Chile
Santa Lucia Hill

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93 travelers at this place:

  • Day52

    Santiago de Chile

    December 22, 2018 in Chile

    ...war eigentlich gar nicht auf meinem Plan. Aber ich habe mich dann doch von einer Reisebekanntschaft überreden lassen. Eine riesige (7 Mio Menschen), sehr europäische Stadt mit viel Geschichte. Über diese, habe ich viel im Rahmen einer „FreeWalkingTour“ und einiger Museumsbesuche erfahren.

  • Day4

    Day 3 - Church, Park, Ripoff

    December 30, 2018 in Chile

    It's Sunday so, after breakfast, we went to mass at the central Cathedral at the Plaza de Armas, the central square. The 9:00 service was in a side chapel to the main sanctuary. We were early and sat waiting as the gathering congregation said the rosary. With the marble walls reverberating with the sound, I caught only fragments, although knowing the rosary allowed me to make out some of the chant. The service was familiar although in Spanish and, again, I caught some of the flow but not a lot - knowing the general flow helped. Gail caught more than I did. We walked back to the hotel in the cool morning.

    After changing, the hotel got us a taxi that took us to the Municipal Park and the cable car ride to the top of Cerro San Cristobal. The park is a large (3 square mile) area covering the hills. Paths lead up, down and around the hill and it was full of Sunday visitors. We took the recently refurbished cable car up to the summit, passing over the trees while taking in the sights, which included a large and popular swimming pool as well as the people walking and biking the paths. Parts of the streets below the hill were closed for the use of bikers and there were hundreds of them. We shared the cable car with a mother and daughter from Venezuela and chatted a bit with them as we rode. At the summit is a large statue of the Virgin Mary and a chapel. We sat for awhile in the chapel then climbed to the statue for a great view of the expansive city laid out on all sides. Santiago has a population of 7.5 million inhabitants - roughly half the population of entire country. We wandered around among the crowds, had an empanada and rested. Empanadas are common everywhere from little mom and pop shops to the major grocery stores. It's a pastry shell wrapped around a filling that could be simply cheese or meat or more mixed ingredients. We had a "Pino" type which had hamburger, onions, half an egg and a olive - good! Took the funicular down the hill on the opposite side from where we came up.

    We took a taxi to the Costner Center, the blue skyscraper you saw in a photo from our hotel's terrace. This is the tallest building in Latin America at 63 stories and 1,000 feet. The taxi ride was our first ripoff. The ride from the hotel to the park was about 5,000 pesos, which was what the hotel had said it would be. The ride from the Cerro to the Center (a similar distance) was more than four times as much. I was suspicious as we drove there because the meter was going up much faster than had the first taxi's meter. When we went to pay, the driver palmed the 20,000-peso bill I gave him and claimed it was only a 5,000 bill. I was suspicious but forked over another bill.

    The Center is a huge shopping mall with six floors of upscale shops. It's bright and modern, like anything we'd expect in the US. We took an elevator to the 62nd floor observation deck that looks out over the entire city on four directions. Posted information plaques explain what you're seeing - the Andes to the east, the river Mapocho below, and the sprawling suburbs in all directions. Back down in the mall area after the observation deck, we had an ice cream and coffee/tea while watching the people thronging by.

    To get back to the hotel we took another taxi - a big mistake. I saw the meter climbing fast and when we arrived at the hotel, the same thing happened - the driver palmed the first bill and showed a much smaller bill. We argued but he keep insisting but finally settled for half what he first asked (in spite of the meter wanting more - a sure tip off). I was furious and complained to the hotel staff. They commiserated but couldn't do anything. They also told me another guest had been robbed in the streets earlier in the day. The lesson is, "Be careful!" They also said Uber (yes, they have it here) is much more secure.

    At the hotel we confirmed our flights tomorrow and arranged for a private hire car for the ride to the airport in the morning. Tonight there's a restaurant over in Lastarrias that is supposed to have the best crevice in Chile. I'm going for that.

