Monday, October 31, 2005

Northern Argentina IV: Cordoba, City of young

Arriving at Cordoba afternoon, I was greeted by light rain and grey clouds hanging heavily over this modern high-rising built city. As the weather didn't improve too much in the passing days here, I have done little excursions outside of town, and most of the time spent in the Internet point, waiting for the upcoming experience of my life...

Grey clouds hanging over
The ride to Cordoba was not one of my longest (only a mere of 8 hours) but still, I felt the time slowly passing, and the grey weather hanging all the time from an hour after departure till I finally reached Cordoba around 2 PM. Light rain landed on my face as I retrieved my pack and shouldering it, I headed into the station’s terminal, looking for the information office. After some wandering around, I found it at last, and asking for the Patagonia hostel I have got a flier of the hostel with the center of the city outlined. A no problem walk, I thought. Well, I should have re-thought things.
So, I have started walking through the city, the rain stops and continues from time to time, and the immense red-bricked buildings hang over me like towers of a Babylon, when only the clouds can out master them when height is concerned...At first, navigation was smooth and easy, but once I passed one big square, I have lost my direction as for some unknown reason, I could not find any sign post with the name of the street. So, I wandered around with a 25 kg backpack on my back, looking for a single piece of direction, and could not find one, and only I asked someone where is the specific hostel street, did I got my bearings straight. God damn mayor, what he thinks, everyone is from Cordoba!? I cursed him quite a bit under my breath when I crossed here and there, till I finally reached the hostel. A very clean and tidy hostel, I got a lower bunk in this empty hostel, and quickly went venturing into the grey city, looking for food.
I got directions to a nearby mall, very fancy, big (similar to the Ramat Aviv mall) and of course, with a food court. After eating I strolled a bit in the city, done some arrangements and finally, went back to the hostel.

Che, Che, Che-Che!!

Well, most days here past quite the same – Internet, lunch, Internet, dinner, some coffee and go to sleep! Yep, when almost all week I was alone in the hostel (!) and the weather was shit (grey clouds, rain all night and sometime all day) the Internet served a great place to look for shelter!
Well, once I had a nice day I took advantage of it and went to the bus station in order to travel to Alta Gracia, a small town south of Cordoba. I read in the LP that there are nice colony architecture and a house that the Guevara`s family was living when Ernesto “Che” Guevara was a small boy.
The ride was a short one, some one hour, and finally I got to town and got off at the main terminal, which served also as the municipality place and after receiving a map of the little town, I started to move around. However, navigating in this town is not as easy as one can imagine, and the twisting streets made me wana kill the guy that designed that map. I was like going in circles or going in the other direction and it made me VERY frustrated! At one time, instead of walking straight to the center of town, I walked to the Gruta Virgen de Loudes, a chruch build out of the rock at 1916 which was surrounded by a forested mansion. It was nice, but damn, it took me some time till I realized where the hell I was and what street should I take in order to get to the center of town.
At the center of town I found the Tajamar, the water reservoir, that was built around 1659 with lime, sand and stone (some 80 meters long!). A very beautiful and attractive place. Over this tranquil little lake stands tall and dominating the clock tower. I took some photos and continued on to a nice restaurant on the other side of the town, and after finishing my business there, I returned to the lake for tranquility and some photo-ops.
The biggest attractions in this town, aside from the beautiful colonial buildings is the Guevara house on Avellaneda street, where young Ernesto “Che” Guevara was living in his early part of his life due to his Asthma problems. In his small wood house I got a glimpse of the way they lived back then, his closest friends and general information about his personal life as a man more than as a leader of a revolution. I had a small FADIHA there, while I was on my way out.
It all started with the fact that when I first got into the place, and I understand from the Museum representative that couple of Israelis are just in the Museum, but apparently were not that eager to communicate to much (aside from saying hello). So, while I was scribbling my remarks and comments in the Museum guest book, an Israeli couple got into the Museum. Now, as I was finishing my comment I gripped that the lady gonna ask them where they are from (like she asked me before) and they will say they are from Israel, and then she will point at me and say I am from Israel too. Now, I don't know why, but I didn't felt like being there, so I quickly made a move to open the door and get the hell out of there before she is gonna ask them. Only, as happens at such situations, the god damn door didn't open and I had to struggle with it till it opened, but it was a bit too late. Once they answered they are from Israel there was a long silence, which was more or less when I finally managed to open the door. Then, as I moved through the door, hastily I must admit, I heard her say: “Well, he is also an Israeli” and when I passed and turned to close the door, I could see their surprised faces stare at me, not knowing what to think of my runaway act, and I could only squeeze a shameful smile and close the door. I felt a bit like shit, not confronting the whole situation more respectfully, but then again, I made a mistake that sometimes happens.
I returned to the terminal, passing through the beautifully built houses on Avellaneda street and walking all the way back. Twenty minutes later the bus moved back to Cordoba.

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