Buenos Aires, Argentina

                                                                     Tango Show

February 7-8, 2010

Buenos Aires is a most interesting city.  It is an eclectic city that has some very special traditions.  On our first morning here we had scheduled a tour that would take us to three of the local markets.  Unfortunately the weather for the most part did not cooperate, and we had rain.  Not the best weather for a tour of the city’s open-air markets.  We drove by the first two markets, which had no vendors in sight, and went on to the cemetery where Evita Peron is buried, in the Duarte family mausoleum.  The mausoleum is heavily decorated with flowers from people who still admire her.  Her casket is three meters underground to prevent people from kidnapping it.  The whole cemetery is mausoleums, so it is like walking through a miniature city.  One of the tombs actually had a wind turbine vent on the roof, a small version of the ones familiar to us.

We then went to the area of town known as the “Republica de Boca”, a poor area of town where many of the buildings are of corrugated steel and brightly painted (photo below).  This is where the famous Boca Juniors Soccer Stadium is located.  We stopped in this area for a shopping break.  We looked at what was offered in the craft arcade where the bus dropped us off, and then wandered around for a while to check out the neighborhood.  One of our favorite sights was the ice delivery vehicle:  an old Volkswagen beetle.

We did get to stop at the third market, the San Telmo flea market that is only open on Sundays.  The weather cooperated pretty well with us for this stop.  The main attraction for us was a classical guitarist who amplified his music, so we could hear it as we walked around the market.  He played well and it was quite enjoyable to listen to him.

We had been told that the one must-do activity when in Buenos Aires was to see a tango show.  Our friend Mesa had connected with Pablo, the lead dancer in The Pampas Devils, a group that had put on one of the evening shows for us while we were en route to Buenos Aires.  He met us at the cruise terminal and took us to a restaurant called El Viejo Almacén, where we had what was billed as a typical Argentine dinner.  After dinner we went across the street to the place of the same name where the show was held, and watched a two hour show that included some instrumental music, a couple of singers, and much tango dancing.  The people of Buenos Aires have made the tango into a fine art, which is spectacular to watch.  The skill of the dancers was fantastic.

Our tour guide told us that there is one instrument that is required in a tango orchestra:  the bandoñon.  The bandoñon looks like an accordion and is played like an accordion, but it does not have the piano keys.  The orchestra for this show had two of them, and a guest player joined them for a piece that featured the bandoñon.  We very much enjoyed this show and would recommend that you find a good tango show when you come to Buenos Aires, if you have never seen one.

The harbor in Buenos Aires is the busiest one we’ve ever seen in our travels.   We spent quite a bit of time watching that activity when we were not out on tour.  We find the way the containers are handled, and the way they have everything organized is amazing.  Trucks show up exactly when the crane is ready to pick up or deposit a container.   Okay, so we are easily entertained.  The truth is we both enjoy learning how things work.

We look forward to being able to return to Buenos Aires and see more of the city on a day (or two, or more) when it is not raining.

                                                               Boca District

© Susan L. Stone 2015                   rovingstones@me.com