Escaping to the Chilean Andes

Part III of III



Chile is known for its stunning scenery, so we booked two seperate day trips and it paid to make research, the exact same tours were offered by Viator and local companies. We chose to go with a local company and got a much better value.

 

 

Our first excursion was a bit of an adventure. It took us three hours to get to our destination – the CAJON  DEL  MAIPO”, a reservoir high up on the Andes which is popular for Santiaguinos to come and escape the city.

It really is not far away from the city, “as the crow flies”, but first following the Rio Maipo through the gorges and then driving the last leg of the trip on very basic dirt roads, ate up a lot of time, but once there, it was everything you dreamt about!

 

 

Our driver was very good but we found the ride a bit nerve wrecking. The road was one lane only and “just because” there is a curve and you can not see ahead if another car or truck is coming at you, “does  NOT  mean” you have to slow down. Yikes.

 

Image courtesy of my husband

 

The lake was absolutly breathtaking in its almost turquoise color, against the snow capped mountains and glaciers in the background and best of all? Once we got to the beach there was only us in the van and one other car. Otherwise  NOBODY  else as far as you could see and complete silence. All you heard was the wind.

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For me, that was Chile. Right there and then.

 

I am not sure if there are any animals living there at all. There was hardly any vegetation, just some dry looking shrubs but you never know what critters are hiding in the bushes. All we saw were a few condors cruising way high above us. Too far to really capture them but kinda neat to say, “we saw wild condors”, I guess.

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This here was the backdrop of the birds flying. I loved the different shades of colors the rocks had. Like a painting.

 

 

We had about 1.5 hours at the beach and to really just to take it all in. It was very calming and got even better once a little picnic was prepared for us. I mean, come on – it just doesn’t get better than eating cheese, olives and salami with those panaramic views!

 

 

Of course going back meant another three hours, over the same winding dirt roads, facing the same curves and with the same driving mentalities!

We were really glad we went with this local company, on our way back we saw other vans, parked on the dirt road in little turn out spaces, have their picnics. Each time a truck would pass by everything disappeared in a cloud of dust.

Not great when you want to enjoy the view. Our spot was so much better.

 


 

Our second excursion brought us to a popular ski resort, VALLE  NEVADO”, also in the Andes. If we thought the drive to Cajon del Maipo was bad – well, this was worse.

Again, in pure distance not so far away from Santiago but it was “the road from hell” for people who get car sick easily. We were pre warned already that, to get to the ski resort high up in the mountains, we would have to do 40 (!) hair pin turns.

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We drove and drove and drove. One turn after the other. My stomach was less and less agreeing with me but the “real” hair pin turns had not even started yet! I was not happy but kept myself busy with literally counting down the turns.

Once at the resort, which of course is completely dead at this time of year, we had the option to take a ski lift up even further, to get an “even” better view of the glacier in the distance. We went for it and it was so worth it!

 



Image courtesy of my husband

 

Again, nobody there and complete silence.

 

It looked stunning and I am glad we got to see it but I would not want to ski there. Our guide was talking of very bad road conditions in the winter and I would  NOT  want to do those hair pin turns with a lot of snow and extend my car sickness misery by an additional few more hours.

This is the hotel complex, on the right, for skiiers.

 

Plus we noticed there is nothing growing up there. This means if there is a snow storm and you are out on the slopes, you will have a white out and lose orientation very quickly.  Since there are no trees growing, there are no roots for giving the dirt support and we saw a  LOT  of huge erosions.

I can not imagine this is fun if you ski and hit an erosion, because everything is covered in snow and you just don’t see what’s underneath till it’s too late.

 


 

And to finish my “triology” of Chile, a unique anecdote. (For more, see “Autumn days in Santiago de Chile” and “Exploring graffiti in Valparaiso”)


Before we had to head back to the airport, we had some time left and decided to go for a walk. It was Saturday afternoon, it was hot and the sidewalks were buzzing with locals, sales people trying to sell you strange things, stray dogs – you get the picture.

