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Santiago Travel Blog

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Central market, maddness

My first taste of South America and I have had such a good time in Santiago even though I wish my Spanish was so much better.

The first day we arrived on Monday went on for about 40 hours as we crossed the international date line and we went back in time. I still don´t think my body has fully got over the jet lag. Our hostel La Casa Roja, is quite close to the centre of town and everyone is so friendly.

On Monday we had a bit of a wonder into town to get our bearings with two other people, one who we met on the plane and another guy we had met in Auckland ( at the airport in Auckland we bumped into Nick and Lauren two friends from Hatfield which was very random especially as they were on the same flight as us!)

Our first bit of ordering in Spanish didn´t go too well.

the presidential palace
We first ordered coffee and we were told there was no coffee, we went for tea instead thinking that would be ok. What arrived made us despair at the english abroad, we had ended up with hot milk and a tea bag! Being the polite people we are we drank it anyway and still paid hoping that next time we would do better!

We carried on our wonder after that and came across a little Oasis in the heart of Santiago called Santa Lucia. Its a hill with a little castle and a very colonial looking fountain. After working out that we had to sign in to enter we walked up to the top to get views of Santiago. Through the smog you can just about make out the Andes which tower above us, very humbling.

30/05/06

We were so relived when we woke up and found it was Tuesday finally.

We didn´t sleep too well, but at least we had a couple of hours. We had arranged to meet Fiona and Ash to go to a Picasso, Goya and Miro exhibition at 11am so we dragged ourselves out of bed and walked into Santiago town centre. The exhibition was very good, the Goya paintings were  gory, but I enjoyed the miro and the picasso. The only problem was that everything was in Spanish so we had difficulty working out the period in the painters work and what the painitng meant. I am already regretting my disregard for languages.

It was lunch time after the exhibition and we needed some brain food. We found a lovely little cafe and our ordering skills were a lot better than yesterday. We met up with some irish guys who are on the same ticket as us and agreed to meet up for a meal tonight.

We had a bit of time for a chill out before going out for a meal. Everyone eats late here, so we didn´t go out till 9pm. We went to a place called the fat cow, and had a lovelty steak and wine meal for about five pounds each. Its so cheap here, but the rest of South America is so much cheaper.

Afterwards we all went to a bar opposite the hostel for the traditional pisco sour drink, which is an acquired taste. We had a really good night and met some great people.

31/05/06

After getting back quite late last night we let ourselves have quite a bit of a lie in. We read books, wrote journals and chatted. We popped out to the supermarket and had a wonder, but today was a definite lazy day. I blame it on the jet lag and the hectic time we had in New Zealand!

1/06/06

We had agreed to meet early this morning to go wine tasting, but after only half our group turned up we decided to hit the museums instead. We spent quite a lot of time wondering round Santiago in circles as our map was pitiful. We even had a Brazilian guy with us who could speak Spanish, but that didn´t seem to help our plight. We eventually found the museum of beautiful art and sampled some Chilean art, modern sculpture and some very strange modern impressionist art. It was such good value for 60 pence.

There was a mexico exhibition on for a limited time and it was heavily advertised all around Santiago, so that was our next port of call. We finally worked out that we couldn´t find it because it was underground, and then we found it quite easily. The exhibition was another good value exhibition and it was very interesting. Everything was in Spanish again, but I have now become used to just looking at the pictures!

We felt very cultured as we left the exhibition and made our way to the central square for some lunch. The central square has amazing colonial architecture and lots of painters and stalls surrounding it. Its a great place to go people watching.

Tonight was another night out, but this time we decided to all cook pizzas at the hostel and go out after that. The Brazilian guy, Felipe had bought lots of fruit to made cocktails for us which were amazing, full of flavour but very strong. We made our way out to a Tapas bar run by the hostel and sampled the local cocktails till the early hours.

2/06/06

This was another book reading day, with a bit of shopping and a few cups of tea. I really like the feel of Santiago, the streets are full of such a mix of people from suits to students. There are quite a few protests going on at the moment so around every corner there are big protests banners and students dancing or playing instruments which creates a good atmosphere. I have heard great thing about Buenos Aires, so I hope it will be even better. I will be sad to leave Santiago as we have got such a good group of people here and a great hostel

3/05/06

Today we had a bit of a lazy morning and then headed to the central market. Its a massive fish market with lots of restaurants. I felt like we were back in Bangkok because as soon as you walked in the door, you were hassled by lots of different people trying to get you to go to their restaurant. We eventually decided on one restaurant mainly because we couldn´t stand the hassle any longer. We had a very nice meal and the fish was great, but maybe a little expensive for what it was.

Katy and I spent the rest of the day wondering and trying to take photos as we are leaving tomorrow. We did a bit of window shopping, but town was so busy as its a Saturday.

We are having a meal out tonight to say goodbye to all our friends and to Santiago.

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Central market, maddness
Central market, maddness
the presidential palace
the presidential palace
Santiago
photo by: Bluetraveler