City of love, mountains, dogs, smog and good food!
13.01.2010 - 16.01.2010 28 °C
It’s my turn to wield the keyboard and create a blog entry for the first time in my life! So here I go....!
Santiago: we arrived exhausted after an intense lead up to our trip ( HINT; don’t plan a massive engagement party 2 days before a world trip!), and the 17 hour journey over here. Ben had organised for us to stay in a really lovely Hotel right in a Paddington-styled cafe disctrict of Santiago called “Provedencia”. Hotel Orly felt so comfortable (and ,OK quite luxurious too!) as soon as we entered it, and we spent our first 3 nights enjoying the various tapas bars, cafes, and even a vegetarian restaurant in our local area. Jet lag claimed our first few mornings ( actually, it claimed most of the first day as we just slept and slept!), however the evenings and nights were so full of life that we were up to the early hours of the morning enjoying the street performers who played jazz and blues, or the troup of singers who would stop outside each cafe in the strip and harmonise beautiful latino melodies, or my personal favourite, the drummers with their wicked drum beats that made us want to boogie! We had heard many “blah” reports about Santiago from people before arriving there, but we loved exploring it, and found it to be a city of;
• Love. I have already told most of you about the enormous amounts of french kissing that happens in every public space imaginable! OK, I might be exagerating but there really was alot more PDA than we are used to back home!! Ben and I found it hysterical to see people with their tongues in each others mouths while at a restaurant. My favourite demonstration of love and lust was the young couple who refused to part lips while simultaneously trying to run to catch the departing bus!!!
• Mountains and smog. Santiago is circled by mountains, including the snow capped Andes. While the mountains are beautiful, it means that Santiago’s smog is trapped in the valley, waiting for the rains to clear the air. We climbed to the top of 2 of the city hills that gave us panoramic views of the smoggy city ( Santa Lucia and Parque Metropolitano, with the statue of the virgin Mary at the top)
• Cats and dogs. There are so many cats and dogs in the streets, parks and plazas of Santiago. Most of the dogs look really well cared for, and we have heard that they aren’t strays but rather their owners let them out to roam as they please. It is probably a mix of both- real strays and loved pets. I loved watching the dogs play chasings in the main plaza ( Plaza de Armas), and when they got too hot from that they would dive into the water fountain and cool down with the local kids who had also jumped in!
• Great food and wine. We discovered some fantastic cafes and restaurant districts. One of our favourites was Bella Vista, a spot full of funky ( and some a bit swanky!)places to eat, as well as boho cafes, theatre tents and art centres.
• Parks and plazas. Beautiful green parks, and lively plazas, where we sat and watched life go by.
All in all, we would happily spend more time in Santiago, if for no other reason than to enjoy the food and wine!
Till next blog