A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Lindseyalan73

Buenos Aires (20-25/11/2018)

Santiago to Buenos Aires

The Pajaritas bus terminal (with its station on the metro), which we used when coming to Santiago from Valparaiso, was also very handy for the trip out to the airport for our flight to Buenos Aires - there are buses from Pajaritas every 15 minutes to the airport. Then, a two hour flight over the Andes, smooth border formalities and baggage pickup on arrival, and quickly onto the airport bus in to Retiro near a metro and we thought it would be a similarly calm arrival in BA.

We found later that a taxi from there to the hotel would have been less than 3 euros - so, in retrospect, it would definitely have been the best option! Instead, we walked out to the metro station (knowing that it was only 4 stops to the station near our hotel). Firstly, not knowing the system for BA metro and not understanding the spanish, (we found out the following day) we got ripped off by the ticket attendant (not a big amount but still annoying!), then there were delays on our line which meant it took a long time and the carriage got busy and then, at the stop before our stop, the platform was full of people forcing their way on to the train. We were right at the far side of the carriage from the exit trying to fight our way off at the next stop (using our backpacks as battering rams!), with not a lot of others getting off, and more wanting to get on!! Not a pleasant experience but we made it!

Hotel Marbella, Avenida de Mayo

Buenos Aires is the final stop on our 10 week trip and we had 5 nights. Our hotel, Hotel Marbella, is very well located on the Avenida de Mayo in the centre of the city. We had stayed there twice (with a visit to Uruguay in between) on our trip 10 years ago. Rooms with a view of the street are fine, those in the interior are not! We arrived and the place was full and it looked like we were going to be stuck with an interior room for our last 5 nights on the trip ... but after much dscussion at reception and the fortuitous arrival of the manager, happily, we were able to move to an outside room after the first night. The hotel could certainly do with a makeover but the room facing the street was fine for us - particularly when we found out that the final cost (including simple breakfast) was only 23 euros per night when paid by Credit Card - (foreigners paying by CC or in US dollars avoid 21% local tax) - ridiculously cheap!

Hotel Marbella - 6th floor room facing steet with balcony!

Hotel Marbella - 6th floor room facing steet with balcony!

Hotel Marbella

Hotel Marbella


Hotel Marbella - Our balcony

Hotel Marbella - Our balcony


View from our balcony - rooftops

View from our balcony - rooftops

View from our balcony - rooftops in setting sun

View from our balcony - rooftops in setting sun


View from our hotel balcony in setting sun - Eva Peron image on building

View from our hotel balcony in setting sun - Eva Peron image on building

Buenos Aires was a great place to finish our trip. It is a big city of 12 million and, in some ways, it is like a European city, with wide boulevards and classic European architecture, but also with tango, Argentinian steaks and very fanatical football fans ...

Central BA

The central area includes the Avenida de Mayo (with our hotel) - which crosses the enormously wide Avenida de 9 Julio (impossible to walk across to the other side without waiting for the lights to change twice!), and covers several blocks north towards the Retiro station with the busy Calle Florida being a main pedestrian route. Its a very attractive area, with wide boulevards, lots of palm trees and jacaranda trees (in bloom), and some beautiful classic, old architecture.

Avenida 9 de Julio - Jacaranda tree in full blossom

Avenida 9 de Julio - Jacaranda tree in full blossom

Avenida 9 de Julio

Avenida 9 de Julio


Avenida 9 de Julio - a very wide boulevard to cross!

Avenida 9 de Julio - a very wide boulevard to cross!

Avenida 9 de Julio - Obelisco

Avenida 9 de Julio - Obelisco

Avenida 9 de Julio

Avenida 9 de Julio


Avenida 9 de Julio - monument

Avenida 9 de Julio - monument

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre - Plaza de Mayo

Around Buenos Aires centre - Plaza de Mayo


Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around Buenos Aires centre

Around the city centre - near Teatro Colon

Around the city centre - near Teatro Colon

Around the city centre

Around the city centre


Around the city centre

Around the city centre


Around the city centre

Around the city centre

Casa Rosada - Government House (the executive mansion and office of the President of Argentina)

Casa Rosada - Government House (the executive mansion and office of the President of Argentina)


Casa Rosada

Casa Rosada


Casa Rosada

Casa Rosada

Tigre and the River Plate delta

The next day was a glorious day so, after a walk in the central area to get our remaining dollars changed, a visit to the tourist information to get a map and some info and we had changed our room, we took the train out to Tigre (about 30 kms from BA). It is a pleasant small town on the River Plate delta. We took a one-hour boat tour round part of the delta. We had done a similar tour on our last visit and had loved the old houses and jetties along the waterways. There are still good examples of these but there has been quite a lot of development since our last visit (some far too modern for the setting - in our opinion!) - not sure we would want to see it again in another 10 years ...

Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

Tigre - our boat for 1 hour tour

Tigre - our boat for 1 hour tour


Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour


Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

Tigre - boat tour round River Plate delta waterways

Tigre - boat tour round River Plate delta waterways


Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour


Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour


Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

River Plate delta boat trip

River Plate delta boat trip


Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

Tigre - River Plate Delta 1 hour tour

La Boca

La Boca is a very colourful but touristy neighbourhood to visit which we reached by local bus. It is a poor area so care is needed and we stayed within the few streets 'reserved' for tourists. Good fun, lots of colour, all restaurants seemed to have their own couple doing the tango, tacky tourist shop arcades ...

It is also the home of Boca Juniors - one of the top Argentinian football teams. The last couple of weeks have seen the first leg of the main South American cup final (equivalent to the European Champions League cup final) between La Boca and River Plate - both top teams in Argentina and both from Buenos Aires who have never played each other in this final - so it was really grippng the country. Two weeks ago the first leg was played at La Boca (2-2 draw). When we went down to La Boca on Thursday on the bus there were some very noisy fans on it too - apparently fans were invited to attend a final team training at the ground before the second leg and there were a large number there. Next instalment on Saturday ... Incidentally, no away fans have been allowed at any games between the two clubs since 2013!

La Boca - Caminito

La Boca - Caminito


La Boca

La Boca


La Boca

La Boca


La Boca football stadium

La Boca football stadium


La Boca

La Boca


La Boca

La Boca


La Boca

La Boca


La Boca

La Boca


La Boca

La Boca


La Boca - Tango performers - and interested onlookers?!

La Boca - Tango performers - and interested onlookers?!

San Telmo (grey day)

We really enjoyed the San Telmo neighbourhood which we walked to (south of Avenida de Mayo/Plaza de Mayo) - one of the oldest parts of the city and still with colonial low rise buildings, it has a great market, lots of appealing bars and restaurants and the lovely Plaza Dorrego.