We were passing a woman and her approximately three year old son, who got away from her, and ran right into me from behind and landed on the back of my feet.

I didn’t expect to have somebody fall on me and when I looked down, I saw him and his hands next to me feet; so I stopped immediately to not step on his chubby little hands by accident and  WHAT  did he do???

He looked up at me and bit me real hard in my calf. YES. BIT!!


The only positive thing coming out of this is, I was lucky to wear long Jeans that day. If I would have worn shorts it would have been a flesh wound and to go to the emergency room in South America for getting a tetanus shot, while trying to catch an international flight, was not exactly on my bucket list of things to do.

This happened over five weeks ago and I  still  have his bite mark on my leg. I can honestly say, in all my travels, I have  never  been biten by a native!!

Lesson learnt. Watch out for little people with sharp teeth.

 


 

In the end, the question is – would I recommend Chile to others?

If you like spectacular scenery, definitely. There  are not as many historical sights as in Peru and from the point of cuisine  I can not really say it was a place for foodies, but it was affordable and still worth a visit.

We would  LOVE  to go back and check out other areas, like the desert in the north, Patagonia in the south or even the mysterious Easter Island. That island is calling my name.

Have you been to Chile or is it on your list of places you want to go to?

 

Nomination for “versatile blogger award”

To my big surprise I found out that I got nominated for the “VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD”  by Diano Maya.

I only started blogging about our trips a few months ago. To be recognized so early on is truly an honor and I am very flattered, also knowing that my efforts to share the joys of traveling with others paid off, and fellow bloggers enjoy reading my nine cents.

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Thank you  DIANO MAYA  for considering me. I love your blog, your adventures and spirit and of course your (jumping) pictures!

Go and check this fun couple out, under http://www.dianomaya.com. I am sure you will start loving their blog too.



 


MY NOMINATIONS (in no particular order):


 1.)  Len Kagani – https://lenjourneys.com

She has a wonderful way of describing places. Her pictures always get me dreaming and lift me up.

2.)  Elaine, a beard and a mole- https://elainestravelsblog.wordpress.com

Talk about an adventurous couple with no fear! Her blog is well written and combines neat little lessons about history with funky anecdotes. Currently backpacking in Central Asia.

3.)  Darren – https://travelwithdarren.wordpress.com

I love his perspective of things, his pictures are taken with a Go Pro and dazzle me. He has a very fresh way of seeing the world and it’s always fun to see what else he comes up with!

4.) Ashley Daley Photography – https://ashleydaleyphotography.wordpress.com/

She takes very nice photographs and has the sweetest way of incooperating her daughters in her pictures. I adore her pictures and am looking forward seeing more after the big move back to the USA.

5.)  Cooking in tongues – https://cookingintongues.com

If you want to read a great blog, look no further. I can feel her passion for writing and traveling every single time I read a post. It shines through and is kept up super regular, fun to read and about places that make me dream. Love her pictures too.

6.)  Gorm Teper – https://gormteper.net

I absolutely LOVE his photographs and the photo advice he gives. His perspective is brilliant and I admire his photography skills. Lots to be learnt from!

I congratulate my fellow nominees and hope you accept my nomination for you.
If you do, please read the following “versatile blogger award rules”. Keep traveling and keep writing. I love reading your blogs!

 


 

7 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME:


  • English is not my mother tongue
  • I read 42 books last year
  • I love English and French history
  • I like gloomy weather
  • I play the piano and adore Valentina Lisitsa
  • My celebrity crush is Roger Federer
  • I enjoy sarcasm

 

Of course my list is much longer than this but I can’t spill all the beans at once, right? I thank  DIANO MAYA  one more time. It means a lot to me.


Versatile blogger award rules:


  • Publicy thank the person who nominated you, linking to their blog so everyone else can see how great they are.
  • Select up to 15 nominees you think are deserving this award and share links to their sites to share the love!
  • Tell all of these people 7 random things about yourself, and ask your nominees to do the same.
  • Publish Award rules and picture in blog post

 

I hope everybody is well. Safe travels whereever you might be or go. 🌸 I am looking forward reading more of your blogs and adventures.

