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On the road again

CHILE | Friday, 23 November 2007 | Views [799]

Past and present

Past and present

There's no such thing as leaving again for a long trip. My European break is over and Antoinette and I have finally boarded a plane together. Two actually, since the majority of flights to south-America are leaving from Madrid. After a long but quite confortable night on board, I opened my eyes as the sun was reddening the sky to catch my first glimpse of the continent: the white summits of the Andes on the horizon. Quite a magical moment.

The least I can say is that any European can feel right at home in Santiago. It took us all but 5 minutes to find our marks in this city. Efficient metro, lots of traffic, and busy commercial streets, we could be anywhere in the Iberic peninsula. But maybe that's the kind of slow start we needed after such a pause. A good museum (Arte Pre-Colombino) later, we were in our first bus toward a city that would take us to South America finally: Valparaiso. Dropped in a middle of another strike blocking the major avenue, we do not really take the time to enjoy the surrounding. Which are magical. Like amphitheater's spectators, Valparaiso's coloured houses climb the surrounding hills. The grid pattern of the streets is respected as much as possible, until some street transform into stairs. Another way to climb the city's hills are the old wooden ascencores. From the late 18th-early 19th century, those relics are worth the detour by themselves, and a trip in one of them is definitely a must. There's nothing like a good coffee on a terrasse, watching the sun set over the harbour.

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Tags: on the road

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