Mendoza - The Argentinian Wine Region
So we have crossed the border and are now in Argentina! Our first stop was Mendoza, which is a pretty little city and it's lively too. We arrived on a weekend and our first port of call was STEAK! So we went to The Bull Restaurant which I can't say I recommend in hindsight. At the time it was good - Steak in Mushroom Sauce with Chips and Salad.
The next day we wandered around the city, found the main plaza which is lovely, there was a small market and fountains and statues. Just two blocks from every corner of the square is another mini-plaza, so we walked to those too. Each one is different with statues, sculptures, fountains and palm trees!
We stumbled across the main pedestrianised street which is full of cafes, bars and restaurants which were full on a Saturday morning. There's a bandstand where live music was playing so we sat for a while and watched. As I said it's more of an atmospheric and lively city than a bursting-with-attractions city.
The main things to do in Mendoza are day trips - visit the Andes, the wine tours, rafting, horseback riding or trekking the mountains.
We did the Vineyard Tour but by bus (another fun alternative is by bike.) We visited two wineries and one olive oil manufacturer. We learned all about the history of the wine, walked around the vineyard and then had a tasting with bits of bread and oil. Both wineries were nice and the tasting at the olive oil manufacturer was a highlight! Various olive, hummus and tomato pastes on bread sprinkled with different oils - lemon, chilli, rosemary or garlic for example. They also made cosmetics so we tried a body scrub, lotion and oil - I felt rejuvenated...
That concluded our time in Mendoza, except for one last night where we went to the pedestrianised street and chose a restaurant where we had a better steak than at The Bull, although it had no sauce, they asked how we wanted it cooked and it was amazing. They do touristic deals/set menus so I chose the steak with a choice of side, with a drink and dessert which was around £8.50. Then we went to Decimo - a rooftop bar with the best views of the city. It's a nice bar but it's probably better for a fancy meal as most people were eating and it was awkward when we said we just wanted drinks!
We stayed in Windmill Hostel which is a good choice in a nice location and they do hostel dinners that you can put your name down for and they're reasonably priced. Otherwise it's clean and comfortable and breakfast is included which is always nice!