One Last City: Santiago Day 1

Wednesday morning was a slower one. After breakfast, I finally headed up to the rooftop of my hostel to see the view before I left. I then had to pack up and head to Santiago.

I arrived in Santiago and headed to my hostel. My room wasn’t ready yet, so I grabbed a quick empanada while I waited. I checked into my room and then headed out for a walking tour.

The walking tour gave a great overview of the city. As with all the walking tours I’ve done in Chile (they have all been by the same company), we took public transit at one point so you could see how it worked. We learned about the history of coffee in Chile. Since the British were most of the immigrants to Chile during the California Gold Rush, for a long time people drank tea. To try and convince people to drink coffee, it was served by beautiful women in skimpy outfits, which is known as coffee with legs. There is also the more extreme version of this today, which is basically a strip club but with coffee instead of alcohol.

We stopped at the Presidential Palace where we learned about the 1973 Chilean coup d’etat. Salvador Allende was a socialist president of Chile, who was overthrown by General Augusto Pinochet. They bombed the Presidential Palace and killed Allende who before gave a speech thanking the people for their support and saying he would not surrender. After the coup, Chile was under a dictatorship by Pinochet until 1989. It is a very contentious period of Chile’s history.

Our last stop was a cultural center that was built in part by volunteer workers to impress the UN during Allende’s administration to show that socialism wasn’t bad. After the coup, it was used as presidential offices. Much of the artwork from before the coup was lost but our guide showed us some of the pieces that remained.

The tour ended by an ice cream place that the guide had recommended so I had to try it, despite being cold. I then headed back to the hostel where the WiFi was not working. I got enough that I was able to find my friend from Valparaíso, who was also at the hostel in Santiago.

We headed out to the best wine bar in Chile, where we had a few flights of different wines. I had the undiscover vines and the altitude wine flights. It was a lot of fun and very good.

We then headed to a pisco bar, where I had a delightful pisco cocktail. We also had dinner and I had braised beef which was amazing. We finished our night at the craft beer bar nearby which was very nice.

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