 

Titanic revisited

The  RMS  TITANIC  is arguably the most famous cruiseliner in the world, for all the wrong reasons.

Of course we have seen the blockbuster when “Rose meets Jack”. I mean, who hasn’t??

 

 

We also visited the Fairview cemetery in Halifax/ Nova Scotia where 121 victims were buried. It is really eery to see every gravestone bear the same date of death. By pure coincidence there “was” a Jack Dawson on board who died that day and even though there was “no Rose” for him, he still has admirers today, who put down flowers on his grave.

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Two years ago we were visiting Belfast in Northern Ireland and visited the “Titanic museum” which was brilliant and is highly recommendable (for more, see post “Belfast).


 

We also went to the nearby ship yard in which she was built and were able to touch the wooden blocks on which she rested while she was built. (Talk about spooky.)

 

 

During a stay in Las Vegas there was an exhibition about the Titanic and that fateful night. They had a small pool of water with the exact temperature the sea had that night, which we were allowed to touch. It was brutally cold and chances of survival in the water were zero.

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I think everybody knows that some Australian billionaire rebuilt the Titanic, it is supposed to set sail next year and is already completely sold out.

(I personally would not have a problem being on that ship since I assume the whole navigation system is up to modern standards and safety issues are taken more serious than back then.)

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And just when you think “nothing can top this!” …..  well, yes,  something  CAN!!

You can now book a luxury trip with a London based travel company and go see the wreck “up close and personally”. Starting in May 2018. (And obviously there is interest for it since the first voyage is sold out already!)

For a charming sum of $ 105,129; which is the equivalent to a first class ticket, after inflation of $4,350, you can take part in an 8- day journey to go and see the Titanic. And I mean “really” see it.

After a helicopter ride off the coast of Newfoundland and an orientation on how to operate and assist the crew with the sonar in a submersible, you will reach depths of 4,000 meters. (Eeeeek!!)

 

 

Once you reach the Atlantic ocean floor, you will glide over the deck and grand staircase which I am sure will haunt you forever.

 

Truthfully, even if I  HAD  that kind of money, you would not get me in that submersible. Not even if  THEY  paid  ME!

It has everything that I don’t like – super deep ocean, complete darkness, tight spaces (my claustrophobia is alive and well!) and just the thought of having 4,000 meters of ocean above me, which can crush me in a million pieces, is enough to give me already anxiety while I am even writing this.

For God’s sake, I was already on the verge of flipping out on a glass bottom boat in Aruba.

***

I am interested in the Titanic, but this adventure I gladly let pass by. Would you go??


Exploring graffiti in Valparaiso

PART II of III



One can not visit Santiago de Chile without going to  VALPARAISO, the roughed up, gritty yet incredibly colorful seaside city just 1.5 hours drive away.

For us it was a must do, I would not have wanted to leave Chile without seeing it. That said, there is a “right way” to do it….. and a “wrong way”. Naturally we started off with the wrong way – going on an organised day trip. “Highlights” were Vina del Mar and Valparaiso, so we thought….

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The day was poorly organized by the tour company and showed us just the bare minimum. In Vina del Mar, the garden city, “famous for its gardens, parks and the most visited beach of Chile’s central coast”, we passed strategically by  ALL  the pretty neighborhoods, a nice plaza with tall palms, old churches and very photogenic architecture,  ONLY… to stop at a clock in a flower bed.

 
The second stop was at a tiny, tiny beach next to two skyscrapers that were in desperate need of renovation. What happened to the famous “miles of sparkling beaches” we were told about??

Vina del Mar “had” potential but we were not given the time of day for it unfortunately.
A big chunk of the afternoon went into the lunch of almost two hours, which was “yes, tasty” but honestly, we paid for seeing Valparaiso and not for having an extended lunch out in the booneys.

 
Valparaiso itself had  SOOO  much to offer, but again, we kept driving and were let out exactly one time for a quick photo stop and walked one street down to the harbor. We did not see any of the graffiti Valparaiso is famous for.

