Tag Archives: Santiago

Museums and a Hill: Santiago Day 2

Thursday was my only full day in Santiago and my last day of the trip. I started off with a pretty good hostel breakfast with eggs and fruit. I then headed off to explore the city with the Australian girl I had been hanging with for the last few days.

We stopped by Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral off of Plaza de Armas which was very pretty.

We then went to Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino or the Precolombian Art Museum. It was very well done. There was one section about all of Latin America and one on Chilean Precolombian history. I really enjoyed the museum.

We headed to the Museum of Memory and Human Rights which commemorates the victims of the dictatorship’s violence and educates about the period. All of the signs were only in Spanish, but the videos were subtitled and even without understanding everything the subject was very upsetting. The museum was well done, starting with showing other human rights crises and then following through the period of the dictatorship.

We stopped for lunch at a Chilean restaurant where I got Pastel de Choclo. It was cornbread over a meat mixture and was very good.

We then rode a funicular up San Cristobal Hill. The hill is part of the biggest urban park in Latin America and gives an amazing view of the city.  There is a statue of Virgin Mary on the top. We took a cable car around the rest of the park, enjoying the view. Before we left, the sky finally turned blue which we had been hoping for all day. There is a lot of air pollution in Santiago but it had rained the day before so we were hoping that it would have cleared the air.

We went back to the hostel for a while and at 7 (really 7:40) they had free pisco sours of all sorts of flavors.

For my last dinner, we went to a nice restaurant. We had a good bottle of carmenere, the most famous type of Chilean wine. I had a lamb shank and risotto which was amazing. For dessert, I had cuchuflis, straw like sweets filled with chocolate, dulce de leche, and custard. They were very good. The dinner was a great way to cap off my trip.

I then headed back to the hostel and to pack because I had to wake up early for my flight home.

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.