Stations of the Cross, Israelis, and great hostel

Salta Travel Blog

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Speaking of traffic, Argentina does not have any freewyas, except in Buenos, but only small 2 laned highways carrying everything from bicycles, horse drawn carts, cars, farming trucks, buses, to semitrucks. When we finally got into Salta, as soon as we got off the bus, a person from our hostel was already waiting for us with a paid taxi. This hostel is amazing. It almost feels like home, with a closed-in courtyard, complete with a patio set and BBQ. The kitchen is amazing, except I seriously miss microwaves, which are somewhat of a rarity down here. The hostel manager gave us a rundown on the city, including where to go (and not go), what to see, and how much things should cost. He also gave us ideas on what to do after our stay in Salta with Hostel Kaskai. I can´t thank Tony and Sophie (the brits from Buenos) enough for telling us about hostelworld.com to check out the ratings on hostels. We then proceded to Cerro San Bernardo, the small mountain overlooking the city. One can either take a gondola or climb up the 1070 steps to the top. At the base of the mountain, was the Monumento Guemes, whos family in Salta is equivalent to the Roosevelts, of the Kennedy´s in the US. It is a statue of a man atop a horse, surrounded by troops on horses below him. The whole structure is atop a platform of rocks, probably coming from the rocky Cerro San Bernardo behind it. Unfortunately, the whole monument was defaced with white paint pens, as most of the monuments we have seen are. I guess that is the fun thing for the local youth to do. Right above the monument is a small museum called the Museo do Antropologia, which for 1 peso, you can go in and look at artifacts from this area and other parts of S. America. We decided to climb up the 1070 steps made out of rocks that were cemented together. On the way up therir was the 12 stations of the cross, which was only a precursor to what was ahead. At the top was a series of manmade waterfalls made out of interconnecting cement canals that were covered by lush green canopies of palm trees and other flowering trees and bushes. The oversight of the city was fantastic, it was just as the sun had gone down and the city lights started to glow. We hopped on the gondola and saw in full view the Jusus statue blessing the city from the top. We went to the Iglesia San Francisco (Church of San Francisco)., which is very beautiful at night when lit up. It is lit up with reddish orange lights that glow off of the church walls. We then made our way down to La Plaza 9 de Julio, which the Catedral Basilica is right across from. The cathedrals inside had gold covering everything, including a huge star behind the altar. By this time, we were hungry and headed to Mia Mammas, an itialian restaurant with interesting dishes such as corn lasagna. Came back to the hostel because it was cold and started talking with some of the other hostel occupants, most of them were Israeli´s straight out of military duty. It is kinda tradition to travel for 6 months to a year after serving. They all spoke perfect english, but wouldn´t include us on everything. Nice people, yet kinda cold to us. Hung out, talked, went to bed.
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Salta
photo by: wvijvers