An eleven hour overnight bus and $40 USD later we arrived in the second largest city in Argentina, Cordoba. We arrived early in the morning and used our offline GPS app Maps.me to take us to a hostel we booked called Aldea. As soon as we arrived and met some of the staff we realized we were going to be sticking around for a while. We spent a total of six nights here, two in the dorms and four nights in a private. Everything you need from a great hangout rooftop terrace to a huge kitchen is offered here that makes you want to hang out at the hostel all day. Everything in this city is walking distance, not once did we take a bus in the city. We spent our first full day exploring the city and taking the free walking tour that started in the main plaza as most free walking tours do in South America. The area around Plaza San Martin had a mixture of old architecture and modern shops that lined up the streets. The tour took us around to some of the main areas downtown and ended close to Sarmiento Park where we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon. You can walk around here, bring a book and just people watch around the tiny dirty lake that is in the middle of it. There are orange trees covered around the park so we may have thrown some rocks at them to get them down and enjoy.
The following day it was time for a little visit to a German themed down where Oktoberfest is held every year called Villa General Belgrano. It is an easy two hour bus ride away from Cordoba and we met another girl staying at the same hostel named Leah that was waiting for the same bus! Of course we all decided to explore the town together and just going to be upfront now, when it is low season this place is not a hot spot to be. This place reminds me so much of Leavenworth, Washington that it is aimed all for tourists but many of the shops were closed except a few chocolate places which the city is known for and restaurants. We settled on buying tons of chocolate and ice cream and just exploring the outskirts of the town. We wandered for a few hours and came across a creek where this incredible stray dog found us and we ended up playing fetch with him for over an hour straight. Across the little creek were three old ladies all in one color jumpers (of course all wearing different colors) and one spoke english that we chatted with for a while! They were all retired teachers from Buenos Aires just taking a girl's trip together. If I could see into the future I would hope my best friends and I would be exactly like them. I would say visit this town only during the summer months to see this place light up.
Friday and Saturdays in Cordoba are when things really come alive. For instance, my favorite neighborhood is where Paseo de las Artes weekend craft market is located. Street vendors from all over arrive here to sell any type of artwork they have created. I saw many paintings, ceramics and trinkets I wish I could have bought but just got to admire and be inspired from up close. After the craft market you could head to one of the many bars surrounding the area. For us, we were informed of a street party going on two streets down and we couldn't believe what we stumbled into. A whole street was shut down with people selling wine and coke mix drinks, selling barbeque and there were music from live drums to DJs and a huge fire in the middle of the street. We were on that street for hours dancing away and seeing the liveliness of the city just glow. I love when I get to leave the touristy route of traveling and find local community celebrations. It is the main reason for me to want to stay a while in each town to come across events like this.
The best part here were the nights in the hostel. On the rooftop they have an amazing barbeque/asado area that we used twice and both times it led to other people coming to join us. There were christmas lights strung around and with wine and good conversations in English and Spanish flowing it made the place feel so homey. Our spanish is still not as good as I would hope but slowly overtime I can comprehend more and more. Since Winter is in July and August here we are trying to go slow in our travels for the next two months before heading down to Patagonia. We wanted to head down faster since we were so eager for the beauty that awaits but with the below freezing constant temperature we are going to wait a little bit. So we decided to head up north where we can find some heat and pull out our shorts in Salta.
5) Rainbow Mountain, Cusco, Sacred Valley
6) Machu Pichu
1) Copacabana and Isla Del Sol
2) La Paz
1) San Pedro De Atacama
4) La Serena
5) Puerto Iquazu
6) Buenos Aires