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Santiago de Chile

Added: June 06, 2010

Tags: Chile RTW SouthAmerica city mountains photos
On 30th of January 2010 we said farewell to New Zealand and Australia and spent 16 hours in plane flying to Santiago de Chile. It was the longest flight we have made. Immediately in the plane I have learned our English is less useful than anywhere else we have been till now. Even simple "water, please" was always met with puzzled face. Fortunately we have learned couple of phrases that should help us to get through South American continent.

We did not plan to stay in Santiago or in Chile for long time. Just to sleep after long flight, to spend one day around the city and then fly to Bolivia. We were not interested in European city like Santiago. But when we got to our hostel we have learned from provided fliers how many things we are going miss around Santiago. (We knew we will miss Patagonia, but there was not any time even think about going there during our 1 month stay in South America). At the end I can say Santiago de Chile is interesting city.

The city

Hostel was busy during whole night, people were loudly talking in corridors, they were slamming doors. It was pretty bad because I could not sleep well despite of long day we had (you know, crossing a date-line).

A breakfast was nearly the worst we had on our journey (the worst one happened later), so I don't have anything nice to say about HI hostel Santiago.

But it did not spoil our mood when we headed out to see the city. We took short ride by metro and then continued walking around centre. It was pretty easy to navigate around. If there was any surprise it was usually I did not realize it was so close.

I really liked the river flowing through city. It was not nice, contrary, quite small and muddy. But the speed and energy water was flowing was amazing. I have seen similar roaring river in La Paz, but there are mountains all around the city, while they are quite far here.


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I like these contrasts of old and new.

It was really hot, some boys solved the problem easily.




La Pequeña Gigante

The streets were full of people and rubbish. Apparently there was some big occasion happening. In the beginning we thought it is related to Chile’s bicentennial, because we could see Bicentenario at some places, but later we learned it is about a huge mechanical doll. We have not see it directly, but there were many sellers of doll postcards. And people were buying them. It was conclusion of Santiago a Mil International Theater Festival.




Cerro Santa Lucia

We climbed Santa Lucia Hill. We wanted to see a panorama, but mainly distant hills. We got nice views of city, but due to smog we did not see the mountains very well.

It is very nice park, worth of visiting if you don't mind the steps. La Pequeña probably passed along while we were up there, because when we started to descent the parade was over and people started to spread in all directions. So every street was full now.

This building is bellow the hill.
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Panorama of Santiago de Chile

Santiago de Chile with mountains


It seems this place was not always used as a park...
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Park Cerro Santa Lucia in Santiago de Chile


I have never seen graffiti on a cactus.

La Chascona (Pablo's Neruda house)

One of several houses of Pablo Neruda is in Santiago. It is pretty amazing piece of architecture, or I should say pieces, because it consists from several buildings. All of them are inspired by a sea: a ship, beacon, ...

English guided tour was done by enthusiastic and knowledgeable guy. That did not surprise me. Real surprise were American guys in our group who knew a lot about Pablo Neruda and were asking about many details. Who would believe that... :-)

On the other hand I am happy I could help our guide, even with a slight bit of information, because he asked us if Neruda was typical Czech name and I said no, it isn't. I've just googled a bit and it seems to be 3225th most used surname in Czech Republic (256 people have it).




No cable car to Cerro San Cristobal

We were really tired after whole day of walking in hot weather. For evening we left visit of Cerro San Cristobal. I hoped smog gets thinner in evening, allowing for better photos of mountains. But we found a cable car is not working.

Instead of walking up just to see a smog is still pretty bad we decided to call it a day. We are getting up at 3am tomorrow, our flight to La Paz is at 6am. I think we should return one day and explore more of Chile...