Followed by a short cruise through the harbour, which was nice.

I was told it’s quite beautiful to look at the city at night from the boat, it must be a sea of lights spread out over the hills which I am sure of, but I am also sure of not wanting to hang around the harbor at night.

 

***

 

All in all I felt like a rabbit with the carrot dangling in front of my nose but not able to get it. I was not amused to say the least.

The tour was very unsatisfying and we decided to come back on our own and  MY  GOD  am I glad we did!!

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The second time was  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!

We took the public bus from Santiago to Valparaiso, it took 1:45 h and was seriously the nicest public bus we have been on. Anywhere! Very affordable, clean and very comfy. Think luxurious tour bus.

We had done the free walking tour (based on tips) with this company in Santiago and decided to go with them again, but do a private tour instead so we could request certain things, really take our time to explore and take photographs and it turned out to be a great idea!

http://www.freetourvalparaiso.cl/portada.html

Our tour guide was great, a young man who was a local and he guided us to the very best graffiti in town.

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When I think of Valparaiso certain words come to mind –  HILLS   (about 45), thousands of STEPS,  COLORS  and  DOGS. Everywhere.

 


TIPS:

  •  Wear  GOOD  sturdy walking shoes! Streets have cobblestones, holes, dirt, are uneven and you will walk  A  LOT! 
  • Watch where you walk. Lots of dogs mean lots of “you know what”.



 

I think as long as you know where you are going and you go with company and in daylight, you will be fine, but you  DO NOT  want to get lost in certain neighborhoods at night. This will  NOT be good news.

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The three hour tour led us to the supposedly “BEST GRAFFITI  in Latin America” and I would agree. It is a feast for the eyes and my camera had the time of her life.

I never really knew too much about graffiti but we were told, back in the days, they held secret messages to communicate.
Valparaiso is now a dedicated  UNESCO  world  heritage  site and  REALLY  is worth a visit. Just keep in mind – it will involve a lot of climbing on steep streets and in narrow alleys and you will be doing a ton of walking.

They do have funiculars though which can transport you up or down the hill. They only take a few minutes to ride, which is a good thing since some of them are over a hundred years old and quite shaky. Just close your eyes and go for it.

 

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Next to being bombarded with colors wherever you looked, we were constantly followed by stray dogs.

Image courtesy of my husband

Some dogs were with us for the entire tour while others walked ahead and waited for us. They were incredibly friendly and just thankful for a little attention.

 

 

Our tour guide told us, a lot of people get dogs when they are really young, because afterall… who doesn’t like a cute, fluffy little puppy, right? Once they get older, they get tired of them and they get kicked out on the streets which I find awful!