San Telmo - visit on grey day

San Telmo - visit on grey day


San Telmo - visit on grey day

San Telmo - visit on grey day


San Telmo - visit on grey day

San Telmo - visit on grey day


San Telmo - visit on grey day

San Telmo - visit on grey day


San Telmo - visit on grey day

San Telmo - visit on grey day


San Telmo - visit on grey day

San Telmo - visit on grey day


San Telmo - visit on grey day - Mercado

San Telmo - visit on grey day - Mercado

San Telmo - visit on grey day - holed up (but coping!) in the Mercado for a spot of lunch whilst it rained outside

San Telmo - visit on grey day - holed up (but coping!) in the Mercado for a spot of lunch whilst it rained outside

Ricoleto

One morning we took the metro out to Ricoleto. It seems quite a wealthy suburb, and the main reasons people go there are for the weekend craft market and for the cemetery. The cemetery is filled with enormous family mausoleums, many of them very extravagent - one of them contains the remains of Eva Peron. We went on a greyish Thursday and are not terribly keen on cemeteries so just had a short wander round, and were happy that we had called into the local tourist office on arrival, and the guy had recommended an excellent place for a light lunch (El SanJuanino).

Ricoleta Cemetery

Ricoleta Cemetery


Ricoleta cemetery

Ricoleta cemetery


Ricoleta Cemetery

Ricoleta Cemetery


Ricoleta - El Sanjuanino restaurant

Ricoleta - El Sanjuanino restaurant

Ricoleta - El Sanjuanino restaurant

Ricoleta - El Sanjuanino restaurant

Ricoleta - Floris Generica

Ricoleta - Floris Generica

Cafe Tortoni Tango Show

Cafe Tortoni is the oldest cafe in Buenos Aires ... and always has a queue outside! It is only 5 minutes walk from our hotel and we decided to go to a tango show there one night (which they perform in a small basement theatre). Pleasant one-hour show, but would have liked less of the lead guy singing and more of the tango dancers performing!

Cafe Tortoni

Cafe Tortoni


Cafe Tortoni Tango Show

Cafe Tortoni Tango Show

Teatro Colon (Opera House)

On our final day we managed to book a slot for a tour of the Teatro Colon Opera House. The outside of the building is quite austere but the inside is beautiful - spectacular.

Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon


Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon


Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon


Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon


Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon


Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon


Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon


Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon


Teatro Colon

Teatro Colon

Puero Madera and an encounter with the La Boca fans!

Later, we headed down to the Puerto Madero dock area, in a roundabout way to get down to San Telmo. It is a pleasant place for a stroll but the way we were heading to leave the area seemed to be very noisy with La Boca fans. Apparently, the team were staying in a hotel there before heading off to the River Plate stadium, where the game was due to start at 1700. We found ourselves amongst the masses of fans! Very hectic and noisy, loud fire crackers - we were relieved to escape into the San Telmo area!

Puerto Maduro

Puerto Maduro


Puerto Maduro

Puerto Maduro


Puerto Maduro - Boca Juniors fans

Puerto Maduro - Boca Juniors fans


Puerto Maduro - Boca Juniors fans

Puerto Maduro - Boca Juniors fans

San Telmo (final afternoon of trip ... and SUNNY!)

Quiet when we went in the week on a grey day, the Plaza Dorrego in particular was lively and busy when we returned on the Saturday - loads of artisan stalls there and we saw some superb tango dancing from two separate couples. A bit late ... but we also discovered that there are designated "Cafe Notables" in BA - classic old cafes and bars (apparently 26 currently) - we visited the excellent Cafe El Federal in San Telmo and have been to a few others, but will have to return to BA to check out others!

San Telmo

San Telmo


San Telmo

San Telmo

San Telmo Mercado

San Telmo Mercado


San Telmo - Cafe El Federal

San Telmo - Cafe El Federal

San Telmo - Cafe El Federal

San Telmo - Cafe El Federal

San Telmo - Cafe El Federal

San Telmo - Cafe El Federal

San Telmo - Cafe El Federal

San Telmo - Cafe El Federal


San Telmo Plaza Dorrego

San Telmo Plaza Dorrego


San Telmo Plaza Dorrego and craft market

San Telmo Plaza Dorrego and craft market

San Telmo Plaza Dorrego and craft market

San Telmo Plaza Dorrego and craft market

San Telmo Tango performers - Plaza Dorrego

San Telmo Tango performers - Plaza Dorrego


large_Studio_20181125_144953.jpg
large_Studio_20181125_144833.jpg

Heading back to our hotel, we learned that the La Boca team bus had been attacked with stones thrown by some River Plate fan as it arrived at the River Plate stadium for the match. The game was eventually postponed to the following day due to injuries to the La Boca players. "A black day for South American football". It is being played today - Sunday - whilst I am writing this on the plane to London Gatwick! (Later .. on Tuesday it was announced that the match is to be played outside Argentina - a sensible solution as they have to play the game in the next week and the G20 summit is in BA from Thursday!)

The return

This time we hailed a taxi from outside our hotel to Retiro, and then took the airport bus. Easy, comfortable and cheap!

Norwegian Airlines - a first for us...

Norwegian Airlines - a first for us...

Special bird of prey (to see us off!) outside window where we were waiting to board our plane

Special bird of prey (to see us off!) outside window where we were waiting to board our plane

We travelled with the low cost long distance operator Norwegian Airlines for the first time for the flight back to Europe (Buenos Aires - London Gatwick). Thirteen hours is long but we were happy with the flight and would use them again. There is a no frills basic price (for which you get nothing more than a seat on the flight) but for a little more you get : a 20kg bag in the hold, to choose your seat at time of booking, and (very edible) meals - and drinks with those meals - during the flight. They also have good interactive screens (which we have not experienced before) for each passenger with films etc (but take your own earplugs if you dont want to pay $3 extra!), and if you want to order something extra like a gin and tonic (or duty free items) during the flight, you just order it on screen and swipe you credit card below the screen to pay! - and the steward brings it to you 5 minutes later ...

We arrived in Gatwick at 0400 and had to wait there until 1300 (not a comfortable wait!! - I was falling asleep on a stool numerous times!) for our Easyjet flight back to Nice - at least the sun was shining on arrival!

Sunny weather and snow on the Southern Alpes for arrival back home! - the islands are the Iles de Lerins

Sunny weather and snow on the Southern Alpes for arrival back home! - the islands are the Iles de Lerins

THAT'S IT!
Nothing else to add except ... ... it really was a superb trip with a lot of variety ... we'll be back!

Posted by Lindseyalan73 04:16 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Santiago (16-20/11/2018)

Sunrise 0629 Sunset 2028 Temps Min 14 °C Max 32 °C sunny

The journey from Valparaiso to Santiago was the shortest of the whole trip and quite relaxed (all the way without taking a taxi) - taking the usual ascensor (funicular) down from near the Yellow House, trolley bus to the bus terminal, coach for the 1.5 hours trip to the Parajitas terminal in Santiago from where we took the metro to Cummings station, just a block away from our hotel. 

