Although the drive through the Andes from Santiago to Mendoza was breathtaking, taking us straight up one side of a mountain and then slowly easing back down the other side, we found Mendoza itself a bit lacking.
It seems that, in the summer, there would be plenty to do. But, in the winter, the city is definitely much, much quieter.
There certainly is plenty of wine…it’s good and cheap too. There are lots of cafes and restaurants and squares but not a lot of sights to see. In summer I could see that the tree lined streets would provide welcome shade for the sidewalk cafes where one could wile away an afternoon easily. But in winter it’s too chilly to lounge for too long and, outside of skiing and vineyard touring, other activities are minimal.
Mendocinians are serious about their siesta. Come 1PM the shops are shut up tight, traffic slows to a dribble and everyone is heading home for lunch and a nap. Until about 4PM there is nothing open except cafes and restaurants and, as we weren’t in love with either of the hostels we tried out, we were at a bit of a loss as to what to do.
I wanted to like it, really I did, but sometimes things just are what they are. I won’t say I didn’t like it, but I certainly will not be rushing back. Sorry Mendoza, but you underwhelmed me.