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Buenos Aires for Grown-ups

Buenos Aires for Grown-ups, overseas travel in middle age, overseas travel after 50
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As you get a little older you aren’t as interested in holidaying with 20-and-30 something’s. Often their idea of a good time is brain pounding music that guarantees you, and people in a four block radius of the club, will need a hearing aid in the next 10 years.

Perhaps instead you’d rather have a nice dinner, a Michael Bublé sound alike and a tasty wine. Yes, our idea of a good time changes as we experience life.

While Buenos Aires reputedly has its share of partying I was interested in the other attractions.

Let’s start with a celebrity and a landmark of the city. You forty-year-old denizens are about to start humming when I mention one of presidents of Argentina, Eva Peron. I bet the song  “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina’ immediately pops into your brain and starts running.  Sorry. Her large crypt is in the famous and beautiful Recoleta Cemetery of Buenos Aires. It’s well worth a wonderful morning’s meandering.

Located in an upscale end of town it regularly comes up on lists as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. Mini-street after mini-street of crypts are laid out in geometric precision that strides through 13 acres and almost two hundred years of history.

A second must see is the legendary antique and art market.  This is near the original center of town where the administrative buildings are located. Most are beautifully restored and still in use by the government today. One corner of the main square is the huge cathedral and the waterfront is only blocks away.  While there I did my very best to find some bargains. I found some wonderful ship’s lanterns from the 1940’s but their price was a lot higher than my little market back in Santiago so I gave them a miss.

In front of the trendy art galleries on weekends, the cobblestone streets are closed to traffic and crowded with all sorts of venders loudly informing you about their wares.  Leather goods, custom jewelry from the least pricey copper wire and beads to much more expensive works were all there, while a fabulous photographer, hand fired ceramics and some local designer clothes were on offer too.

When your legs give out from walking on all those pretty cobbles and the shopping opportunities are exhausted, you will find adjacent to the market several blocks of restaurants where eating outdoors in the European fashion is en vogue. Perfect!

If there is a bit of heat and humidity the digestion of your late lunch may entice you to have a siesta before you start your evening, which is a very refined idea and I think more countries should adopt it.

Since this IS Buenos Aires, you must go out at night after your siesta. I would suggest a night at the theatre.  There is a massive live theatre district. While not New York or London, it is a delight nevertheless and right behind those two cities in terms of offerings.

They pride themselves on producing both old and new works regularly. Our choices included ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’ with a marquee sporting a block of flashing lights outlining a camel.

We went for a new musical titled ‘Miramé’ instead. If you have poor Spanish the music, action and dancing will get the point over pretty thoroughly even if you don’t understand the dialogue. It is a story told primarily in tango so what’s not to love? At one point there was a wonderfully executed scene of our poor heroine being ravished, all done in dance.  The six elderly ladies in front of us were literally scandalized and left with their cheeks aflame.  That alone made the evening worthwhile for me. The dancing and music were a treat that were only to be had in cosmopolitan South America.

The famous Argentinian duo, Angel Mahler and Pepe Cibiran are the royalty of South American musical theatre. Among their credits are packed houses and awards for Dracula, Excalibur, Dorian Gray, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Othello, Caligula and the new Miramé. Anything with their name on it should be fun to go see when you are there.

So for those of us with a different set of travel tastes, I suggest this list of must-do’s that is a little more refined than the aspiration to get totally unconscious.

Instead temporarily go explore the sights, sounds, tastes and values of a world that lives differently than you do.

Suzie Hammond is the author of several books including; “I am Not Sure Where I Want to Be -But it’s Not Here” (A Comprehensive System for Finding a New Home You’ll Love )

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