Arriving in Córdoba, Argentina’s second largest city, I rode down busy streets lined with trees beginning to show their autumn colors. The city of 1 million is one of the more well kept that I’ve seen on this trip. I discovered more and more things to love about this city over the 6 days that I spent there.
In Córdoba I stayed with one of the most generous CouchSurfing hosts yet. Martin offered to put me up in his apartment in downtown. Unlike the city I just came from, Martin suggested that if I wanted to see my bike again, I shouldn’t leave it on the streets here. I found a parking garage across the street to park it in. After unpacking my bags, Martin offered a home-cooked meal. Not only was Martin a great cook, he is also a great baker. Fresh bread baked for breakfast and dinner and some delicious dessert pastries were his specialties.
The first night Martin and I went to a local street fair with one of his friends. The streets were crowded with young Argentines drinking yerba maté, walking by the shops selling crafts, antiques, music, and food. People keep saying Argentina is in a financial crisis but everyday the shopping areas in all the cities I’ve traveled to are crowded. Some say they are just window shopping.
The other thing people in Córdoba love are their parks. Every evening the parks around the city fill up with groups of families and friends. They lay out their blankets and share the traditional drink, yerba mate. Young college age adults walk by selling home baked foods and desserts. Martin and I would go and always had great conversations.
Martin comes from a large family from another state in Argentina but has been living in the city since starting college. He’s a life long student. He’s a few months away from getting his third degree, a doctorate in psychiatry. His knowledge of the english language was incredible. He said he owes most of it from a lifetime of watching US television programs. Since he’s finishing up his degree and working at a clinic he might be the only Argentine I’ve met who goes to bed hours before midnight and wakes up before sunrise. It worked out well staying there though, he shared a lot of great local music and Argentine films for me to watch.
There are few foods that I haven’t mentioned yet in any of my posts on Argentina. The first is the lomo. A steak sandwich with grilled flank steak, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. And some more mayonnaise. Someone told me it was like a Philly Cheesesteak but better. Sorry, Argentina, I grew up outside of Philly and your lomos can’t even come close to the deliciousness of a Philly Cheesesteak.
What I will give Argentines credit for is their ice cream. Argentine helado is delicious. And ice cream shops are everywhere. I may have had ice cream and empanadas everyday. Both are too good and too cheap to pass up.
When I came to Córdoba I was only going to stay maybe three days. Thanks to having such a great host and loving the city so much, I spent 6 days there. I could have spent even more time there. With so many great cafes, museums, parks, street art, and restaurants, this is one of my favorite cities yet.