Day 2 - SantiagoMay 10, 2017 in Chile ⋅ 🌫 11 °C
Whenever we get to a new place, we always try to do a free walking tour. You learn so much about the area from a local perspective and you only have to tip them at the end so it's a really cheap way to see the city. They are also a great way to find your feet and find out about the various things the city has to offer. In light of this we decided to spend our first full day in the city doing the tour.
It was a 4 hour tour which covered many of the main sights. Our guide Franco was amazing! He knew so much about the city and Chilean history. I feel like I now know way more about the history of Chile than of the UK.
The tour started at Santiago's main square, Plaza de Armas on which we saw the Cathedral and City Hall. The tour also took us to the Old Congress Building, The Government House, Santiago Stock Exchange, the Opera House, the Bellavista neighbourhood and the Pablo Neruda museum.
We were also introduced to Santiago's 'cafe con piernas' which means 'coffee with legs'. Now Chile has never been famous for coffee and nobody used to drink the stuff as it tasted terrible. That was until someone opened a coffee with legs. You still get a lousy cup of coffee however it's served to you by a beautiful lady wearing a very short skirt. Some of the cafe's have blacked out windows so they look more like a place you'd find in Amsterdam than a coffee shop! Apparently they tried something similar for women called coffee with three legs but it only lasted a couple of weeks.
There are a lot of stray dogs in Santiago and South America in general. A local community in Santiago have come together to help these dogs and built them some kennels in the middle of one of the parks so they have somewhere dry to sleep when it rains. They also provide them with food and pay for them to be done to stop them having puppies and increasing the number of dogs on the street. In Santiago people also love to dress their dogs up so pretty much every dog you see has an outfit. We saw a minion in the park as well as a bumble bee outfit on a chihuahua. When they don't want the outfits anymore they donate them to the street dogs. On our tour we met Gary who waits for Franco at a particular place every day when he does his tours. Apparently the day before Gary was wearing a cape!
After the tour we headed back to our hotel, popping into a few shops Franco had pointed out during the tour on a street called Merced. We also stopped off to grab some bits for dinner and discovered frozen veg which has revolutionised our meals. Pasta and sauce tastes so much better with added onion, peppers, carrot and garlic which comes chopped in a perfect sized frozen bag. It also tastes better and fresher than some of the fresh vegetables we have eaten elsewhere.Read more