As the “Tangueros” danced the every so sexy tango for the National Day of Argentina most of the guests at the reception at the Albert Hall probably decided like me that you have to be born to the rhythms of this exquisite dance. To enjoy it in Buenos Aires is to wander the suburb of La Boca, attend a tango show in an Art Deco Theatre, or have a few lessons to at least get the basics. Its history is not so long and its roots hard to be absolute about but it is a unique part of the essence of Buenos Aires.
So too is a cemetery. Yes the mausoleum of Eva Peron is in Cementerio de la Recoleta, a space jampacked with ornate mausoleums where with her mother and sister, Eva Peron is entombed. Beside her a mausoleum is for sale for about the equivalent of a swanky Buenos Aires apartment. If you’d like a crowded space, guaranteed tourist traffic and an elaborate tomb for your afterlife this could be the ideal resting place.
On any traveller’s trail Argentina is a must. And Ambassador of Argentina Pedro Villagra Delgado advised us well on the delights of the city. Among them The Colon Theatre, the El Ateneo Grand Splendid bookshop that was once a theatre and the main Plaza de Mayo where a limited knowledge of the political history of Argentina was radically improved by the clutch of busy and interesting tour guide leaders with a companionable familiarity with us and each other .
The cathedral where the current Pope worshipped, the balcony of the Casa Rosada where Eva Peron addressed her people, Madonna famously warbled ‘don’t cry for me Argentina’ and the place where the mothers of the ‘desaparecidos’ (the disappeared ones) walk every Thursday – though not on Boxing Day last year - are the highlight of this plaza with on our 40 degree Celsius day in a long string of them had the locals frolicking under the water sprays and the fountains.
Argentina might be ticked off my bucket list, but the memories will last forever. As will the valiant effort of Ambassador Delgado to sing his country’s national anthem when technical difficulties prevented the recorded one being played at the National Day reception. He doesn’t ‘do’ the tango though!