Adios Argentina…our final days in South America

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — The cruise is over, Azamara Quest is on its way back to Rio and tomorrow I head for home.

Portrait from the MALBA

Buenos Aires has been absolutely a wonderful adventure. It is a beautiful city with lovely architecture, charming parks ranging from small to sprawling throughout the city and delightful shops and cafes everywhere.

BA has several outstanding museums. I chose to visit the exhibit of Latin American Art of the 20th century at Malba. The collections include paintings, photographs, sculpture, drawings, engravings, collages and more. A self-portrait of Frida Kahlo is a showpiece, and a current exhibit, the photos of Oscar Munoz, is amazing with its charming photo-painting of four waterfronts: Venice, New York City, Paris and Buenos Aires. His photos taken on shower curtains are charming.

I also enjoyed the sculpture (a comfy bench) by Pablo Reinosa, a mix of wood and steel ranging from one floor to another and providing that, yes, comfy bench.

Another cultural experience was to see Tango Gala, a great example of that particular dance form. Dancers are young, svelte and oh-so-graceful, while musicians and singers round out the entertainment. Tango is a sensuous dance and the dancers take their work seriously. The entertainment is preceded by a great meal. I had one of the best filets I have ever enjoyed — part of a three-course meal  — and a delightful evening. The conclusion of the performance, a heart-rending rendition of “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina,” by the entire cast including the male dancers waving the beautiful Argentine flag is a real “gotcha” for the multi-national audience.

Yes, that history is everywhere: From the Plaza del Mayo where women still march once a week protesting the hundreds and hundreds of children taken in the 1980s, to the charming Casa Rosado where Evita spoke to her people, the past is present throughout the city. Graffiti speaks to the challenge of the Falklands War, Peron, etc. But in truth, graffiti is not widespread in this city.

There were some disappointments.

I tried to do an English-language tour of the amazing and huge Teatro Colon, but the line was blocks long. Also missed the on-off bus, but have seen the sites I wanted to see. And once I pick up the leather jacket I am having made later this afternoon, I´ll be ready to start to pack.

Cities I love

Like people, some cities are inviting and pleasant to visit. My friends all make fun of me because I love London and return there whenever I can. I didn´t feel that in Rio, but BA certainly makes it to my top 10 list.

The city has many broad avenues, buildings reminiscent of France (some actually designed by the same architect) and a grace and style all its own. Taxis are inexpensive and while I understand the subway is easy to maneuver, I have spent a lot of time in cabs, but not the expected sums of money. Some homeless people are evident, but far less prevalent than in some US cities.

Everyone seems to have a little English and combined with my “poco espanol,” I get by.

So for now, it is Adios, Argentina.

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