It Takes Two To Tango

Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
Trip End May 15, 2011

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Flag of Argentina  , Capital Federal District,
Friday, December 3, 2010

    With only a few days left here in Buenos Aires  we figured it was essential that we dance some tango. So, after our final Spanish lesson in the morning, and a nice afternoon nap, we signed up for a tango dinner show. The cost also included an open bar, pick up and drop off from our hostel, and most importantly the dance lesson before the show. We splurged a bit on this with a cost of 220 pesos ($60) each but the guy we signed up with at the hostel said it was worth it, and also this was one of the main things we wanted to do while here in BA. We decided we will just have to take it easy for the following few days in order to get back on budget. Anyways, the bus came to pick us up at 7pm and proceeded to drive us and the other tourists on board to the Tango Show. We were immediately ushered into the room where the dance lesson were to take place. The hour long group lesson went over some of the basic steps of the tango and included many embarrassing and funny moments. The teacher was very good, as he made jokes both in English and Spanish and humored us through the lesson and our amateur skills. My favorite part was learning the tango face, which is intense scowl that apparently is essential to a successful tango. After the lesson it was time for dinner and drinks in the room where the show was to take place. Unfortunately I was feeling very sick in the stomach and didn't really get to enjoy this gourmet meal, that Mara said was quite delicious. The show was very entertaining with a storyline that took the dancers and singers on a trip through the 20th century with many costume and scene changes. Afterward the bus took us back to the hostel and we called it a night.
    The next day my stomach was still bothering me and now Mara had the same sick feeling. We got some medicine, and rested until the afternoon. Once we were feeling relatively better, we ventured out from the hostel. First, we dropped off our laundry at a place that will wash and fold it for you for a very cheap price. After that, we took the subway to the Palermo neighborhood, which is famous for its expansive green parks, many monuments, and museums. It is an upscale neighborhood with many fancy cafes and hotels. We just walked around for a few hours, and felt like we escaped the city while inside the parks. One of the best park we saw was the Japanese Garden. For a couple dollars each we were able to relax inside this place, that had nice walkways over some ponds with Koy swimming underneath us. They actually had one of my favorite Korean snacks at the snack bar which is somewhat ironic considering the poor relationship between the Koreans and Japanese.
    The next day the neighborhood we went to see was Recoletta. The main attraction here is the cemetery. It is a huge city like place, with streets inside it that lead to the many mausoleums which house some of the richest and most famous people in Argentinian history. Of course, we made the obligatory stop at the final resting place of Eva Peron which was packed with tourists taking pictures and leaving flowers. Outside of the cemetery was the weekly art fair that takes place here every Saturday. It was a huge grouping of stalls all with different kinds of art. Many of them were extremely talented artists who were selling their goods at very reasonable prices. We picked up a watercolor painting that we are very excited to put in our home when return to the states. On the way to the bus to take us back to the hostel, we noticed an art museum called the Museum of Fine art (English Name). We entered, at no cost, and went inside and were amazed to see a rediculously extensive collection of artists such as Monet, Daga, Renoit, and Picaso just to name a few. It was really cool and a nice surprise. It has been nice to do all of these free things in BA and to save some money while still being so entertained. There is free music around random corners and the city is just overflowing with culture.
    On Sunday we got an early start and went to another art fair. This one was in San Telmo and was 10 times bigger than the large one we had seen the day before. It is a popular destination for tourists because of the tango dancers who perform in the streets, and it is well advertised in many of the guide books. It goes all the way down a street and also takes over many alleys along the way. We bought some really cool gifts for the family(get excited guys) and had a bite to eat, and had another nice and inexpensive day.
    On our last full day in Buenos Aires, Mara and I hit the last neighborhood on our "must see list". The destination of the day was the La Boca neighborhood, which is known for its colorful buildings, and somewhat dangerous area outside of the main tourist areas. It is also home to Athletic Club Boca Juniors which is one of the most popular soccer teams in all of South America. Our experience in this barrio was interesting. We tried to get on the 64 bus which is the one our hostel owner told us to take, but were promptly kicked off when we asked him to take us to La Boca. We then tried another bus which took us to the general area we wanted to be in. As I said, there are some neighborhoods in La Boca that should be avoided so we didn't really feel like wandering the streets. Nothing bad happened, and we found the tourist area just fine. However, when we did get there it wasn't exactly what we expected. It was by far the most the most touristy area of the city we had yet seen. Many shop and restaurant owners begging us to come into their place, tango dancers in the streets trying to get you to pay to take a picture with them were around every corner. It was a bit too intense for us and after we took some pictures we decided to head back to the area of our hostel to grab some lunch. This lunch was fantastic. We split a meat and cheese platter with food from all over the world, and of course washed it down with a nice glass of malbec, which was served cold because of the hot temperature outside. All of this for under $20, which is good but will get even cheaper after we leave BA We then packed up our bags and got an early nights sleep because the next day we had a 9am boat to catch to head to country numero dos in South America. Uruguay!!!

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