walking around this city.
Whatever one chooses to do in B.A. I guarantee you will stay longer than intended and vow to return for more like I did- although I may choose a different hotel next time, the climb up was exhausting!