St Patty’s day came and went, and here I am writing the second part of the Buenos Aires experience, the fun part! As any large city, Buenos Aires does not lack on fun things to do. From tango, to musicals and shows, to night life and fun patios, it has it all. I’ll be focusing more on the unique fun escapades one can do, rather than on drinking on a patio in the middle of the night.
The tango experience
Tango has become a synonym for Buenos Aires. This unique music and dance originated in the low class suburbs of the city around the mid-1800s. Its history is often associated with the European immigrants to Argentina who were promised great fortunes and land. Their dreams were shuttered upon reaching Argentina as the promised land was never there for them. The lyrics of tango songs are very sad, representing the feelings of those who were disappointed by the choice they’ve made.
In its beginnings, the upper classes rejected tango due to its originating place. But, this suddenly changed when the Carlos Gardel traveled to Europe making tango songs the music to “listen to” in the 1920s. Upon his success, the culture of tango became a symbol to Buenos Aires and the upper class started to accept it.
A tango show was on our to do list and we were fortunate to attend one that went through the evolution of tango across the decades. Like any other dance and music genre, tango also changed since its beginnings. Each decade was represented by its most famous and specific dance and songs. Many shows also come with dinner and some have a tango class beforehand. We did one with a class, and I am sad to report that we “all sucked”. But I guess that gives me room for improvement 🙂
A less known fact about tango is that it is also a very popular dance in Finland. When it was introduced in Europe, the Finnish people became one if it’s biggest fans and in time tango became the traditional dance in this part of the world. A little bit more on the conservative side, the Finnish tango music is slower and the dance has less leg work from the women. This may be because the length of the skirts is long, compared the short and revealing skirts in Argentina. Anyway, for comparison, here is the Finnish version:
As a women I pride myself with my large collection of shoes and I was very happy to roam through the many stores in Buenos Aires that sell tango shoes. I picked up two pairs to bring back to Canada and they have proven to be some of the most comfortable heels I own. Who would have thought?
Shows to experience
In addition to the world famous tango shows, Buenos Aires is also a cultural centre for many other shows. Avenida Corriente, located in downtown is the place to be for experiencing musicals, theatre plays and comedy shows. A street that never sleeps, Corriente can easily be named the Broadway of Buenos Aires.
We managed to snitch a couple of tickets for the show Signum. I was able to impress the sales person with my broken spanish and for the effort he gave us quite a good discount. We didn’t take any videos but I managed to find one online and of course I’m sharing it:
Nightlife for the win!
As a metropolitan city, Buenos Aires also has plenty of options for nightlife. There are two famous areas: Palermo and Puerto Madero. Depending on the budget and preferred partying style, one would chose Palermo for the “chill” experience while Puerto Madero is more fancy with expensive clubs.
In Buenos Aires, like in most of Argentina, clubs do not open their doors until 2 AM. Which makes sense since dinner doesn’t happen until 10PM the earliest. To make the most out of the clubbing experience I suggest taking a nap between dinner and clubbing. This will make your feet moving till the morning and even after that for the after-parties 🙂
A small town in the Paraná Delta, Tigre is a wonderful escape from the agitation of the city. Only an hour train ride away from Buenos Aires, not visiting Tigre would be a sin. Once in Tigre, the delta can be visited either by taking a tourist tour or by taking the local boat, which acts as a local bus for those living in or visiting the area.
We did not have much time to spend here, but we made a short hike through the forests and took some lovely pictures of the scenery. Since it was fall, the shades of colour in the nature made us feel as if we were in fairytales.
And this completes the Buenos Aires experience 🙂 This city remains on my “to-revisit” list as I feel like there is still much more to discover and experience. But until then, I am happy to keep the memories of what I experienced as close to me as possible 🙂