So it’s not surprising that you find so many strays. A lot used to be family dogs and others are their offspring. Their story broke my heart.

~~~

Valparaiso is gritty but also exploding with color and a real gem in all its wonderful mad mess.

Here are some of my personal favorite graffities.

 

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And….. more steps. (I personally would hate to be the dedicated cable guy.)

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Somebody is waiting for us again.

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Even US President Trump made the cut. Can you spot him?

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We were  SO  glad we came back and really experienced it. It really is a city like no other.

MY  RECOMMENDATION:  Skip the tour bus, go on your own. Much cheaper and much better.



 Sidenote: All pictures were taken on a very cloudy day, it even drizzled some. 

Remember my last post in which I was talking about taking advantage of the special light conditions on cloudy days? The overcast sky on this day provided the perfect even light without having to deal with glary light and stark shadows. This post is a perfect example for it.


~ To be continued ~

“More” easy tips to improve your vacation pictures

Since my first post got good feedback, I thought I would share some more tips that everybody can apply, no matter what your camera is – iPhone, DSLR or pocket camera. The rules apply to any camera.

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LINES:

Look for leading lines, it can be a hedge, a fence, a bridge, a road or path  etc., something to incooperate in the picture. It will add interest and depth to the picture and “guide the eye in”.

***

EXAMPLE: See how the fence guides you in?


COLORS:

Make research about your destination and think what pictures you want to take at which location. Ideally, know the color wheel, which colors compliment each other and which work as contrast.

  • Just think about it, don’t wear “white” if you take pictures in the winter. A white outfit will disappear in the snow. Go super colorful, the brighter and more cheery the better.

In the snow any happy color is allowed!

 

  • If you know you will visit some “ruins” (think “Collosseum” in Rome or the “Machu Piccu” in Peru) look at the colors of the stones ahead of time (most sights will be on Google), if the stones are brown or grey, avoid dark colors like brown, beige, black, grey.

Go the opposite – white, red, yellow. A color that pops against the stones.

***

EXAMPLE: See how my red sweater is a good contrast against the ruins and the green? (See “Peru” post for more)

Image courtesy of my husband

  • If you take pictures in a forrest, you probably want to avoid wearing “green”, but red or yellow would make a great contrast. Look at the color wheel.
  • Pictures of the kids, playing in colorful leafs in the fall season probably look better if they avoid wearing red, orange or yellow tones. Blue tones or maybe some greens will look better.

 

As you can see, if you can think ahead and dress appropiately, you can very nicely influence your pictures for better results.

 

FREEZE:

Make sure you hold the camera completely still when you press the shutter, to avoid camera shake. Nobody likes blurry pictures.

If you are not steady, rest your elbows on your chest, lean against a wall or on a wall/ table.

You might even want to hold your breath while you press the shutter to avoid shaking and reduce sharpness of your picture.

***

Google image



PERSPECTIVE: 

Another easy tip – most people shoot in the direction they are walking. Look behind you! It’s a 180 degree different perspective.


PURPOSE:

Have a purpose in mind when you take a picture.

Ask yourself “why am I taking this picture? What do I want to capture with it?” This said, try to eliminate things that don’t add anything to the picture.

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EXAMPLE: “Giraffes head”. I want to show the giraffe’s head and don’t need the whole Zoo in the background.


TIME:

If you see a good picture, take it NOW and take several shots of it with different angles. You might not come back to the location and even if you will, the moment or light might not be the same. If you can come back, see it as a bonus.

Remember, you can always delete pictures but you can never re-create a moment.


ALSO… always start a vacation with a fresh memory card, meaning – delete old pictures on it and ideally “format your memory card“. You don’t want to see a great motive and can’t capture it because your memory card is full.

 

POSITIONING:

Use your “grid” in your camera to not only get a level horizon but also to make good use of “the rules of thirds”. Think of it as a “tic-tac-toe grid”.

Ideally you want to place your subject at key focal points (marked in red) of your photo where the lines intersect, to create visual balance.


EXAMPLE: A photo of skiers I took with my iPhone, placing the skiers off to the left (see “Colorado” post for more)

 

To really simplify it, “put your motive  OFF  center.”

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In other ocassions it pays to have symmetry and to really take the extra time for good positioning. You will get a feel for it with the time.

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EXAMPLE: Shooting down a glass floor at the 103th floor at the “Willis tower” in Chicago and placing our feet for symmetry.


SKY:

There are three different kind of ways you can shoot the sky. I will break it down for you.

