Saturday, 31 January 2015

Cordoba, Argentina

Cathedral in Cordoba

After three memorable days in Cafayate, we took a bus to the Tucuman province. Once again we witnessed some amazing landscapes on the way before arriving at the capital city San Miguel de Tucuman at 7 pm. We didn’t like the vibes in this city, and caught an overnight bus to Cordoba the same night. This is the beauty of travelling and going with the flow: you never feel stuck in a situation or in a place you don't enjoy.

We arrived at Cordoba in the early morning of December 24th 2013. We thought spending Christmas in the second biggest city of Argentina would be fun. We took a taxi to the Link Hostel . It is an OK place to stay but wasn’t extraordinary. The problem we had was that we arrived in Cordoba in the middle of a heat wave and our room didn’t have air-conditioning. The ceiling fan was simply not enough and it was very close to the upper bunk-bed which did not feel safe at all. We decided to stay the night with the hope that it might cool down in the evening.

Streets of Cordoba

In the afternoon, we walked around in the city and exchanged some more “Blue Dollars”. Each province has different rules and regulations. While we didn’t have any problems exchanging money in the middle of a street in Salta, the process was slightly more hidden in Cordoba. We were taken into a news agency where we couldn’t be seen from outside while exchanging dollars. An interesting fact about Argentina was that the more south we travelled, the more expensive it got.

We spent the Christmas night in the hostel as nothing was open. Thankfully, we still had some wine and cheese from Cafayate, so we enjoyed a nice dinner! We joined the hostel staff and few travellers on the rooftop to watch the fireworks. It was a fun night but we couldn’t sleep much because of the heat. The next day, we decided to look for another hostel.

Light show in Cordoba

After visiting a couple of places which were either not open during Christmas or fully booked, we found a quiet hostel not too far from the city centre. We had a good afternoon nap and went out to the movies. I couldn’t believe how cheap the cinema tickets were. We paid $10 for both of us whereas in Sydney we used to pay around $18 if not more per person. Cinema was a brilliant idea with outside temperatures more than 40 degrees Celsius. And yes, they had air-conditioning.

A surprise was waiting for us when we got back to our room. We discovered that there was an open air techno club right next door. Noooo! Another sleepless night. Later we were told that Cordoba has one of the biggest student population and there are many bars and clubs in the New Cordoba where we were staying. We checked out in the morning and went to Villa Carlos Paz, a small village by the San Antonio River, which is not more than an hour away from Cordoba. It is quite popular amongst the locals for its relaxed vibes and cultural activities.

San Antonio River
It was great to get out from the oven of Cordoba. Carlos Paz felt like a seaside town without the sea. However, there is always the option of cooling down in the shallow streams of San Antonio River. Indeed, we saw many locals relaxing by the river. At night, we went to our first theatre performance in Argentina. The play was called "Toc Toc" and it was a comedy about a psychotherapist treating people with different Obsessive-compulsive disorders. Although it was in Spanish, I managed to understand most of it thanks to my teacher’s (Magus) great efforts in Ecuador.

The next day, we returned to Cordoba for one more night. This time we stayed at the Tango Hostel which turned out to be a good address. During our last day in Cordoba, we visited La Manzana Jesuitica or Jesuit Square which was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Evita Fine Arts Museum and  Museo Palacio Ferreyra, both were excellent art museums.

Evita Fine Arts Museum

After four sleepless nights in Cordoba, it was time to visit Mariana whom we met in Santiago de Cuba in August. 

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