After hearing a mixed bag of reviews on Santiago I was looking forward to seeing how I felt about the city. In the end I actually liked the place but it had it’s major downsides though.
The smog in the city had us coughing, eyes itching and throats scratching. When we went high up in the city (the park and San Cristobal Hill) you were supposed to be able to see the Andes. This was kind of true, you could see a vague outline through the smog and that was about it, you can see this if you look closely at one of the images in the gallery.
Great little fruit and veg market, although it did sell a hell of a lot more! The market itself is huge. Fruit and veg is the main thing you can see on the way round but there are also butchers, odds and sods and some fish stalls with fish the size of men on display. The 3 pieces of squid we saw for a start were the length of my arm in width (imagine the calamari rings!)!
We had a stroll round, got some cheap food to cook later for dinner and made our way out. Tried our first Italiano (hot dog with tomatoes, avocado and mayo) thanks to a tip off from Max (Chile). Amazing! They don’t sound the best, but they are pretty good!
Got to the walking tour an hour early so decided to have a walk round the National History Museum. Good place to kill an hour, quite an interesting place but for the fact everything was in Spanish. We tried, but in the end learnt nothing. There was one paper written in English along side some other papers from around the world from 1970s, we read that one for a while!
Walking tour was very interesting, a great way to get to know a city the first day or so you are there. Saw lots of French style architecture that are now government buildings.
One funny thing on the walking tour: I got hungry about 10 minutes into the 4 hour tour so decided to run slightly ahead and pick up an Italiano. Only thing was I didn’t run far enough ahead and soon enough everyone passed me while I stood waiting for a guy that obviously hadn’t read my signals of, I’m in a [expletive] rush! So I stood and waited for my hot dogs to be made and soon (ish) enough I started trying to find the group.
I see Brogan waving her hands quite a way down the street and by the time I get to the group the guide had stopped talking to wait for me. So in turn everyone on the tour is staring at me as I rock up with 2 Italianos and a Coke. We all had a good laugh about it then got on with our lives.
We ended the tour near some nice restaurants and bars so stopped for a quick beer before heading out for a not so great Chorrillana with Max.
The Zoo & San Cristobal Hill
After the last Zoo mishap in Mendoza we were keen to right the wrongs of that Zoo. Santiago Zoo really delivered as well! A really well kept Zoo where the animals actually looked pretty damn good. They even had a White Tiger that was very impressive.
We spent a good couple of hours walking round then took the tram to the top of the hill as we are lazy like that. You can easily walk up in about 50 minutes.
Soaked in the smog filled views from the second highest point in Santiago and had a walk round the church. Some good views from the top but the smog is really noticeable from here.
Back to our hostel and had a big fat dulce de leche filled donut. Bliss.
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