We are sad to say goodbye to Buenos Aires, however we are looking forward to some time on the beaches of Uruguay! In our final week it was all about the Tango! We also made sure to see and do those last few important things.
We took advantage of another free tour to the Balvanera (Tango y Abasto) neighborhood. The neighborhood became associated with the tango, gaining a picaresque reputation at one time, and today there are monuments dedicated to some of the genre’s icons. They adopted a cool little street (appropriately named Carlos Gardel) to house the monuments.
The tour also visited legendary tango singer Carlos Gardel’s home – now a museum dedicated to the singer’s memory. We viewed some examples of filete porteño, a type of artistic drawing typically used in Buenos Aires.
In addition, we heard about the history of The Abasto – a former Art Deco market now regenerated into a modern shopping center. We took a walk through it to find an entire children’s amusement park, at least 4 McDonald’s including a Kosher version, movie theaters and lots of shops.
We said goodbye to our new friends at Saddleback Church. We really enjoyed our 4 Sundays in Buenos Aires studying the book of Daniel and worshiping Buenos Aires style.
After church on Sunday we took an hour plus bus ride out to the Feria de Mataderos. The fair is an example of the Argentinean traditions: typical food, crafts, Argentinean dances, folklore shows, ring races. We enjoyed the local BBQ, music and dancing. However, we were disappointed to find out the gauchos would not be riding this week.
We spent a rainy afternoon (it was supposed to be 72°and sunny ) in Tigre. It was a cute town about 45 minutes outside of Buenos Aires. Just a quick and easy train ride away. We walked along the river, had some lunch and took a scenic boat tour through the waterways.
We met a friendly multi-generational family while waiting to board the boat. We used our muy poquito Spanish and they used their little bit of English to have a fun conversation. One of the Argentinean cultures we had heard about but not yet experienced was the sharing of a mate. While on board the boat tour the family shared their mate and cake with us. It was a warm and welcoming feeling to be included in their tradition like one of the family. When we were telling our host about it the next day she said that means we are now friends.
Kimberli was insistent on not leaving Buenos Aires without a Tango dance. So in our usual tradition we saved the best for last and spent our final night in Buenos Aires dancing. La Viruta is a Tango club in Palermo that offers classes. It is structured in a comfortable way so that everyone (beginners to advanced) can learn and have a good time. Following the classes there is a milonga (a place or event where tango is danced) so you can dance and practice what you learned. We had an incredible night and can not wait to try out our new dance skills again.
Checkout our final pose. Not too shabby.
As we checked out of our apartment and said goodbye to our host family which we have become very fond of, the middle son Renzo brought us a bag of gifts. It was all wrapped in an adorable Mafalda bag with a mate cup and bombilla (straw to go with the mate cup). There also were a few Alfajores (cookies covered in chocolate) for our journey.
We had our final jam session, took a few pictures and hugged everyone goodbye. This is a memory that we will hold near to hearts.
Next stop… Uruguay.