CORDOBA: The City and the Province

Beautiful Cordoba Province

Beautiful Cordoba Province

Whenever we told people we were planning on visiting Cordoba they always said just how beautiful it was. Now we always thought that they were talking about the city of Cordoba whereas they were in fact talking about the whole province of Cordoba and all the little towns and villages around Ciudad Cordoba (Cordoba city). The city has a few lovely attractions but is usually used as a base to get out to those smaller towns which we later found to be the summer party grounds for the wealthy Porteños from Buenos Aires.

The Main bus station is on the edge of the centre of town and once again all the noteworthy attractions are within walking distance so we hopped off the bus from Rosario and started walking towards our hostel in town. Just as we left the bus station a street dog that was chilling on the side walk got up, gave us little sniff then slowly headed off in the direction we were going. We carried on walking to the hostel and the dog kept walking ahead of us looking back as if to make sure we were still OK. At first we thought it was a coincidence that the dog was walking in the same direction as us but after our new “guide” had barked at and chased away a few more dogs from us and crossed a wide busy street the same way we had to walk then we realised that there was something more to this trusty new friend than we originally thought! The dog lead us all the way to our hostel, which was about 12 blocks from the bus station. We then though that maybe he was hungry and hoping to get some food so we gave him some but he wouldn’t eat. We said our sad goodbyes and went to check into the hostel. Even after the 15 minutes it took us check in we could still see our guide, via the security camera outside the front door, patiently waiting for us outside. But sadly, after the next 10 minutes we took to drop off our bags and head out, he was gone… his job of getting us safely to the hostel was complete and he was off to look after the next set of tourists arriving in his town.

Our city guide leading the way

The sun was going down so we layered up and went out into the night armed with an appetite and a tourist map. The most beautiful spot in Cordoba city, I think, is the main Plaza San Martin in Centro. It is bordered by beautiful old buildings, churches, theatres, cafes and restaurants. At night it is all lit up beautifully and we were drawn to the stunning Iglesia Catedral like moths to a flame. Here I’ll let some pictures do the talking…

We wondered around a bit more until we found a supermarket, bought some supplies and headed back to the hostel to prepare another gourmet meal (Cheese & tomato sandwich that is!).

ALTA GRACIA

After waking up early the next day and catching a short bus out of Cordoba we found ourselves once again following in the footsteps of Ernesto Guevara. This time visiting his childhood home which has been turned in to a museum. Queue Peryal’s happy face! She was so overwhelmed that she prepared a separate post with all the pictures of our visit which can be seen here.

It was sunny that day and we enjoyed walking around the quaint little town. Alta Gracia is one of the very popular summer holiday spots in Cordoba although in the winter it’s quiet but equally beautiful. We enjoyed a coffee in a sunny café near the lake, El Tajamar with Alta Gracia’s landmark clock tower ticking over our heads.

El Tajamar

El Tajamar

VILLA CARLOS PAZ

We met a couple during our stay in Rio that lived in Carlos Paz and recommended that we pay a visit to the town by the lake so we caught another early bus the following day and headed out there. The weather was changing for the good when we arrived in Carlos Paz and went to the Tourism Office to see what was going on. The town itself is nothing special but it is situated around the mouth of a rather large lake which is perfect for all sorts of (mostly summer) activities such as swimming, fishing, rowing, jet skiing, windsurfing and other water sports. The town is also surrounded by mountains and the Monumento La Cruz (The Cross Monument) sits on top of a nearby peak with a spectacular view overlooking the town. We hiked along 2.2km trail and up to the top, and yes, the view was incredible!

View from the the top

View from the the top

Later that afternoon we headed down to a park on the edge of the lake to relax and soak up some much needed sunshine.

Just before sunset we hopped on a bus back to Cordoba city and after about 15 minutes into the journey, the bus stuttered a bit, pushed on some more, stuttered again then died. Sun’s going down… it’s getting really cold… we’re in the middle of nowhere… no cell phone signal… oh crap! Queue mild panics until the replacement bus arrived half an hour later. Phew, problem solved with no dramas! Here’s to hoping we don’t have any more bus trouble on our trip although I guess that’s highly unlikely…

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