Mery Hotel

The Mery Hotel turned out to be a lovely old hotel -  very attractively decorated and furnished - and a really pleasant place to spend our 4 nights in Santiago.  (However, only one room of eight has an external window - room 2 - which we had requested in advance).   The hotel is family-owned, and run by two very friendly and helpful sisters.  Breakfast was not included, but there was a kitchen with fridge etc to make your own.  Good to have a change and have some fresh fruit and greek yoghourt (the regular yoghurt was far too sweet!) and we even made ourselves scrambled eggs on a couple of mornings.

Hotel Mery

Hotel Mery

Hotel Mery

Hotel Mery

Hotel Mery

Hotel Mery

Hotel Mery

Hotel Mery

The hotel is located in the lively Brasil barrio which has lots of bars and restaurants and is about 10 blocks west of the town centre (20 minutes walk). We had a bit of added interest each time we walked to and from town - in the adjacent street to our hotel a couple of artists were advancing with a large mural and we followed their progress with interest!

Mural in adjacent street to hotel when we arrived

Mural in adjacent street to hotel when we arrived

Mural in adjacent street to hotel when we left

Mural in adjacent street to hotel when we left

Santiago is the 6th largest city in South America and the centre for the most part is quite modern with a lot of high-rise sdevelopment, interspersed with some attractive and imposing colonial buildings. The centre was pleasant to walk round although it was rather hot (30 °C+) for much of our time there.  

The main hub is the Plaza de Armas - a typical Chilean/Argentinian large square with plenty of trees for shade, surrounded by attractive buildings.  Heading south from there is the main shopping area and financial centre with pedestrianised areas.

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Around the city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

Around Santiago city centre

In the pedestrian areas we found several establishments, much used by the business community, which were worthy of a pitstop!  Haiti and Caribe coffee houses had at least two outlets each serving very good coffee - possibly their popularity was partly due to the figure-hugging, very short dresses worn by the waitresses!

The Bar Nacional No 1 was another 'institution'.  (There is also a No 2 but its not nearly as interesting).  On the ground floor people sit up at the counter with friendly servers behind.  We discovered the place 10 years ago on our previous visit to Santiago and revisited it a couple of times to enjoy their chicken and crushed avocado sandwiches - yummm!  A lawyer/accountant (as he described himself) we were talking to whilst he had his lunch told us that, between 1940 and 1960, Presidents of Chile would regularly come and have their lunches at the same counter with two armed bodyguards standing behind them (sitting where we were!).

Bar Nacional 1 - Chicken and avocado sandwich - delicious

Bar Nacional 1 - Chicken and avocado sandwich - delicious


Bar Nacional No 1 - Making a Pisco Sour

Bar Nacional No 1 - Making a Pisco Sour

Bar Nacional No 1 - Making a Pisco Sour

Bar Nacional No 1 - Making a Pisco Sour

Bar Nacional No 1 - Pisco Sour

Bar Nacional No 1 - Pisco Sour


Ingredients: Pisco, lemon or lime Juice, egg white or syrup. Preparation: Vigorously shake and strain contents in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes, then pour into glass.

Mercado Central

About 4 blocks north of Plaza de Armas is the Mercado Central.  It is mainly fish-orientated with lots of fresh fish stalls, a multitude of fish restaurants and tourist shops. A good spot but need to be aware of pickpockets!

Mercado Central

Mercado Central

Mercado Central - lots of fish!

Mercado Central - lots of fish!

Mercado Central - lots of fish!

Mercado Central - lots of fish!

Mercado Central

Mercado Central

Mercado Central - lunch (  musician!)

Mercado Central - lunch (+ musician!)

Cerro Santa Lucia Park

About 10 minutes east of Plaza de Armas is an interesting and attractive small park which is on a steep mound/rock - Cerro Santa Lucia.  Great views of the surroundings from the top.  

Cerro Santa Lucia Park

Cerro Santa Lucia Park

View from Cerro Santa Lucia Park

View from Cerro Santa Lucia Park

large_DSC05302.JPGCerro Santa Lucia Park

Cerro Santa Lucia Park

View from Cerro Santa Lucia Park

View from Cerro Santa Lucia Park

Cerro Santa Lucia Park

Cerro Santa Lucia Park

Cerro Santa Lucia Park - view of Cerro San Cristobel hill (other park visited later)

Cerro Santa Lucia Park - view of Cerro San Cristobel hill (other park visited later)

Cerro San Cristobel Park

Looking north, there is a large hill - Cerro San Cristobel - which forms the Parque Metropolitano - a large park and top attraction of Santiago.  We decided to go on the Sunday - a beautiful but very hot day - as did large numbers of locals - so there was a long queue for the funicular up to the top!  (We walked the steep track down - not an option to walk up it in the heat that day in our opinion).  On the summit there is a colossal statue of the Virgin Mary and there are magnificent views over the city and of the Andes with some snow on the mountain tops. Its a big park where one could easily spend all day.

Santiago river on the way to Cerro San Cristobel

Santiago river on the way to Cerro San Cristobel


Serro San Cristobel Park - Long queue for funicilar tickets! (Sunday)

Serro San Cristobel Park - Long queue for funicilar tickets! (Sunday)


Serro San Cristobel Park - Funicular

Serro San Cristobel Park - Funicular

Cerro San Cristobel Park - View to Andes

Cerro San Cristobel Park - View to Andes

Cerro San Cristobel Park - View to Andes

Cerro San Cristobel Park - View to Andes

Cerro San Cristobel Park - View to Andes

Cerro San Cristobel Park - View to Andes

Cerro San Cristobel Park

Cerro San Cristobel Park

Cerro San Cristobel Park

Cerro San Cristobel Park

Cerro San Cristobel Park

Cerro San Cristobel Park

Cerro San Cristobel Park

Cerro San Cristobel Park

We tried a Mote before descending from the park (It is a non-alcoholic beverage consisting of a sweet clear nectar like liquid made with dried peaches (huesillo) cooked in sugar, water and cinnamon, and then once cooled mixed with fresh cooked husked wheat (mote) - actually quite sweet but tasty and very refreshing - and forgot to take picture whilst drinking it!!

We tried a Mote before descending from the park (It is a non-alcoholic beverage consisting of a sweet clear nectar like liquid made with dried peaches (huesillo) cooked in sugar, water and cinnamon, and then once cooled mixed with fresh cooked husked wheat (mote) - actually quite sweet but tasty and very refreshing - and forgot to take picture whilst drinking it!!


Serro San Cristobel Park - steep path down!

Serro San Cristobel Park - steep path down!

Santa Carolina winery tour

Having visited the Concha y Toro vineyard on our previous trip, for our last day in Santiago, we decided to try a different one this time, and found that the Santa Carolina wine tour was both highly rated and easy to get to by metro.  The winery was the first to be established in Santiago and the first South American wine to be awarded a gold medal at a wine fare in France!  Most of their wine nowadays is exported.

