This here is the lovely Magdalena who knows Mendoza like the back of her hand and is only too happy to come out on a cold afternoon and brighten it up with her smile. Awww. Me and Autumn learnt a whole heap of cool stuff from Magdalena the other day, and not just about wine (What? There’s more to Mendoza than wine?!) Well yes, actually there is.
Mendoza is still very much a seismic city which was thoroughly destroyed, relocated and rebuilt in 1861. Meep. There are testaments to the people who helped rebuild and recover all over the city. When you’re walking along it pays to smile and not think about how the earth might crack open at any minute, like we’re doing here:
All of the little squares in Mendoza have been built to offer safe open-air spaces in the event of an earthquake and they all have something different about them. I like this one, with its mosaic-like stairs that don’t lead anywhere. Here I am pretending to be that girl in the Labyrinth movie when she tries to rescue her brother but all the steps keep changing directions and David Bowie sings that song abo… oh, you know.
We also got to try some mate on our walking tour (pronounced mah-tay), which Magdalena brought along in a flask to warm our little fingers in the cold. How thoughtful. It’s a favourite drink here in Argentina consisting of… er… green things… which you sip through a metal straw, which has a filter so you don’t end up with unflattering bits of stuff in your teeth. Clever. I think it’s a slight upper, too. We felt good after drinking it anyway, on a bench by the river in The Parque General San Martín. Yummy!
We paired this delicious hot herby grassy drink (I really should find out exactly what this jerba juice is) with some equally scrumptious snacks from a bakery. These were packaged up and wrapped in a golden bow, although we still couldn’t stop gawping at our other carborific options…
The sugary treats in Argentina are due to be my figure’s downfall but like I’ve said before, I’ll just lick a wall or something in Bolivia and contract a nice disease. That should sort things out. Oh, apparently, this house is haunted:
Before we learnt this I was actually wondering which malevolent being would garnish a house with a giant bow. That unfashionable accessory would probably keep more people away than a poltergeist. Hello! 1983 called – it wants its hair piece back.
We also learnt a lot about drainage, which on any tour would be quite boring, probably, but Mendoza is very proud of its irrigation system, which was introduced by the indigenous Huarpes of the region. They figured out how to bring water from the Mendoza river to the arid plains. Here is a little bit of irrigation looking as nice as an irrigation system can possibly look.
Check out Magdalena’s cool company Taste Mendoza Walking Tour, which was introduced to us via the magnificent Kendra at Uncorking Argentina who, like I said yesterday, knows everyone in Mendoza. Honestly, we have met some seriously good people here in Mendoza. It will almost be a shame to leave for Chile. I bet Chile doesn’t have pretty irrigation, or ghost houses with bows.
*All photos taken by Autumn Mooney. Except the ones I took of her.