This only left us with a few hours one night and the following morning to see the actual city of Mendoza.
Canals and themed plazas
There are canals that run through Mendoza and you find the largest sidewalks and streets in all of Argentina here. City planners designed this after a large earthquake in the 1800’s. Another unique feature in Mendoza is the presence of several city squares/outdoor parks, each with their own themes and monuments. In the centre is a large square called Plaza Independencia and surrounding this main square, are 4 smaller squares:
- Plaza Espana
- Plaza Italia
- Plaza Chile and
- Plaza San Martin
Many monuments are dedicated to General Jose de San Martin who took an army over the Andes mountains to liberate Chile and Peru.
Walking at night to the Restobar district
We heard there was a pretty active night life and an upbeat resto-bar district so we took a walk there (about 20 minutes from our hotel) and tried to pass through some of the squares.
Much like in Santiago, Chile, there are a lot of street dogs that follow you around and will be your best friend in exchange for some food. This one was following us around and I really wish I had some treats for it! But we still hadn’t settled on what *we* wanted!
In the end, we stopped at a place with a large patio and ordered these very feminine drinks:
I was super stuffed from the wine tour and the massive multi-course meal we had at the previous winery so I was ready to sleep 🙂
This was our breakfast buffet the next morning – breakfast included with the hotel fee seems to be the norm and everything they had was really, really sweet.
Prearranged taxi and last minute tour
We arranged for our driver to come get us at 12:00 and then thought, maybe we could squeeze in a quick tour by taxi before our flight to Puerto Iguazu. I figured that a cab fare alone back home would be $50 USD so if we could go for a drive to the park for this amount- I was game!
We talked to our driver and although he couldn’t personally come himself anymore, he sent a friend who was happy to take us around. This guy was super chill and joked around with us and although he wasn’t an official tour guide or anything – we think he was great!
We headed towards the large park on the edge of town, Parque San Marti, with a huge monument of General Jose de San Martin at the top of Glory Hill (Cerro de la Gloria). Along the way we stopped to check out the view.
Once we reached the top, we saw this impressive monument of San Martin. There’s a lot of detail on the sides and what’s cool here is that they depict the citizens and their role in this triumph (rather than just have the army).
During the ride, Eric played around with his limited spanish and kept saying : Mi gusta Empanada! So our driver stopped at a local market so that we could order empanadas before our plane ride. While we were eating, he said he needed to go do an errand and we briefly questioned whether we should be leaving all of our valuables with someone we barely know and have no way of circling back to! But he returned as promised!
Mi gusta empanadas
We wrapped up our tour after eating at the market and made it to the airport with time to spare. Once on board the place, we were treated with this snack pack.
A sugary treat
More sweets! I love trying candy and snacks from other countries (or well, any food in general!)
Thank you, Aerolineas Argentinas!
We had a 2 hour layover in Buenos Aires before our final destination.
Next: Puerto Iguazu and Iguazu Falls!