    A word on finances. Chile is (according to the guide book) the most expensive country in Latin America. The exchange rate fluctuates a bit but is around 680 pesos to the dollar - I use 700 when I'm making a fast calculation. Our two waters and two empanadas up on Cerro San Cristobal were 6,000 pesos - about $9. The restaurant meals we been having usually run about $15 a plate plus the drinks. The restaurants add a 10% tip to the bill without asking.
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  • Day63

    Santiago

    December 28, 2018 in Chile

    Another night bus brought us to Santiago but we weren't given a great welcome to the capital. We were in the bus station debating whether we should buy tickets to our next stop in Valparaiso when some guy asked me the time. Whilst he was doing this his friend swiped my bag which contained most of our valuables. Luckily I had my bulky neck pillow (that I had been complaining about due to its unwieldiness) tied to my bag and Kat felt it brush past her leg. So she shouted at me to check if I had my bag, which I didn't, so we went into panic mode. The time guy tried to throw me off by pointing in a direction but I was wary of him, so as we looked around Kat spotted a guy slowly backing away trying to hide the bag from view but the neck pillow gave it away. So she ran up to him to grab it back with a very British 'excuse me, that's my bag!'. The fellow Santigoans didn't cover themselves in glory by doing nothing to help so we just let them wander off once we had the bag back, after Kat had given him a shove for good measure. A lucky escape and a warning that, after two months without incident, we had gotten too lax.

    On a happier note, Kat's brother Matt was coming out to join us for a week. Once he'd arrived we set out exploring the town, which included being mildly tear gassed. True to form we did a free walking tour where we asked about our suspicion of being gassed. Most likely, the guide told us, as there have been a lot of protests and the police are a bit too liberal with the use of the gas. It then lingers in the air, so long after the protest is done you can still feel the effects.

    I'm wary that I'm painting Santiago in a bad light but that would be unfair. We actually liked the city and it didn't feel dangerous in any way. There aren't many sights so after the obligatory climb up the nearest hill, which had great views across the city, we focused on food and shopping (great post Christmas discounts).

    Now Matt had never had a Pisco Sour, so that needed to be rectified and we suitably found a bar with a happy hour. Annoyingly we also had to scan the menu for the cheapest food item, as in Chile you can't drink without food. I don't think that'll catch on in England!

    Chile isn't known for its food but we had a decent steak dinner and ceviche lunch in the fish market. The real local delicacy though are hotdogs with a variety of toppings. Our favourite was the Italian, so called because of the colours of avocado, mayonnaise and tomato toppings.

    I mentioned shopping, of which the primary purpose was to find a replacement hat. Which I did, of sorts. I couldn't find one I liked, so I stole Kat's and she bought one, win!
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  • Day1

    En transit à Santiago, Chili

    March 6, 2017 in Chile

    Estamos ahora en Santiago de Chile. Visitamos el cerro Santa Lucía : es bonito. Vemos todo la ciudad. Después visitamos el Mercado Central, la Moneda y la Plaza de Armas. Compramos zapatos, relojes y comidas.
    Amélie

    Gustó empanadas:
    Napolitana
    Con queso
    Con jamón
    Con carné
    Con atun
    Con tomates
    Estamos en un piso, con una piscina sobre la casa. Gustó muchos de bañar.
    Hablo bien español.
    Olivier
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  • Day32

    1 Monat auf Weltreise, hallo Penthouse

    February 17, 2018 in Chile

    Pünktlich zu unserem ersten Reise-Jubiläum haben wir unser Penthouse in Santiago bezogen (nota bene for free, zumindest hoffen wir das immer noch). So ist dieser Post auch nicht viel mehr als ein kleiner Video-Gruss zum Jubiläum, denn wir vermissen Euch alle, auch wenn man uns das weder ansieht noch anmerkt. Das zweite (Gruss-)Video hatte nicht wirklich ein Konzept und trotzdem hat es jemanden aus dem Konzept gebracht. Wir hatten denn auch schon eine Flasche Rotwein intus, als wir uns zu lokalem Spumante und Zigarre aufs Roof-Top begaben ...Read more

  • Day7

    Hola Santiago!

