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Quick Taste of Chile - Santiago and Valpariso

CHILE | Friday, 24 April 2009 | Views [1108]

Since mid April, after the Volcano trek in Pucon, we took a bus over the Andes to Santiago to continue our visit in Chile.  After a fantastic adventure through Patagonia, Santiago (any big city) was set up to have a hard time impressing us. But McLure and I agreed that we were pleasantly surpised with Santiago.  The streets were cleaner than BA or Rio, the drivers actually stopped for you when it was your turn to cross the street and they didn´t abuse their horn, and the minute we whipped our map in the metro to find our hostel, a nice man came up to assist.  We stayed just two days in Santiago, but filled them with everything we like: markets, gardens, nice views, just walking around to get to know a city. We stumbled upon armed guards and policemen with horses as the Malaysian president was in town visiting. Nearby, we found a hip modern museum that had an exibition focused on Meztizo art and how it was an influential force in fusing the culture of pre-colombian Chile with religion of the Spanish.  There was also a cool ribbon exhibit I enjoyed.

We saw great views of the Andes from a park tower - we heard the smog made visibility poor, so I guess we got lucky. Check it out.

On from Santiago, we took a quick bus north for a day/night to Valparaiso, a port town with fantastic personality.  There are two distinct areas in ¨Valpo.¨  The flatlands, where our hostel was, is just what you´d expect from a grimey, industrial port town that isn´t so focused on aesthetics or clean streets.  But the hills were truly magical with their windy, steep roads, colorfully painted corregated steel houses and amazing street art. The steep streets and pathways everywhere reminded us of home. We spent the afternoon getting lost up there, and I was in heaven with my camera, as you can imagine - you know how I love color!  McLure was very patient, thanks Mclure. :) 

Late afternoon, we headed down to the port and then took a public bus ($.40 each) through the hills at sunset.  We were very proud of our frugal tour.

Chile photos http://picasaweb.google.com/jenniferhlavac/SantiagoAndValparaiso?feat=directlink

Tags: chile, santiago, valparaiso

 

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