Getting to Santiago was like getting back to civilization. It gave us the feeling of a normal big European city: both old houses and newly built skyscrapers, large streets, plazas, parks, nice restaurants, theatres, opera, many cars and bad traffic, subway…yes, subway (we haven’t seen a normal, classic one for quite some time). As we are big metropoles addicts, we loved it from the beginning!
We wondered around the streets and visited many places but we particularly enjoyed some of them. First, as we are heights addicts as well (ha ha), Sky Costanera – an observation deck in the tallest building in South America (over 300m)- gave us a 360° nice view of the city. It offered us an idea of how green this city actually is and we found out that it has one of the biggest urban parks in the whole world: more than 700 hectares!!!
We also enjoyed La Chascona, one of the three homes of the famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Honestly speaking, I haven’t heard of him before, but now I am glad to know one more Nobel Prize winner – he got it for literature in the seventies and was the second Chilean to get a Nobel after Gabriela Mistral (writer as well). Located in an artistic neighborhood (Bellavista), the house was built by the writer for his mistress whom he called La Chascona (meaning tangle-haired woman). She later became his third and last wife. Being obsessed by the sea (as he couldn’t swim), he built his house with the shape of a ship with open air halls with stairs linking the different rooms. We’ve never seen anything like it before! Unique and colorful, it surprised us at each step!
Cerro Santa Lucia offered us a nice walk in a park with fountains and stairs leading up to a fort and viewpoint at the top – we enjoyed the landscape.
We would have loved to go to the opera, but unfortunately everything was booked for the days we stayed there…we miss culture!!! We hardly wait to get back too some theatres, concerts, expos and so on!
But all in all Santiago was a nice experience and I hope Chile will continue to give us only nice surprises.