    March 16, 2017 in Chile

    Nachdem wir sehr herzlich vom Team vom Hostel Costa Azul verabschiedet wurden (sehr zu empfehlen!) haben wir uns auf den Weg nach Santiago gemacht. Auto außerhalb abgestellt, mit der Bahn rein und fix im Hostel eingecheckt - danach haben wir uns in das lebendige Getummel von Santiago gestürzt. Was soll man sagen - viel Sonne, viel Wärme und wie immer viele Menschen und Autos. Nachdem wir in einem schönen Park mitten in der Stadt empandas zum Mittag hatten, sind wir zum Cerro con Cristobal, einem Berg mitten in der Stadt. Glücklicherweise kann man mit einer Seilbahn hinauffahren, was uns dann einen tollen Blick über die Stadt und die Anden in der Ferne beschert hat. Den Tag lassen wir im Hostel mit leckeren pisco sours in verschiedenen Varianten ausklingen. Salute!Read more

  • Day37

    Santiago

    May 9, 2017 in Chile

    Our bus to Santiago was at 9am so we awoke to an early alarm. It's not actually that far from Mendoza so we didn't need an overnight bus. By not far I mean it was only 7 hours which seems like nothing to us now.

    We had been told that the journey to Santiago would be really nice as it takes you through the mountains however we didn't expect it to be as beautiful as it was. For hours all we could see were snow capped mountains, it was amazing. The roads were narrow and wound themselves through the mountains. On some of the downhill bits, we had to take a few deep breaths though as the bus got very close to the edge!

    I mentioned earlier that the journey was only meant to be 7 hours however that does not factor in the ridiculous amount of time it takes you to get across the border. Whilst the border crossing from Brazil to Argentina consisted of a quick stamp in the passport and putting your bags through a scanner that no one was monitoring, took less than 5 minutes, the Chilean border was a whole different kettle of fish.

    First you have to queue up to get your passport stamped and then you have to wait for them to get all the bags off the bus so they can be scanned. There were 2 coaches in front of us and they only do one coach at a time so this took forever. After the luggage in the hold had gone through we were all lined up like cattle with our hand luggage which then also had to go through the scanners. After what felt like an eternity we were allowed back on the bus and sent on our merry way.

    When we eventually arrived in Santiago, and after Simon got called a gringo (followed by something in Spanish which I have a suspicion wasn't very nice) by the luggage man for not tipping (apparently you have to tip the guy who passes you your luggage from the bus, which seems absolutely ludicrous as he literally passes you your bag and therefore no different they getting your shopping out of the boot of your car) we navigated our way to the subway and headed towards our hostel. We are staying in an 8 bed dorm here however the place is huge and the dorm is split into 2 parts so it's really not that bad at all.
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  • Day78

    Terraza Caupolican

    December 16, 2017 in Chile

    A bit above the Terraza Neptuno is the Terraza Caupolican. It is a big open space with a view to the city center. Santiago is a mix of tall, old communist buildings and very modern glass buildings all within the same place. There is an ornate gate at the top of the stairs opening into the terrace.

