I’ve always hated people sticking their nose in. An opinion when it’s no wanted, advice thats not needed or an overzealous shop assistants pouncing on you when you enter the store.
This all goes out the window when I travel, I find myself trying hard to give off the vibe of “I’m no tourist don’t think of trying your tricks on me” (everywhere has these opportunist, my home country is not exception here) whilst screaming from the eyes “I have NO idea what I’m doing here people, help me help me please someone anyone help me”.
I’m please to announce nine times out of ten I somehow manage to pull this look off. I don’t know if it’s the natural expression of bewilderment on my face but whatever I’m doing Im just going to keep at it.
Córdoba has been a wonder trip. I based myself in the city itself for the few days in spent here. Spending my arrival day looking around the city and the usual of waiting for siesta to be over before being able to head to some of the museums and galleries.
I loved wondering around the city, like all places within Argentina, a map in hand and you feel more than capable of navigating your way around. Argentina is build on the grid system like New York, although I like the winding streets of many of the cities in the UK I can see from a touristic point of view this is not ideal.
The other days were spent heading out on day trips. Córdoba had a main bus station with two terminals and two other smaller bus stations in the middle of the city. The red zone station, for buses within the city and the mini bus station for short journeys out of town. Short journeys in Argentina are anything from 45 minutes to 2 hours! Imagine where you could be in 2 hours within the UK.
My first trip was to Alta Gracia, the home to Che Guevara where two of his younger siblings here born. The family moved here for the dry client to help with Che asthma after doctors recommendation.
It was also the final home to the composer Manuel de Falla and the artist Gabriel Dubois.
It’s home to an amazing Jesuit Estancia, with plenty of reading material to understand the origin of the Jesuit, their expulsion from Argentina and the passing of hands from one owner to the next after they left.
I’d arranged with the hostel a trek for the Sunday, not the best planning as I’d left Monday, my planned final day in Cordoba for a trip to Jesus Maria. The only day of the week the temple is closed, and so I’d have to stay another day if I was to head there and chose La Falda as the Monday plans.
The trekking was amazing and could only have been improved if the hostel had bothered to tell me to take swimwear. There was a lot of swimming to be had in the river (stream to you and I, I’d say) in two different locations.
Being a little unsure of flashing my underwear in front of a group of 20 Argentinian strangers of all ages I stupidly chose to remain fully dressed and out of the water. That’s not to say I didn’t get wet, we must have crossed that stream 6 or 7 times. Often knee deep, or if you are me and a bit mard when it comes to crossing water, waist deep from quite often panicking and slipping.
This is where I thank my companions for helping me at each crossing. Offering hands and carefully holding onto me to help my crossing. It’s also where I mention their fascination with my chosen T-shirt for the day. I’d chosen a closed neck top after applying suntan location, the day before, everywhere but my neck and badly burning it. The top in question illustrates birds of England and being regular walkers and nature lovers they couldn’t help but ask and point of individual birds. Comparing similarities in the birds of Argentina or ask if they where Argentinian birds. It’s a little weird to have strangers point at your chest and starting a conversation and admittedly a little uncomfortable.
Monday’s trip was a strange one, I’d woke early still tired from the late night before. My room seemed be located next to a cafe’s kitchen and directly below the hostile’s balcony where the night staff like to sit and talk as if they are in different rooms further away than my bedroom. So early wake up call from the cafe kitchen and late night music from the balcony was that the best mix to start the day.
I set off at around 09:30 somehow making my half hour journey to the station take over an hour and the wait for the late arrival of the bus meant I did’t get on my way till gone 11am. I arrived in La Filda with no sign of a tourist office. Up until this point there had always been one at the station and my guild book lacking in the required map was going to make this hard. A ten minute wonder around and I stumbled across the tourist office, map in hand, first stop miniature train museum. Bloody love trains, miniature, narrow gauge and full size stream. You have to love the engineering of these classic trains.
The museum closed at 13:00, and wouldn’t open again until the following day, I arrived at their doors at 13:15.
Tired and a little annoyed I headed to avenue Eden and stopped outside a lovely coffee shop, sat down and ordered some sort of creamy cake and a coffee. I finish off the lot and continue up the avenue. What I’d really come here for lay at the top of the road and I know this didn’t close for siesta, well I’d hoped not.
Hotel Eden looked a little better in shape that what I’d expected.The hotel had opened in 1898 and designed to accommodate wealthy families in Argentina and Europe after its closure in 1965 looters and later a planned but never finished casino left the hotel is disrepair.
Its now used for concerts and tours around the some of the former room gradually been transformed, not to its former self but to a building that will survive.
Jesus Maria was worth the wait, its a lovely little town, no tourist office to be found but maps outside each attraction helped me navigate my way around the town.
I’d been advised by a few on the trek not to bother heading here but I think it was well worth the wait.