Saturday in Santiago

Santiago Travel Blog

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Ah, so very much to update! This weekend we did so many things, I'll try to get them all down!

Saturday we went to the zoo, which is up on the hill (El Cerro de San Cristobal). The zoologico is pretty cool-- it's on the side of the hill, so it's all very uneven and lush. Everytime you turn a corner, you encounter a new animal! We saw everything-- penguins, camels, sea lions, tons of birds... basically anything you'd find at any zoo. I'm not a huge zoo fan though, so after seeing the penguins and crabs (not together), we boarded the teleferico to continue up the mountain. The teleferico: an open tram that takes people up the side of the mountain. You could walk up all of the stairs to get to the top of the Cerro San Cristobal, but that takes forever and is really a hike.
As we only had an hour and a half to see everything, Emily, her Mom and I opted to pay 6 dollars extra to take the tram.

After we finished at the zoo, we continued up the hill to the statue of the Blessed Mary. Halfway up your hike to see the statue of the Blessed Mother, there is a point where you can stop and see nearly the entire city of Santiago. The bad thing about Santiago is the pollution: I could SEE the city, it was right there and all, but the pictures and the view itself is only so-so just because you can also see the brown of the pollution. That sounds pretty gross, but I still recommend seeing it anyway. We went on a fairly clear day, and it's breathtaking just to see the giant city with the snow-capped Andes surrounding it.
What I found to be the coolest part about it is you can go up to that point (it's more of a mesa-- a flat point on the mountain) and grab a cup of coffee, sit at one of the tables, and do your homework/chat/watch the sunset. It's very relaxing, and on a day such as that, I wasn't surprised to see several people already there, reading and having coffee.

As we didn't have much time, we didn't go all the way up the statue, but took pictures from the mesa and continued on the teleferico to see the entire city of Santiago. We rode in glass cars over the pine trees to see all sides of Santiago, both the rich side and the poor side. Even though I'm terrified of heights, I still managed to take several pictures! The view was absolutely incredible: there's no way you can get that from a plane.

At 2:30, we met up with Emily's Mom's host family, Jaime and Claudia, to go to the Acuario MIM: The Museo Interactivo Mirador/Interactive Museum of Mirador. Mirador is the street on which both the aquarium and interactive museum are. The interactive museum was already closed by the time we arrived, but the aquarium was still open. Once we got there, Emily and I were like little kids, pointing to all the sea creatures and saying their Spanish names over and over again. In order to help us remember some of their names, Claudia would point to, for example, a crab, say "cangrejo" (spanish for crab) and then say "You know, like Spongebob's boss. He's mean!" (In Spanish, she doesn't speak English). Claudia is a big fan of Spongebob Squarepants, and of course both Emily and I have watched it, so that really helped us. Plus, nothing beats hand gestures! At the aquarium, we caught a sea lion show with "Marcos" (the sea lion), saw two sharks, a bunch of ugly fish, tons of pretty ones, and ones that I had never seen before. The aquarium, although small, is a really good visit. It was dark, and I'm not exactly sure why, but it was a lot of fun. Good for learning a lot of Spanish words for sea creatures!
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photo by: Bluetraveler