  • If there is a “great” sky (great colors, wonderful sunset, interesting cloud formation, storm brewing up…), include it and let it speak for itself,  DO FRAME  it though for scale and to give it some interest. Have fun with silhouettes!

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 EXAMPLE: Afterglow in the sky, with a nice silhouette off to the side, taken at Venice beach/ California.


  • If you take a picture with something almost filling the frame, for example the Skyline of New York City, leave a little bit of space for the sky on top. It will give balance and scale to the picture.

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EXAMPLE: The skyline takes up most of the space but I left a bit of the sky for balance. (see “New York” post for more)


  • If it’s a grey and cloudy day and the sky is just white and looks washed out, eliminate it completely and go more for close ups.

***

EXAMPLE: Landscape shot on a very cloudy day, which eliminates the sky but the even light makes nature look nice and lush. (See “Dublin” post for more)


WEATHER:

Cloudy days are not all that bad, think positive.

A nice alternative is shooting in black and white  OR  see it more as “even” light. Shadows are not too stark, light is not too bright. Can make for nice portaits or landscape shots. (Also, see the previous picture.)

***

EXAMPLE: Rockefeller Center in New York City. The texture comes out better in b & w.

 

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And of course, etiquette is always important.

Never “steal” a picture, always ask for permission. You will be surprised that most people don’t mind having their picture taken.

As a bonus – if the person agrees to have the picture taken, you can go in closer.

 

And always, always, if you take a close up of a persons face – focus your camera on the eyes of a person. You can get by if the nose is unsharp but “the eyes are the window of the soul” and  need to be sharp.

Smile, engage with locals, make conversation and most of all, be polite and respectful.

TIP: Learning a few basic words or phrases in the local language will help break the ice and put a smile on most peoples faces.

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Lesson to be learnt, good pictures don’t just happen randomly. Next time you go out there, try a few of the pointers I gave you and I am sure you will have better results.

Safe travels and most of all, have fun with your camera!


Autumn days in Santiago de Chile

Part I of III

 

To get to Chile we chose to go with a South American airline – “Latam airlines” instead of booking with an American airline. Latam airlines had a nonstop flight and a much better price compared to other airlines which included several stops and cost more.

We were very happy with the service on board, liked the food and even got thick large blankets for sleeping. Shows again, it pays to compare.

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One thing one needs to know when going to Chile – the country is  HUGE!

In one week you can do  EITHER  the desert in the north, Santiago in the center, Patagonia in the south  OR  the Easter island out in the Pacific, which requires another five hour flight.

We chose to spend one week in Chiles captial – Santiago and used it as our base to discover surrounding areas as well.

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To get a good feel for the city we took part in the “free 4 hour walking tour” (based on tips) which really showed you a lot in the city center.

Every other day one can see the “changing of the guards” at the “La Moneda Palace” and we made it. Quite impressive with a military marching band playing music.


During our entire stay we kept recognizing landmarks from the tour and found our way around much better.

https://freetoursantiago.cl/portada.html

Another lesson was, March equals September in Chile and the sun is still  VERY  STRONG, even at 70 degrees Fahrenheit! Cover up and wear sunlotion!

***

Santiago itself is much bigger than I thought and more modern but not quite westernized yet. English for example is not spoken very often. We used our hands and feet quite a bit, but people were patient and most of the times we got what we wanted.

To me it was almost like the “little sister” of Buenos Aires. It is a city that has to grow on you over time. Once you discover the trendy little neighborhoods it gets more charming.

Here, the “Bellavista” quarters.

But it also is a very busy, crowded and noisy city.

The pedestrian zones are hopping and there is nothing that is “not” being sold or done on the very crowded sidewalks.

People are selling their goods on blankets on the ground and often I wondered, who would really stop and buy their stuff. It seemed so random. From Toblerone chocolate to hairbrushes, belts and locks, to crocheted “cactusses” (?) and earrings.

Every few meters you have a person either make fresh juice with a tiny blender, grill meat kebabs on a miniature grill or fry you up some “empanadas”.

And if you  NOW  imagine stray dogs wandering around or just taking a nap in the middle of everything, and women having their pedicure done, right there on the sidewalk… then you are in the heart of Santiago!


SAFETY:

We were okay for the most parts but I must admit, I felt uncomfortable at times with my camera and just standing out as a tourist. We stayed in crowded and busy areas and avoided being out at night.

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We also saw beautiful old buildings in between the more modern looking buildings and Santiago also has Latin Americas highest skyscraper.