The winery is now surrounded by an industrial estate (a haven of peace amidst the noise and dust) and was cut in two by a road, with the vines being the other side of the road (and now no longer there).  Their bottling plant is still there (although not part of the tour) but otherwise, the property is used as the head office, for marketing, and the attractive gardens and original buildings are used for tours during the week and for functions (weddongs etc) at the weekends.  The original cellars (modelled on Bordeaux and Burgundy styles) are part of the tour.

A unique (in our experience) feature of this tour is that the three tastings are actually done as part of the tour (rather than at the end).  The tour guide was very good and gave us an interesting lesson in wine-tasting! - and what to look for.  The first tasting was in the gardens as he explained the history of the winery, and the second and third in the two wine cellars - so definitely in the atmosphere of the place!

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour


Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour - palm tree planted when the winery was founded (143 years ago!)

Santa Carolina Winery tour - palm tree planted when the winery was founded (143 years ago!)


Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Wine tour

Santa Carolina Wine tour


Santa Carolina Winery tour

Santa Carolina Winery tour

Posted by Lindseyalan73 23:37 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

Valparaiso (13-16/10/2018)

Mendoza (Argentina) to Valparaiso (Chile) over the Andes - 8 hours  (not 6hr16min!) by bus including about an hour for Chilean customs formalities.

Mendoza (Argentina) to Valparaiso (Chile) over the Andes - 8 hours (not 6hr16min!) by bus including about an hour for Chilean customs formalities.

(All photos of the scenery were taken through the bus windows! Quite clear considering ...)

Mendoza to Valparaiso over the Andes

We left Mendoza (Argentina) on the bus for Chile at 0930 under blue skies and sun, and about 29° - a pleasant change after the cold and wet evening before, plus it meant there was snow on the mountains we could see from the bus station.  The journey took us across the Andes from Argentina to Chile - it has to be one of the most impressive journeys ever!   The scenery was absolutely amazing with the snow-capped mountains, the river valleys, and the different colours of the rocks against the blue sky!!  And then suddenly, after about 3 hours (of the hopefully only 8-hour journey) the weather changed, and we could see a storm ahead - and the next minute we were in the middle of a snow blizzard - incredible!  We could hardly see the Chile border control - but of course all had to get out and go through passport control and and their rigorous customs processes (all luggage off the bus and passed through scanners, sniffer dog...) - it took ages (about an hour) - in the freezing cold!  By the time we got back on the bus, the snow had settled and we were practically in a whiteout - and the road was descending by hair-pin bends!! We descended slowly and finally the sun returned for the rest of the journey and we arrived on time in Valparaiso.

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes15

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes15

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes - with old railway bridge

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes - with old railway bridge


Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes - oops, weather does not look too good up front!

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes - oops, weather does not look too good up front!


Mendoza to Chile across the Andes - weather deteriorating

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes - weather deteriorating


Mendoza to Chile across the Andes - weather deteriorated

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes - weather deteriorated


Mendoza to Chile across the Andes - weather deteriorated!

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes - weather deteriorated!


Mendoza to Chile across the Andes - Los Penitentes Chilean border (in snow)

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes - Los Penitentes Chilean border (in snow)

Sierra Finches (or similar?) at Chilean border

Sierra Finches (or similar?) at Chilean border

Sierra Finch (or similar?) at Chilean border

Sierra Finch (or similar?) at Chilean border

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes - Los Penitentes Chilean border (in snow)

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes - Los Penitentes Chilean border (in snow)

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes - after Chilean border in snow storm

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes - after Chilean border in snow storm


Mendoza to Chile across the Andes - after Chilean border in snow storm

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes - after Chilean border in snow storm

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes - after Chilean border in snow storm- hairpin bends - no barriers!

Mendoza to Chile across the Andes - after Chilean border in snow storm- hairpin bends - no barriers!


Mendoza to Valparaiso - down from the mountains in Chile - they are planting vines right up into the hills

Mendoza to Valparaiso - down from the mountains in Chile - they are planting vines right up into the hills

Valparaiso

Valparaiso (pop.300000) sprawls over a crescent of forty two hills that rear up out of the Pacific Ocean. It became a key port in the days when there was no Panama canal and the boats between Europe and the west coast of America had to round Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America. The opening of the Panama canal and a variety of other factors lead to its decline. However, since being declared a world heritage site its fortunes are reviving and attracting investment and much work is being done to renovate the historical centre and buildings, and build new galleries - and a lot of the centre of town really looks as though it needs it! The city is still an important naval base and is now the cultural capital of Chile.

Sunrise 0630 Sunset 2030 Temps Min 13 °C Max 24 °C sunny

Yellow House and Cerro Artilleria

Our accommodation was right the other side of town from the bus-station, up in the hills in Cerro Artilleria. We were happy to take a taxi (about 10 euros) which dropped us on the road nearby, and after some searching and help from a local, we found the Yellow House. It was quite a mixture of a place to stay - funny bedroom with 3 beds and little room for anything else, the only shared bathroom this trip (happily no-one else was staying on our floor), spectacular views from our bedroom, fair 'included' breakfast and a little expensive for what it was (but Valparaiso seems more expensive for accommodation). Pleasant young German student working there who helped us with info and was good fun and interesting to chat to.

Very close to the Yellow House, the Ascensor Artilleria is one of many funiculars taking people up to the cerros (hills). From the top there is a superb panoramic view along the coast from the container port and harbour directly below to Vina del Mar and the dunes at Concon, as well of the hills behind.

Of course, the position means that going out anywhere required negotiating a steep path/steps or taking the Ascensor. Once at the bottom there is a choice of continuing on foot the 10-15 minutes into the centre (through a bit of a risky area at night), and the historic trolley bus service, or collectivos (small buses) for longer journeys.

Yellow House (entrance)

Yellow House (entrance)

The Yellow House - Breakfast

The Yellow House - Breakfast

Yellow House dining room windows

Yellow House dining room windows

Yellow House - view from bedroom window

Yellow House - view from bedroom window

Yellow House - view from bedroom window

Yellow House - view from bedroom window

Yellow House - view from bedroom window

Yellow House - view from bedroom window

Ascensor up to Cerro Artilleria

Ascensor up to Cerro Artilleria

Ascensor down from Cerro Artilleria

Ascensor down from Cerro Artilleria

View from Cerro Artilleria

View from Cerro Artilleria


View from Cerro Artilleria

View from Cerro Artilleria

View from Cerro Artilleria

View from Cerro Artilleria


Steps down for Serro Artilleria

Steps down for Serro Artilleria

Steps down from Cerro Artilleria

Steps down from Cerro Artilleria

view from Cerro Artilleria at night

view from Cerro Artilleria at night

Downtown and trolley bus ride

Much of the central area of the town is pretty run down with many derelict buildings, but the main Sotomayer square with the Admiralty building and adjoining the small harbour area, is attractive. Further north, Plaza Victoria is also a pleasant square with trees. Otherwise, it is necessary to get up into the hills to enjoy the best of Valpo.

