After all the dancing we ambled around the town admiring the brightly coloured buildings, often seeing tango dancers performing on a street corner or out the front of a café. The music was compelling us to join in, but after our recent experience we didn’t want to embarrass ourselves, so we sat, ate and drank coffee while watching the dancers effortlessly perform steps we had just struggled to obtain. It was magical.
We then headed back to Recoletta as it was market day. The market was located on the rambling lawns out the front of the mystical cemetery and we wandered through the stalls selling beautiful handmade items, jewellery, bags, paintings and food. Just as we were about to leave the market, we saw a man putting the finishing touches to a colourful and rather unusual painting of the city, depicting all the places we had seen and where we wanted to go. His name was Alex and we sat and chatted for ages about the painting and what he did in Buenos Aires. We quietly decided that the unfinished painting would look great at home so arranged to meet the next day to view the finished product. Still in Recoletta, we couldn’t leave without going into the cemetery to find Evita’s grave.
The cemetery was fascinating - unlike nothing I have ever seen before; such opulence, soaring edifices of angels, dragons, majestic statues above tombs with leadlighting, coffins stacked within in clear view, with flowers and gifts adorning many of them. It was a sight to see, eerie, beautiful and artistic, each row adorned with an even greater or more lavish tomb or grave. With its grand size, it felt like we were walking amongst a silent and sleeping historic town.
We finally found Eva Peron’s tomb, which it was not as lavish as expected, adorned instead with simple fresh roses. As we viewed her granite and brass resting place, locals stopped by to say a short prayer and leave behind a single rose at the site. The sun was setting and a slight mist was descending as we made our way out of the cemetery. It created a mystical atmosphere and we felt like we had stepped back in time, imagining at any moment a horse drawn cart clattering down the cobblestones. We found ourselves whispering in quiet voices so the ghosts of years past wouldn’t hear us as we sneaked out through a small wooden door in the side of the huge cemetery walls.