It was Easter Friday when we arrived in Cordoba following our 14-hour bus ride from San Juan. Cordoba is Argentina’s second largest city yet on our arrival, its streets were quiet and empty. The Argentine Easter weekend coincides with another National holiday making it a six-day break and many had gone away. As a result, perhaps we did not get to truly experience Cordoba city and our days were spent doing not much more than walking around, viewing the old cathedrals and buildings throughout the town and visiting a number of museums.
We took a paddle boat ride through the park, something that was becoming somewhat of a common past time as we explored the various cities. In addition to the many old buildings throughout the city, Cordoba has now devoted a whole area of the city to modern art and encouraging a new generation of Cordobites (no idea what you call them, that was Will’s suggestion) to break out from their traditional ways.
In the evening on Easter Friday, the streets were filled with local and visiting Argentines walking with candles to the various churches throughout the city. Pope San Francisco paraphernalia lined the streets, from posters to t-shirts, Argentines are very proud of their new Pope. It was very quiet and somewhat peaceful in the city which I am sure is a contrast to most normal weekdays.
On one of our days we took a day trip to Alta Gracia, a tranquil little town set in the mountains surrounded by leafy trees and parklands. Alta Gracia is home to a 17th century Jesuit estancia, now a UNESCO World heritage site and we walked through the grounds learning about the history of the Jesuit history and various Spanish occupies over the years.
We had a parilla lunch for two and I ate my only Easter egg before continuing to Che Guevara’s childhood home. Che’s family moved to Alta Gracia from Buenos Aires after a doctor recommended the dry climate for his asthma. The house is now the Casa Del Che Museum, full of family photos, Che’s belongings and information about his time spent in Argentina.
Our ticket gained us entry to two other house museums – a French artist and a Spanish composer, both who had lived in Alta Gracia at some stage. It was a little strange to have their houses and museums on display – really all 3 of them were famous for what they had achieved outside of Argentina and had only spent a small portion of their lives in the town. Nevertheless it was a peaceful place and nice to relax outside of Cordoba for a day.