Taking the trolley bus on a round trip is a good way to get an introduction to the Valparaiso, particularly as the trolley buses are an important part of Valparaiso's heritage. More than half of the fleet dates from the early 1950's - the old ones being of Swiss origin. As the service runs from just below our Ascensor right through to the bus station at the other end of town, we used it to do our initial scenic tour and for getting around generally. Its cheap too at about 30 eurocents a journey!

Swiss built 1950's trolley bus

Swiss built 1950's trolley bus

Trolley bus around Valparaiso town

Trolley bus around Valparaiso town


Trolley bus interior - quite plush seats!

Trolley bus interior - quite plush seats!

Around Valparaiso town

Around Valparaiso town

Around Valparaiso town

Around Valparaiso town

Around Valparaiso town

Around Valparaiso town


Trolley bus around Valparaiso town

Trolley bus around Valparaiso town

Around Valparaiso town

Around Valparaiso town

Around Valparaiso town

Around Valparaiso town

Trolley bus around Valparaiso town

Trolley bus around Valparaiso town

Plaza Sotomayer and harbour

Next to the Plaza Sotomayor, the small harbour area has some picturesque boats which are used for short tours around the harbour. There are also a number of souvenir shops and a helpful/useful tourist office.

After hanging around for some time, resisting attempts of the go-betweens to extract inflated prices for 'personal' tours, we took the short harbour tour - there were good views from the sea back into the hills behind, two or three naval boats and a large container ship being loaded, and the opportunity to get close to several basking sealions.

Plaza Sotomayor

Plaza Sotomayor

Statue in Plaza Sotomayer

Statue in Plaza Sotomayer

Harbour

Harbour

Harbour tour

Harbour tour

Harbour tour - view of Valpairaiso hills

Harbour tour - view of Valpairaiso hills

Harbour tour - container ship

Harbour tour - container ship

Harbour tour - Sealion (Female posing!)

Harbour tour - Sealion (Female posing!)

Harbour tour - Sealion (Male reflecting!)

Harbour tour - Sealion (Male reflecting!)

Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepcion

These barrios are in the hills behind the centre of Valpo are very attractive areas to walk around with fine architecture, buildings covered in colourful murals, etc

large_DSC05136.JPGReina Victoria funicular

Reina Victoria funicular

Reina Victoria funicular

Reina Victoria funicular

Cerro Concepcion

Cerro Concepcion

Around the Alegre and Concepcion cerros

Around the Alegre and Concepcion cerros

Around the Alegre and Concepcion cerros

Around the Alegre and Concepcion cerros

Around the Alegre and Concepcion cerros

Around the Alegre and Concepcion cerros

Around the Alegre and Concepcion cerros

Around the Alegre and Concepcion cerros

Around the Alegre and Concepcion  cerros

Around the Alegre and Concepcion cerros

Around the Alegre and Concepcion cerros

Around the Alegre and Concepcion cerros

Around the Alegre and Concepcion cerros

Around the Alegre and Concepcion cerros

Around the Alegre and Concepcion cerros

Around the Alegre and Concepcion cerros

Around the Alegre and Concepcion cerros

Around the Alegre and Concepcion cerros

Local cuisine!

Found a very good (if rather run-down looking) empanada restaurant for lunch - Alan enjoyed the 'pina' empanada which we decided was Argentina's answer to a Cornish pasty, and I had the cheese and olives version - delicious!

A favourite dish of the Chileans is the Chorrillana - generally served for 2 it is basically comprised of chips, strips of meat, good quantities of onion and eggs! In the end we succumbed, and tried one on the last night at a classic old joint, bizarrely called Casino Social JJ Cruz, at the end of a seedy looking alley. That was the only dish they offer - but they did also make a good Pisco Sour (Chile's favourite cocktail drink) for the apero.

Famosa Empenada restaurant!

Famosa Empenada restaurant!

Empanadas

Empanadas

Casino Social JJ Cruz - Chorrillana - cholesterol special!

Casino Social JJ Cruz - Chorrillana - cholesterol special!

Casino Social JJ Cruz

Casino Social JJ Cruz

Casino Social JJ Cruz - Cat keeping eye on customers!

Casino Social JJ Cruz - Cat keeping eye on customers!

La Sebastiana

La Sebastiana was the home of Pablo Neruda, a very famous (in Chile) poet and diplomat. He chose it because it was quite unique and has a spectacular view over the whole of Valparaiso. He then did it up and furnished it to his own taste. We found out that we could get there from next to the bottom of our Ascensor by collectivo bus, using a route which takes a very bendy, sinuous route in the hills all the way. Collectivo drivers drive the whole time at breakneck speed so it was not a trip for taking leisurely photos out of the window!

Unfortunately, the house is currently covered in scaffolding and the 4th level bedroom is closed - so, as we had visited it 10 years ago when we first visited Valpo, we debated whether to bother this time. Anyway, we did go ahead and they provided us with audioguides (which we think are a new development since our previous visit) - and we enjoyed the visit - he was an interesting and talented man.

(Photos of the interior are not allowed)

Collectivo (bus) to La Sebastiana

Collectivo (bus) to La Sebastiana

La Sebastiana and scaffolding!

La Sebastiana and scaffolding!

La Sebastiana as it should look!,<br />- photo from our visit in 2008!

La Sebastiana as it should look!,
- photo from our visit in 2008!


La Sebastiana - View from top (5th) floor study

La Sebastiana - View from top (5th) floor study

Panoramic view from La Sebastiana 1

Panoramic view from La Sebastiana 1

Panoramic view from La Sebastiana 2

Panoramic view from La Sebastiana 2

Area near La Sebastiana

Area near La Sebastiana

Bellavista Barrio and 'Open Air Museum'

Walking down from La Sebastiana, we arrived in the attractive Cello Bellavista area, where 27 well-known artists created many murals over quite a large area which is known as the 'Open Air Museum'. There is a map to help trace it from the tourist office.

Bellavista Barrio

Bellavista Barrio

Bellavista Barrio

Bellavista Barrio

Bellavista Barrio - small supermercado!

Bellavista Barrio - small supermercado!

