My time in Chile
Santiago Travel Blog› entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
My first impression of Chile was the cleanliness of Santiago. The trip to Valparaiso reminded me of riding through Napa Valley. After arriving in Valparaiso, I was impressed by the La Sebastiana, former home to Pablo Neruda. His close relationship with former President Salvador Allende was interesting. I enjoyed walking through his elegant home with antiques. Valparaiso had its economic boom and bust through the years but it is now being preserved as a historic site. The walking tour gave me full appreciation of its historical importance.
Vina del Mar was a scene from French Riviera. The ride through the town, restaurants, gave the city a special beauty of its own. The statue from Easter Island is an important symbol of Chilean history.
The tour of Santiago gave me the impression of a modern city with many exclusive neighborhoods. I was surprised by the social stratification in the city proper, but did not personally see the poor neighborhoods. The visit to "The Hill" is a must for anyone travelling to Santiago along with the cable car ride. Even though the haze was thick, the view of the city and the Andes Mountains was remarkable.
I enjoyed the lectures at the university and the opportunity to get the Chilean perspective first hand from the speakers. I now better understand how the Chilean Model has succeeded in many ways but disappointed in the lack of expenditures in education in the poor areas. I would love the opportunity to come back to Chile with my family, I think they would thoroughly enjoy the country.