26-03-2007 – Day 4 – Santiago de Chile

Blogged by Twan as Chile 2007,Education,Human Technology Interaction,Travel — Twan Mon 26 Mar 2007 10:57 am

Today we had a full free day to spend in Santiago. René B and me had brekky around 9. A group wanted to go to a market. We decided to first get some water and then join in. When we got back we saw another group that wanted to get a cafe con piernas (coffee with legs). This is a coffee bar where the coffee is served by women with mini skirts. Pretty funny and completely accepted concept here in Chile. After a very nice and deserved espresso we continued our tour through Santiago. We went to a small hill in Santiago called Santa Lucia. When we were walking up a guard stopped us and wanted us to write our name and passport numbers on a list. After writing down our dutch public transport card numbers we continued our way up. On top we could have a look over Santiago. Lot of cranes and sounds indicating that there was a lot of building going on in Santiago.

After climbing this hill we ended up in a kind of shabby street where we had a cup of incredible bad coffee. We continued our way and saw a kind of covered market. It was a big hall with fruits, meat and other small stuff. In the middle there was a ‘restaurant’. The woman asked us about 50 times if we wanted to eat something. In spite of being a bit stunned by the not so hygienic looks of this market we decided to accept the offer and we sat down. I ordered fish and chips which actually tasted really good. A table next to us was occupied by an old guy who was ( at 12 in the afternoon ) pretty drunk. He fell a sleep after a while which gave me the opportunity to capture him on camera.

Santiago sleeping man

Back on the road after this very cheap lunch we walked a bit more in the direction of the center again. We visited the old train station. The tracks were all gone and on the sides were some restaurants. From here we took the metro to the San Cristobal hill. On top of the hill there is a statue of virgin Mary looking over the city. Before we could start climb the hill we had to walk through a street which had the potential of being a very busy ‘student street’ in the evening. Unfortunately not that much places were open but we found one and had a drink. It was away from heavy traffic in a very peaceful inner court. When we finished our drinks we continued to the hill. After a walk of about 1 hour we reached the top. It was pretty hot but very cloudy. Therefore we couldn’t see that much of the city and the pictures all have a grey sky :(. But it was definitely worth the climb. They made a big open air church on top with benches going up on the hill. When looking down you saw the altar with in the background the city of Santiago.

We took the cable car down and went for another drink in the student street. Then already a bit hungry we went back to the peaceful place to get dindin in a pretty luxurious restaurant. I ordered a piece of salmon in cream sauce with some Arab rice. It was a very very nice meal but not that much so we went for a chocolate cake with a ball of vanilla ice as dessert. With this nice meal we drank a good Chilean wine (first time in Chile) and to finish this experience an espresso. Then back to the hotel.

In the hotel we took a shower and got ready to go back to the student street to party. We ordered a taxi that took us to the street. We were hoping to see a bit more open bars than earlier today but actually.. it looked like a ghost town. We went back to the bar where we had a beer this afternoon and sat upstairs. Suddenly another group of our students walked in the same bar and soon almost the whole study tour group was sitting in that bar.

Some talked to some Chileans about where the party place to be would be. They said something about the Swedish street so we grabbed a taxi and went there. There was some partying going on over there but also a lot of drugs. The music was good and the drinks were almost expensive for us. Around 4 we took a taxi back to the hotel where we went to sleep.

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