Bellavista Barrio

Bellavista Barrio

Bellavista Barrio and 'Open Air Museum'

Bellavista Barrio and 'Open Air Museum'

Bellavista Barrio and 'Open Air Museum'

Bellavista Barrio and 'Open Air Museum'

Bellavista Barrio and 'Open Air Museum'

Bellavista Barrio and 'Open Air Museum'

Bellavista Barrio and 'Open Air Museum'

Bellavista Barrio and 'Open Air Museum'

Bellavista Barrio and 'Open Air Museum'

Bellavista Barrio and 'Open Air Museum'

Bellavista Barrio and 'Open Air Museum'

Bellavista Barrio and 'Open Air Museum'

Bellavista Barrio and 'Open Air Museum'

Bellavista Barrio and 'Open Air Museum'

Bellavista Barrio and 'Open Air Museum'

Bellavista Barrio and 'Open Air Museum'

Vina del Mar outing

On our last afternoon, we took the metro north to the seaside resort of Vina del Mar. It is completely different from Valpo - very modern and seems more like a US town. There's a long stretch of beach to visit heading north from the town. The sea is VERY cold!

Vina del Mar at O'Higgins square

Vina del Mar at O'Higgins square

Vina del Mar behind beach

Vina del Mar behind beach

Vina del Mar main beach

Vina del Mar main beach

large_DSC05257.JPGVina del Mar - testing the water

Vina del Mar - testing the water

Vina del Mar - testing the water - glacial!

Vina del Mar - testing the water - glacial!

Vina del Mar - view north towards dunes at Concon

Vina del Mar - view north towards dunes at Concon

Pelicans at Portales (metro stop on way back from Vina del Mar)

Pelicans at Portales (metro stop on way back from Vina del Mar)

Posted by Lindseyalan73 15:17 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

Mendoza (9-13/11/2018)

Cordoba to Mendoza

It was another long bus journey! - we left Cordoba in bright sunshine(!) at 0730 for the 11 hour journey to Mendoza. It's a BIG country - the scenery was amazing - kilometre after kilometre of flat countryside disappearing into the distance - seemingly endless panoramas and big skies. There were quite a few stops at bus terminals but, unlike Brazil where there are meal stops and everyone gets out for 30 minutes, here, only people finishing their journeys were encouraged to get off the bus.

Bus trip Cordoba to Mendoza - first half

Bus trip Cordoba to Mendoza - first half

Bus trip Cordoba to Mendoza - second half!

Bus trip Cordoba to Mendoza - second half!

Bus trip Cordoba to Mendoza - country dwelling

Bus trip Cordoba to Mendoza - country dwelling

Cordoba to Mendoza by bus - finally some hills!

Cordoba to Mendoza by bus - finally some hills!

Bus trip Cordoba to Mendoza - near Mendiza - with vines!

Bus trip Cordoba to Mendoza - near Mendiza - with vines!

Hostal Confluencia

Arrived in Mendoza in the sun, and took a taxi from the bus terminal to our accommodation - Hostal Confluencia - which has an excellent central location.  We had a very friendly welcome from the people on reception. Great large bedroom in a corner of the second floor of the building with lots of windows looking out over the greenery of the trees and down onto a busy crossroads.  A minor inconvenience is that the private individual bathrooms are all located across the corridor from the bedrooms. 'Included' breakfast, lovely roof garden ... at less than 20 euros per night it is the cheapest and best value accommodation we have had on this trip.

Hostal Confluencia

Hostal Confluencia

Hostal Confluencia

Hostal Confluencia

Hostal Confluencia - roof garden

Hostal Confluencia - roof garden

Hostal Confluencia - roof garden

Hostal Confluencia - roof garden


Hostal Confluencia - Street view from our room

Hostal Confluencia - Street view from our room


Hostal Confluencia - Morning coffee seller on street outside

Hostal Confluencia - Morning coffee seller on street outside


Hostal Confluencia

Hostal Confluencia


Hostal Confluencia

Hostal Confluencia

Around Mendoza

Mendoza is a pleasant small city with a population of 140000.  It is the wine capital of Argentina and is lively and affluent. It seems that all roads in the city are lined by mature trees, which give shade from the sun (which apparently shines practically all the time - except for a lot of the time during our stay!), but means that buildings are often quite obscured for photographs! We have not come across many markets on this trip but here in Mendoza the Mercado Central was just round the corner from the hotel.

There are several pleasant squares and a couple of attractive parks to see but, with the poor weather, we did not get the opportunity to visit them.

With help from the Hostal staff and from two friendly local couples who happened to be sitting next to us on different nights, we found a great variety of spots to eat and drink over the weekend - pizza, pasta, parillada (mixed meat barbecue), burger, wrap ... not to mention the liquid sustenance! Fortunately, one gets a lot of exercise travelling, but eating out in South America is rather more copious and the food less healthy than at home!! Must go on a diet on our return!

Mendoza - Around town centre - typical leafy street

Mendoza - Around town centre - typical leafy street

Mendoza - Around town centre

Mendoza - Around town centre

Don't fall down the hole!

Don't fall down the hole!

Typical large hole in pavement! - tree removed - hole left!

Typical large hole in pavement! - tree removed - hole left!

Mendoza - around town

Mendoza - around town

Around town

Around town

Mercado Central

Mercado Central

Mercado Central

Mercado Central

Mercado Central - Cake and sandwich (white) display (Note: the cut, sliced white sandwiches  - popular all over Argentina it seems)

Mercado Central - Cake and sandwich (white) display (Note: the cut, sliced white sandwiches - popular all over Argentina it seems)

Mercado Central - 'Promocion': 2 slices of pizza and a "chopp" (draft beer) for under 2 euros!

Mercado Central - 'Promocion': 2 slices of pizza and a "chopp" (draft beer) for under 2 euros!

Wine

Wine is, of course, the main reason that tourists come to Mendoza. We decided to limit our visits to the two main areas we could get to reasonably easily by local transport rather than take an expensive wine tasting tour. The two areas we visited were Maipu and Coquimbito which are, it has to be said, not endowed with many grape vines! They do have bodegas there, with token fields of vines, but for a better experience, a visit to, say, the Uco valley (about 2 hours away in the foothills of the Andes), would be a better experience.

Maipu

Our first day in Mendoza we had good weather so, after we had spent the morning walking across town to the bus station to buy tickets for the bus to Valparaiso, and wandered round town, we decided to visit the nearby town of Maipu where there are a couple of bodegas which can be visited. It involved quite a lot of time getting to the outskirts of Maipu by tram, walking to the bodegas and into Maipu itself and a long bus-ride back, and turned out to be a bit of a waste of a pleasant afternoon! Firstly, the Lopez winery offering free tastings, which should have been open all day, was shut! Then, the other bodega we visited, the Antigua Bodega Giol was at least open and the lady handling the tastings was friendly, but they no longer produce their own wine and the tastings were mediocre. She did take our photo for their Facebook page though! A couple of photos for the record ...

