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Published: February 2nd 2017
About a year ago I received an e-mail notification of Couchsurfers needing somewhere to stay in the nearby town to me called Reading. Although the town Is spelt the same way as in reading a book its actually pronounced as "Redding". I message this guy called Miguel who I thought wanted to stay near Reading and was visiting from South America. Anyway, turns out that Miguel doesn't need anywhere to stay and just put Reading down as the location in the hope to speak to native English speakers. After messaging Miguel a few times, I knew he was a top guy. We have many similar interests and both passionate about travelling. I find myself talking to Miguel on a regularly basis and, although we have never met in person, felt like we had become good friends. Miguel knew I had been to Latin America before and desperate to visit Peru and when he found out I was booking my trip to visit South America he pleaded for me to visit his home country Argentina.
Miguel's hometown is Cordoba and it's the second largest city in Argentina and luckily only an hour flight from the capital Buenos Aires. The option to
meet Miguel in person and see another part of Argentina was an opportunity to not be missed. First Day
After spending three nights in Buenos Aires, I was ready for my final part of my adventure. The day starts off badly as the hotel forget to book my taxi to take me to the airport. After patiently waiting twenty minutes, the hotel finds someone to take me to the airport. Not sure he's an official taxi driver, but he'll do.
After my short domestic flight, I find myself at the arrival gate of Cordoba airport. I wait patiently for Miguel, such a strange feeling to be meeting someone in person for the first time who you already feel you know. When Miguel arrives to welcome me, there is no awkwardness and I have that feeling of hanging out with a friend who I just haven't seen in a while.
After checking into the hotel, Miguel has an itinerary of things for us to do. We first visit Palacio Ferreyra
, a mansion with beautiful architecture which is now a museum. It houses paintings, sculptures, graphic art and photography. Understand that many of the artists are from Cordoba
Province of Argentina.
Next, we visit Bicentennial Lighthouse
which is 102 metres tall and the third tallest lighthouse in the world. Miguel tells me it's the city icon and acts as a tribute to mark the 200 years of the Revolution of May. The lighthouse was built only a few years ago.
Near the Bicentennial Lighthouse
is Parque las Tejas,
this park is extremely busy with locals chilling on the grass and children playing. Miguel tells me he spends a lot of time here, usually chilling in the park in the summer with friends. We sit down on the grass and enjoy the park. The sun is shinning and the sky is bright blue, but there is a chill in the air. I slowly look around the park and soak up the atmosphere imaging how it must be in the summer.
For Lunch, Miguel takes me to a nearby café. We have the traditional toast with dulce. Dulce de Leche is the sweet chocolate sauce that I mentioned about in my Buenos Aires blog.
After lunch, we first visit the shopping centre Patio Olmos
where Miguel works when he isn't busying studying. We spend time in Plaza San Martin
, checking out the colonial buildings. Miguel tells me that Cordoba was one of the first Spanish colonial in Argentina and named after Cordoba in Spain. Next we visit the top of my hotel Amerian
and enjoy the views of the city before dusk.
In the evening, we head out to a restaurant called Las Chilcas
to have an Argentinian steak. On the way to the restaurant, we walk past people dancing in the street to Tango music... just incredible! The restaurant we visit, Las Chilcas
, is rated number 8 on TripAdvisor
for best restaurant in Cordoba. The steaks here are really tasty and I definitely recommend this place for a good Argentinian steak. Next day
Miguel takes me to Havanna
for breakfast. Havanna
is a popular coffee shop chain predominately in South America. With my coffee I try Alfajores, a biscuit coated in either milk, dark or white chocolate and filling of dulce de leche... they taste so good!!
After breakfast we seem to spend most of the day just walking around the city, visiting churches and admiring the beautiful colonial buildings.
Miguel tells me it's compulsory to try Mate. It's a very
popular beverage drunk in Argentina and other South American countries. Miguel has to go back home to borrows his mum's flask for the hot water and ingredients needed to make the Mate. We walk to a park area where other people are sat down on the grass and sharing a Mate together. We find a nice spot and sit down to enjoy the Mate and watch the sunset. As for the drink, Mate, I can only describe this drink as dried leaves of Yerba Mate, with hot water poured through them into a sieve via a wooden cup and then drunk through a straw. Miguel brings sugar as this drink can be bitter without it. The first sip of Mate and it's quite an unusual taste, but the more I drink, the more I like it.
What a great way to the end of my trip. Drinking Mate, like a local.
Spending time with Miguel has been amazing. The greatest thing about travelling is learning and experiencing what it's like to be a local in the country you're visiting.
Next stop; home!
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