First impression - Awesome! We jumped off the bus and got into the subway, which is brand new, efficient and clean. We took a look around and were met with the gorgeous Santiago night-scape.
Second impression - Even better! Santiago is like South America with a system! It's organized, the people line up, the shopping is better and the infrastructure of the city is oddly very North American.
- The walking tour - we did a free/by donation walking tour of the city, which was wonderfully informative and we met the most amazing Belgian Couple!
- Pablo Neruda - He's a Chileno poet/politician that had the knack for collecting the most random things from around the world. We got obsessed and saw all 3 of his houses in Santiago, Valparaiso and Isla Negra. Superb and his poems are great too!
- Pisco Sours, Terremottos and Carmeneres - All dangerously potent drinks that are pleasurable in their own way! All worth trying and consuming in vast quantities!
- The Views - From, well, everywhere it seems! Cerro Santa Lucia, San Cristobal, the apartments...
- Valparaiso - It's a gritty, artsy port town by the coast that has amazing colored houses and graffiti everywhere. It's beautiful and dark and worth visiting.
- Hanging with Pablo and getting a great feel of Santiago and Vina Del Mar.
Things we've learned:
- It's crazy fun to be in a city when they win a World Cup match. The city literally comes alive! Chi-chi-chi Le-le-le Viva Chile. I guess this is the best they've done in ages and boy, are they celebrating! Avenida Alameda, their main road (which was right outside the apartment) was closed down and thousands of people poured down waiving their flags and cheering like mad!
- They love being in pictures. The Chilenos will literally pose for you even if you don't want them to!
- There are lot of avocados and onions here. Like you get guacamole with every single thing you order!
- It's on the expensive side, Chile is definitely not cheap, but the quality of everything is much better than anywhere else. The cutlery doesn't break and the serviettes work.
- It is a long, long country and we have to take more buses!