Life: Left of Centre

Travels through Argentina – Part 2

Posted on: March 12, 2012

Welcome to Part 2 of my ‘Travels through Argentina’ series, that takes the reader back to January 2011, when I spent a hugely enjoyable 3 weeks travelling solo across Argentina, meeting a selection of fascinating people, experiencing the wonderful culture (that is oh so different to the typical Western European or even the North American way of life) and seeing the sights.

Part 2 introduces the part-German part-Argentine airline passenger Paola, the grandmother figure of Matilda Alvarez and the beautiful city of Cordoba, its ‘old town’ setting and desert-like climate!

Day 1 – Of Friends and Family

I definitely struck lucky sitting next to probably the only ‘senores passerenos’ (male/female passenger) on the plane who speaks pretty good English. My Spanish is not yet good enough to keep up with a full-on conversation in Spanish about a country I’ve never been to before! After I finally got to sleep in the wee hours – following a slightly dubious attempt by the cabin crew to serve us dinner at 2 o’clock in the morning (then Madrid time, where we boarded our connecting flight) – when I properly woke up, at around 9am, I felt like I really got to know Paola.

She lives in Germany, but has family just outside Cordoba – my first destination. She certainly made me feel welcome, and told me what to look out for. Especially ‘carnes’ (meat) – in a good way, and ‘ladron’ (thief) – in just the opposite! She gave me lots of tips and advice on my journey, and provided a really friendly face to the start of my 21-day adventure.

The rest of the day was spent settling in, showering and recuperating from the long haul flight at Cristian’s sister’s house. Cristian was my guide, for the first part of my journey, and got me settled into the country at for the first day or so. It was an enjoyable meet-up at the airport and drive through the heart of the city – answering questions in Spanish as best I could along the way.

Later in the afternoon I travelled to one of Cristian’s close friend’s houses, nearby. There I joined three other Argentinians – all of whom spoke Spanish far too quickly for me to understand well, but I tried my best to keep up and they included me in everything they did – mainly lunch, making it on the barbecue and then serving it up. Chicken, bread, salad and the sun – simple but delicious, and made special with rooftop views across the city.

VLOG of Day 1 coming soon!

Following dinner it was time for a change of scenery. A short hop across the city to Matilda Alvarez’s flat – a lovely old lady who made me feel very at home, and certainly reminiscent of my own grandmother, who passed away the previous year. We got to know each other as best possible, given the language barrier, and left me to my thoughts – of which there were many.

As a footnote to the day, despite a nagging feeling of homesickness, nearly 7000 miles away from London, I spent the evening strolling around the main square and happened upon a wonderful little café, with some excellent applet tart – accompanied by some equally excellent apple-flavoured tea. Proper tea too. A great way to finish the day!

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1 Response to "Travels through Argentina – Part 2"

Sounds wonderful! The country’s definitely on my list of must-visits.

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