We went up there and one has pretty good views of the city from it. I imagine it to be stunning around dusk or at night. Next time…

http://www.skycostanera.cl/en/start/

TIP: If you go on Wednesdays, it will be cheaper.


Image courtesy of my husband


Within the historic center distances were very walkable and for bigger distances we used local taxis. Taxis were super easy to get and very affordable. Be ready for some small talk though. We found the taxi drivers to be very nosy, in a nice way though.

“Where are you from?” “Are you single?” ” Are you married?” “Do you have kids?” “For how long are you here?”

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FOOD:

For me it was just ooookay. It was mostly international, nothing too authentic or local and it did not particularely stand out like Argentinian or Peruvian food. That was exquisite in comparison.

Two things I really liked were fresh juices, like raspberry, mango or pineapple, being offered in restaurants and the empanadas. But they also varied in quality, fried ones I liked better than baked ones. We had the very best with a crackling good crust and the very worst all in one week.

The lesson we learnt very fast was, order  HALF  of what you usually would at home. Portions in Chile make portions in America look whimpy! “Appetizers for one” in Chile qualify as “entree for two” elsewhere.

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CEMENTERIO GENERAL:

My personal favorite sight of the city. It is the main cemetery of the city, still in use and an explorers dream!

I always thought “Pere-Lachaise” in Paris (see my “Paris” post) was my favorite but this one shares No. 1 from now on. The cemetery got called “one of the 10 most scenic cemeteries in the world” by CNN and I can see why.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/10/30/travel/worlds-most-scenic-cemeteries/index.html?hpt=hp_c6

It is divided in two parts and the contrast could not be bigger. The northern section is incredibly crowded and the graves are very small and tightly stacked on top of each other. It looked a bit spooky, like an “apartment building for the dead”.

This is where the ordinary and working class people find their last resting place.

 

 

Image courtesy of my husband

In the southern section of the cemetery, which is sprawling over 210 acres of land and has an estimated 2 million inhabitants and reminds more of an urban park, we found the burials of the rich.

A very clear class distinction of society.

Big mausoleums, often bigger than houses, in venetian, gothic or traditional french or italian styles stand side by side. Some were better taken care of than others and some were completely overgrown with flowering bushes, ivy or palms and gave it the feeling of being  somewhere in the jungle and you are discovering forgotten temples aka Indiana Jones.

The cemetery is open to the public and it is so widely spread, we were often the only ones in that section. We did not really have a plan where to go, we just discovered things on our own, and walked around for hours in this incredible maze of graves.

If you are a lover for art, history and want to see a wide variety of architectural grand mausoleums, or just want a little peace and quiet from the hectic and buzz from the city, this is the place to go to. We actually went twice!

It really is very recommendable, and a  FREE ACTIVITY.




TIP: Don’t stay there after nightfall. It is a maze, there are no lights and ground is uneven and for safety reasons – just don’t!


~ To be continued…~




The impossible destination

My wish list of places I would love to travel to and experience is long. Too long for anybody to really want to read it.

Of course I have priorities of what I would love to see and then there is, sadly enough, time for reality check. Some places like Russia or Norway are way more likely to happen than New Zealand or Iran, unfortunately.

I really do have the travelbug, I used to call it “Wanderlust” but truthfully the word is being overused these days, but I must admit I also have some places I have no interest to travel to at all or they only would happen because I run out of places to go to.

And then there is that one place I have  no desire  to see… MARS! Before you roll your eyes, just think about it.

 

Google image (obviously!)

 

 Scientists really do want to send people up there to start colonies and you can sign up for it. My question is simple… WHY would I want to do this?? Don’t people realize this comes most likely with a one way ticket?

 

Things I would miss:

  • Breathing fresh air
  • The smell of freshly mowed grass
  • Experiencing different season
  • Swimming in a lake
  • Christmas with the smell of freshly baked cookies at home
  • My own bed
  • Going to the supermarket and having options of fresh produce
  • Just… people
  • The smell of trees, the beach and fresh snow
  • Traveling for obvious reasons
  • And above all – my freedom to come and I go as I please and if it’s going to the park.

 

I found this online and it got me thinking about just how crazy it would be.

http://www.mars-one.com

 

What if there is time traveling involved? What if you age faster? What if you absolutly hate it there? Too many “what ifs” and too much uncertainty.

It’s an interesting subject to think about but I think I’ll pass on that one. Too many adventures to be tackled right here on planet Earth.

Would you consider it? To be part of the “greatest adventure of mankind”? What would you miss?