Antigua Bodega Giol

Antigua Bodega Giol

Antigua Bodega Giol

Antigua Bodeba Giol - tasting

Antigua Bodeba Giol - tasting

Coquimbito

Sunday was not a good day weatherwise, and wineries are mostly closed, so we did not get much more done than a short walk round town. At least it was not raining on Monday when we caught the bus out to Coquimbito and it turned out to be a much more successful day! After 45 minutes on the bus and 15 minutes walk we arrived at the Bodega Rural - one of the oldest bodegas in Argentina. It offered a tour for around 8 euros - an interesting museum of old winemaking implements and a couple of tastings of pleasant wine. At the end we got a pleasant surprise - the full value of our tour tickets could be used to buy bottles or glasses of wine!! Of course, we can't carry any wine, but the value of the tour ticket was exactly the cost of two ample glasses of very good wine each (we had one white and one red each!). Say no more!

Bodega La Rural

Bodega La Rural

Bodega La Rural

Bodega La Rural - vines!

Bodega La Rural - vines!

Bodega La Rural - museum tour

Bodega La Rural - museum tour

Bodega La Rural - museum tour

Bodega La Rural - museum tour

Bodega La Rural - museum tour

Bodega La Rural - museum tour

Bodega La Rural - museum tour

Bodega La Rural - museum tour

Bodega La Rural - tasting at end of tour

Bodega La Rural - tasting at end of tour

Bodega La Rural - 2 ample glasses to savour!

Bodega La Rural - 2 ample glasses to savour!

Bodega La Rural - Tasting!

Bodega La Rural - Tasting!

Walk from Bodega La Rural to Trapiche Bodega (a full hour!)

Walk from Bodega La Rural to Trapiche Bodega (a full hour!)

Trapiche Bodega

The lady serving us at the Bodega Rural told us it was only about 15 minutes to walk on to the other winery we wanted to visit, on unpaved roads through the countryside. She obviously had never tried it herself on foot - we arrived at the Trapiche winery about an hour later! This is quite an upmarket winery/vineyard where we had an interesting tour, followed by a tasting of three very good wines, for a little more than the "Rural" tour - but no freebies this time. It was raining by now - 15 minutes walk back to the main road, and back into town on the bus.

Trapiche Bodega

Trapiche Bodega

Trapiche Bodega

Trapiche Bodega

Trapiche Bodega - tour

Trapiche Bodega - tour

Trapiche Bodega - tour

Trapiche Bodega - tour

Trapiche Bodega - tasting room

Trapiche Bodega - tasting room

Trapiche Bodega - tasting

Trapiche Bodega - tasting

We would have preferred better weather, but we really enjoyed Mendoza and our time there.

Posted by Lindseyalan73 15:18 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Cordoba (5-9/11/2018)

Sunrise 0611 Sunset 1950 Temps (at best) Min 15 °C Max 28 °C variable

We left Salta at 21.30 for our second and last overnight bus journey, heading for Cordoba (hopefully a mere 11 hour journey)..  We had got tickets for the cama class with large padded seats which recline practically to horizontal and have padded leg rests. Comfort assured?  Although we had bought the tickets shortly after arrival in Salta, we had the last side-by-side seats on this Sunday night bus - and they were right at the back.  With the roads being pretty bumpy, we were practically being tossed out of our seats at times and, as for eating/drinking the meal the hostess bought us ... ... fortunately the 'meal' was so awful we did not want to eat it anyway!  The bus did at least arrive on time at 08h30 the following morning.

Overnight bus - Salta to Cordoba (Cama class)

Overnight bus - Salta to Cordoba (Cama class)

Overnight bus - Salta to Cordoba (Cama class)

Overnight bus - Salta to Cordoba (Cama class)

Overnight bus - Salta to Cordoba

Overnight bus - Salta to Cordoba

Our hotel - the Casa Urbana - was just 5 minutes walk from the bus station and 20 minutes walk from the town centre.  Not a brilliant room (small but OK), decent breakfast included, very friendly and helpful staff on reception and good location.

Hotel Casa Urbana

Hotel Casa Urbana

Cordoba is the number two city in Argentina with a population of 1.4 million, and it certainly felt like a busy lively big city.  It is the one place we have visited on this trip with no tourist shops!  There is a student population of well over 150,000 which makes it lively. We enjoyed the place a lot.

The weather was quite variable and we had to shelter from heavy rain at times but it improved for the last couple of days.  We enjoyed walking around the extensive pedestrianised streets which, if not already shaded by jacaranda trees with their beautiful purple spring blossom, frequently have metal structures erected which are trained with bougainvilla to provide colour and shade, plus there are enormous old trees lining the main traffic routes.

Cordoba - around town

Plaza San Martin

Plaza San Martin

Plaza San Martin

Plaza San Martin

Plaza San Martin

Plaza San Martin

Cathedral - Plaza San Martin

Cathedral - Plaza San Martin

Cathedral - Plaza San Martin

Cathedral - Plaza San Martin

Cathedral

Cathedral


Cordoba centre pedestrian area

Cordoba centre pedestrian area

Cordoba - central pedestrian area

Cordoba - central pedestrian area

Cordoba - central pedestrian area

Cordoba - central pedestrian area

Cordoba - central pedestrian area - Plaza del Fundador

Cordoba - central pedestrian area - Plaza del Fundador

Cordoba - central pedestrian area with jacaranda tree in blossom

Cordoba - central pedestrian area with jacaranda tree in blossom

Cordoba - central pedestrian area with jacaranda tree in blossom

Cordoba - central pedestrian area with jacaranda tree in blossom

Cordoba - central pedestrian area

Cordoba - central pedestrian area


Cordoba centre

Cordoba centre

Cordoba centre

Cordoba centre

Cordoba centre

Cordoba centre

Cordoba - very thin building!

Cordoba - very thin building!

Fortunately on the first day we were told of a couple of great places to head for the hotel reception staff. The first was the Paseo de Bien Pastor area in town with lots of restaurants and bars, about 10 minutes walk from the hotel, and which, in decent weather, is absolutely heaving in the evening (mainly with students).  Here, we discovered the Patagonia bar which sells excellent Patagonia beers from the south of Argentina. And here we were recommended their delicious "km24.8" brew.  In the Happy Hour (pre 20h00) they sell their pints at just 80 ARS (about 2 euros!) so we just had to join the masses (most about a third of our age!) for a pint each evening before our meal.  The other recommendation was the Cliento Volando restaurant just a block away from our hotel on the way back from Paseo de Bien Pastor - good food, varied choice, friendly waiter, and inexpensive.  We also checked out and enjoyed the local empanadas (small pies) for lunch and locro (meat, sweetcorn and beans stew) for dinner - at the simple but enjoyable corner joint (La Vieja Esquina).

Cordoba - entertainment!

