The afternoon bus to Salta retraced our 'revolutions' through the Quebrada de las Conchas. Just as spectacular on the second viewing. We arrived early evening to Hostal All Norte where we collapsed into bed and watched Fight Club (Rose's first viewing which is hardly surprising to anyone who knows her). She has been locked in a casual analysis of the different plot devices and cinematography tricks ever since.
Our first morning was 'rained off' by six straight hours of thunderstorms. We were to discover later that this caused a severe mudslide north of the city, blocking our onward journey to San Pedro de Atacama. More about that later...
When it fined up we walked to the main Plaza and visited the two Cathedrals. The Metropolitan Cathedral is a national monument and holds the Archbishop's official seat. In plan this was very much similar to the Cathedrals we have seen in other Argentinian cities, showing the formulaic approach that the Conquistadors took when founding new cities here. Plaza with Cathedral in the corner being an established datum for all.
Salta differs slightly due to the presence of the ornate and distinctive Iglesia San Francisco, barely five minutes walk for the main plaza. A church has been here since 1625, but the convent was added in the 1850s. The ceilings were stunning and the basilica itself had a much more intimate single nave compared to the vast Metropolitan around the corner. I guess the different Catholic orders have different views on the design and purpose of their facilities.
The next day we walked up Cerro San Bernardo in search of city views. Salta sprawls to the foot of this wooded hill that rises 284m above the city.
Despite the humidity under the tree canopy we weren't disappointed at the top.
Some artifical waterfalls at the summit took the sting out of the heat and we made our way back into town for a picnic lunch and some museum hopping.
Salta has a relaxed feel with the healthy amount of bustle you would expect from a provincial capital city. A photogenic and charming little city.