  • Day109

    A bitter sweet day in Santiago

    January 16, 2018 in Chile

    I woke up early, had my breakfast and walked to the Swedish Embassy. This day too, the streets were empty. Everything was closed. There was no public transport. The restaurants too were closed. I was wondering if pope's visit would spoil all my plans for the day.
    Luckily, the Swedish Embassy was open. I got my new passport and the courier with the credit cards. After that, I took a taxi to the police station about 15 kms away where I would get a copy of my police report. The place was was closed and one of the person there told me that it would remain closed for another day due to the pope's visit. Dejected, I decided to check at the immigration office if they were open to get a copy of the immigration papers that I had lost in the theft. I would need this to travel out of Chile. There were 3 offices marked on my map. The nearest ome was 3 kms away. I decided to walk there. The streets we're totally empty. People were staying at home fearing rioting and arson due to the pope's visit. I reached the place marked on the map only to find it closed. The next immigration office was shown less than a km away. Having nothing else to do, I decided to check it as well.
    I reached there around 11:40 am. It seemed closed but the gate for the vehicles was open so I went in. There was no one around. I started looking into the various windows to see if I could find my way in. That's when one of the windows opened and a person asked what I was looking for? I explained that I had lost my immigration slip in a theft and I wanted a copy. He told me to come in and have a place. The entrance was from a side door well hidden from the main entrance. Here, after sitting for a while I was put through to an immigration officer who spoke English. After listening patiently to my issue he told me that since I was a foreigner I needed to go to ome of their special branch in the downtown that handles external cases and that I needed to hurry since it was a half day working only. I got a the address from them, thanked them, rushed out and called a taxi. The taxi took me to the office in the downtown just as tge tome showed 12:15 pm. Luckily, the office was still open. Here too, the gentleman who I talked to, knew English so I was able to explain the issue. He said that I could get the copy in that branch but that I would need to come the next day since they were closing now. I told them that I was leaving the next day early in the morning. He asked if I was leaving the country and I lied that I was leaving for Argentina the next morning. Then he asked one of his subordinates to look up my record based on my old passport number. He got the verification in a few minutes after which he took an immigration slip and filled it with my details and the new passport number and then signed and stamped it and gave it to me. That was it!! He didn't ask for any money, no favors or anything, just gave the slip to me and said that show this with the police report slip and I should be fine. I thanked him and walked out happy. At least some things were working out.
    It was 12:30 pm by now and I was hungry. I stopped by a local restaurant and had my lunch. After that, I walked about 2 kms to the central plaza. The whole place was fortified since the pope was coming there. There were police everywhere and people had gathered around the barriers to see the pope. There were vendors selling flags, caps, tshirts, buntings and every paraphernalia one could think of with pictures of the pope. There we people waving flags and singing. I walked back to my hostel about 4 kms away. Everything was closed in this area as well. I went out just to have dinner and then slept early.
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  • Day40

    Day 4 - Santiago

    May 12, 2017 in Chile

    We are really enjoying slowing down a bit and taking some time to explore the city. It is also helping us cut back on the spending.

    In the morning we visited the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, another recommendation of Franco's. The museum reflects on the human rights abuse that took place under the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet between 1973 and 1990. The museum is free to walk around but everything is in Spanish so we decided to pay for the audio guides. We are so glad we did and we learnt so much. It is truly terrifying to learn about the terrible things that were still happening in our lifetimes.

    After a couple of the hours at the museum and perhaps feeling a little emotionally exhausted, we went for a stroll around a nearby park and watched the ducks before heading to the bus station to purchase tickets for the next leg of our adventure.

    We weren't entirely sure where we going to go next when we got to the bus station however after checking out our options and the costs, we opted for San Pedro de Atacama. Unfortunately there were no bed seats left so we have a 24 coach journey to look forward to with semi reclining seats!

    We were pretty hungry by this point so headed back to Plaza de Armas to grab some food for lunch. When on the tour, Franco told us about a traditional Chilean dish, the pino empanada. This is an empanada with meat, onion a boiled egg and an olive so we both decided to have one for lunch. It sounds a bit strange but it actually tasted pretty good. You have to watch out for the olive though as they don't take the stone out.

    We then spent the next hour or so people watching in Plaza de Armas. There is so much going on, it can keep you entertained for hours.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Santa Lucia Hill, Cerro Santa Lucía

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