Paseo del Buen Pastor area (and Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus church opposite)

Paseo del Buen Pastor

Paseo del Buen Pastor

Paseo del Buen Pastor

Paseo del Buen Pastor

Paseo del Buen Pastor - Patagonia beer bar

Paseo del Buen Pastor - Patagonia beer bar

Paseo del Buen Pastor - Patagonia beer bar

Paseo del Buen Pastor - Patagonia beer bar

Paseo del Buen Pastor - Patagonia beer bar - excellent "km 24.7" beer

Paseo del Buen Pastor - Patagonia beer bar - excellent "km 24.7" beer

The church nearby was impressive and well lit in the evenings

Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus

Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus

Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus

Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus

Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus

Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus

Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus

Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus

La Vieja Esquina

La Vieja Esquina for dinner (with Locra - meat and corn stew)

La Vieja Esquina for dinner (with Locra - meat and corn stew)


La Vieja Esquina for dinner (with Locra - meat and corn stew)

La Vieja Esquina for dinner (with Locra - meat and corn stew)


La Vieja Esquina - bite for lunch (empanadas)

La Vieja Esquina - bite for lunch (empanadas)

Cordoba - Museums etc

Cordoba is heavily influenced by its Jesuit origins - and its impressive buildings reflect this. We managed to visit several of the sights, including:

- the Manzana Jesuitica - basically an amazing Baroque church with the curved roof constructed with wood and no nails - we were fortunate to have a personal, practically free, guided tour by a very knowledgable and very good English speaker, who gave us a lot of insight into the Jesuits in Argentina and Argentina generally - while showing us round part of the original university

- Archivo Provincial/Museo dela Memoria - a poignant memorial museum to the many who were tortured and 'disappeared' in Cordoba in the days of military rule in Argentina. It is located in the original Police Intelligence Department known in the 70s as a Torture and Extermination Clandestine Detention Center.  Many young people were taken from their families in the 70's and were never seen again. It was a shock to us - these were young people of our generation - and this was happening while we were at university.

- Museo Marques de Sobremonte (only surviving colonial residence in the city).

Manzana Jesuitica

Manzana Jesuitica

Manzana Jesuitica

Manzana Jesuitica - Jesuit church

Manzana Jesuitica - Jesuit church

Manzana Jesuitica - Jesuit church

Manzana Jesuitica - Jesuit church

Manzana Jesuitica - Jesuit church

Manzana Jesuitica - Jesuit church

Manzana Jesuitica - Jesuit church

Manzana Jesuitica - Jesuit church

Manzana Jesuitica

Manzana Jesuitica

Museu de la Memoria - in memory of the 'disappeared'

in memory of the 'disappeared'

in memory of the 'disappeared'

in memory of the 'disappeared'

in memory of the 'disappeared'

in memory of the 'disappeared'

in memory of the 'disappeared'

Museu de la Memoria - in memory of the 'disappeared'

Museu de la Memoria - in memory of the 'disappeared'

Museu de la Memoria - in memory of the 'disappeared'

Museu de la Memoria - in memory of the 'disappeared'

Museu de la Memoria - in memory of the 'disappeared'

Museu de la Memoria - in memory of the 'disappeared'

Museu de la Memoria - in memory of the 'disappeared'

Museu de la Memoria - in memory of the 'disappeared'

Museo Marques de Sobremonte

Museo Marques de Sobremonte

Museo Marques de Sobremonte

Museo Marques de Sobremonte

Museo Marques de Sobremonte

Money

An aside - we noticed very long queues of locals at certain banks to use the ATMs.  We are still not sure why ...  No change for us regarding the paltry amounts that can be withdrawn at one time and the very high commission fees .  We are still trying to pay for as much as possible by whatever card is accepted, changed some more euros here in Cordoba and have not had to use any ATMs since our first withdrawal in Puerto Iguazu. Also, still finding that some places (restaurants mainly) don't accept Mastercard - only Visa!

Queuing to access cash machines

Queuing to access cash machines

Day out in Alta Gracia

One day we went out on the local bus to Alta Gracia - a small town about 40 kms south.  Here, we visited the excellent Estancia Jesuitica Alla Gracia and then walked through a very pleasant neighbourhood (with large colonial houses) to the Museo Casa de Ché Guevara and the Museo Manuel de Falla, before taking the bus back.

Ché Guevara is, of course, a name well known to us from our student days.  He lived at the house in Alta Gracia for some years in his youth wth his family, and the exhibition has plenty of his personal belongings and photos, and traces his travels, involvement with Castro in the Cuban revolution and eventual (young) death whilst engaged in a revolution in Bolivia.

Not being classical music buffs, we had not heard of Manuel de Falla, but he is the most famous Spanish classical music composer and conductor and he lived his last years at the house in Alta Gracia. There was some interesting art work on display - including portraits of de Falla by his friends, Picasso and Dali. A very good day out.

Jesuit Mission

Alta Gracia - Clock tower and tourist office

Alta Gracia - Clock tower and tourist office

Estancia Jesuitica de Alta Gracia - Jesuit mission

Estancia Jesuitica de Alta Gracia - Jesuit mission

Estancia Jesuitica de Alta Gracia - Jesuit mission

Estancia Jesuitica de Alta Gracia - Jesuit mission

Estancia Jesuitica de Alta Gracia - Jesuit mission

Estancia Jesuitica de Alta Gracia - Jesuit mission

Estancia Jesuitica de Alta Gracia - Jesuit mission

Estancia Jesuitica de Alta Gracia - Jesuit mission

Estancia Jesuitica de Alta Gracia - Jesuit mission

Estancia Jesuitica de Alta Gracia - Jesuit mission

large_DSC04614.JPGEstancia Jesuitica de Alta Gracia - Jesuit mission

Estancia Jesuitica de Alta Gracia - Jesuit mission

Estancia Jesuitica de Alta Gracia - Jesuit mission

Estancia Jesuitica de Alta Gracia - Jesuit mission

Estancia Jesuitica de Alta Gracia - Jesuit church

Estancia Jesuitica de Alta Gracia - Jesuit church

Colourful tree

Colourful tree


Colourful tree - the red things are seed pods!

Colourful tree - the red things are seed pods!

Casa del Ché (Ché Guevara Museum)

Casa del Ché (Ché Guevara museum)

Casa del Ché (Ché Guevara museum)

Casa del Ché (Ché Guevara museum)

Casa del Ché (Ché Guevara museum)

Casa del Ché (Ché Guevara museum)

Casa del Ché (Ché Guevara museum)

Casa del Ché (Ché Guevara museum)

Casa del Ché (Ché Guevara museum)

Casa del Ché (Ché Guevara museum)

Casa del Ché (Ché Guevara museum)

Casa del Ché (Ché Guevara museum)

Casa del Ché (Ché Guevara museum)

Old car in residential area - Alta Gracia

Old car in residential area - Alta Gracia

Casa de Manuel de Falla

Museu Manuel de Falla

Museu Manuel de Falla

Museu Manuel de Falla

Museu Manuel de Falla

Museu Manuel de Falla

Museu Manuel de Falla

Museu Manuel de Falla

Museu Manuel de Falla

Museu Manuel de Falla

Museu Manuel de Falla

Posted by Lindseyalan73 17:59 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

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