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Argentina 29 October – 23 December 2014Back

During the northern winter of 2014, the MEALS project allowed me to escape to summer in Argentina for two months. Due to the nice weather, the incredible hospitality of Carlos and his family, and the warm reception by colleagues, friends and other guests, these turned out to be two extraordinarily happy and productive months. A few photos of this time in Argentina, of my home with Carlos' family, of the city of Córdoba, and from the various excursions are now collected here below.

Córdoba

As I arrived at the end of October – which corresponds to the end of April in the northern hemisphere – it was clearly springtime in Córdoba, with the Jacaranda trees in bloom and mostly fresh green everywhere. As Christmas drew ever closer, spring turned into summer with hot weekends, the opening of the outdoor swimming pools, and a few impressive thunderstorms. Aside from photos of everyday life at home and at the university (and, starting in December, at the city's largest outdoor swimming pool), impressions from a visit to the Botanical Garden after a bus odyssey to the other end of town can also be found in the first set of photos below.

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A Sunday in the Sierras 16 November 2014

On a hot Sunday in mid-November, this group of colleagues from the university did what everyone in Córdoba does on a hot summer Sunday: We went for a day trip into the Sierras and relaxed on the banks of a cool river! Before that, though, we stopped at Villa General Belgrano to indulge in some cliché Germanness (and lunch).

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Tren de las Sierras 23 November 2014

Again: a hot weekend, this time extended by a public holiday on Monday. Carlos and I now took the Tren de las Sierras to reach the "mountains" by rail. This turned out slightly more complex than expected as we reached the departure station on the other end of town at 10:30 and barely managed to get some of the last tickets – but for the last departure of the day at 12:00 rather than the next train at 11:00. After some waiting, we then rumbled off into the hills in a packed train at a cosy speed for a shortened, but enjoyable visit to Cosquín and the waters of Rio Cosquín.

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A Weekend in Nono 29–30 November 2014

At the end of November, the whole family squeezed in a car and went into and over the Sierras to Nono, where we had rented a Cabaña in the suitably-named Jardines del Cielo. Shortly after the arrival around noon, the summer warmth was replaced by cold wind and rain, which further turned into a long and strong thunderstorm during the evening. Needless to say that electricity cut out with the very first flash of lightning, and remained that way. But no thunderstorm stands between an Argentinian and their asado, so we just enjoyed the lightning show with lots of beef on a dark terrace!

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Return to Nono 13–14 December 2014

In the middle of December, Eloisa invited Carlos and me to join her and her brother for a trip back into the Sierras to her grandmother's holiday home near Nono. Aside from minor complications in getting a bus ticket back to Córdoba from the right little bus stop, this turned out to be another amazing trip: for the old house was beautifully located on a hillside above a large garden with fruit trees and a magical spring-water-fed pool under a canopy of large deep-green trees that turned into an almost enchanted place after Sunday's rain shower. And, of course, asado.

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To Buenos Aires and Europe 21–23 December 2014

Three days before Christmas, it was time to say goodbye... and although I would of course have liked this to take place at a train station, the scarcity of tickets for the twice-weekly night train to Buenos Aires meant that it had to take place at the airport instead. From Córdoba, I flew to Buenos Aires in the late afternoon of the 21st, then overnight to Frankfurt from the 22nd to the 23rd, and finally via Bremen to Oldenburg, where I arrived amidst Christmas preparations and the usual cold, grey and nasty winter of Northern Germany.

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