Wednesday, 29 January 2014

A summary of Santiago

At the top of San Cristobal

It's our last night here in Santiago and I am quite sad to go, I have really loved it (though this may have a lot to do with the naps and the warm weather). The whole city is very laid back, it feels very safe and it's super easy to get around! It also has a really fun creative atmosphere. Last night between the restaurant and the bar we saw a big group of people street dancing to 70's/80's tunes (don't worry I have a video and I will post it), walked past an outdoor play being held in a Perspex box and also a big group learning to tango. 

One of the highlights of the last few days has definitely been hanging out in the Bellavista area. If I had to compare it to anything in London, it would be Santigao's version of Shoreditch. A very arty neighbourhood which is slowly being taken over by posher places. It´s streets are filled brightly coloured bars and restaurants which spill out onto the pavement, making the most of the warm weather. The whole place is filled with people chatting, drinking and generally having a grand old time. This is the place to be in the evenings.

Another area worth a visit is Barrio Brazil. We ended up here by accident after our 'trusty' lonely planet guide sent us to the wrong place for one of the museums we wanted to visit. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as our walk to the right place took us past beautiful buildings, dilapidated and covered in graffiti. 

Barrio Brazil
Barrio Brazil
We also managed to fit in a spot of wine tasting at a bar called Bocanariz which was recommend to us by our ´Tours for Tips´ guide. This place was much posher than we anticipated and I felt very underdressed... Nevertheless the sommelier was super friendly and we chose to try three 50ml glasses of wine from different regions of chile (the from ocean to mountain set). This is definitely a place to go if (like me) you know nothing about wine, the menu is organised to make it super easy to pick tasting sets of wine or a glass (or three) to pair with your meal. 

Wine tasting

To make up for our lazy start we have also visited a few museums:

The Memory museum, which covers the events leading up to the 1973 military coup and the Pinochet era (don't worry I knew very little about this too, so the museum was very enlightening). This was a very interesting but very heavy museum. It definitely helped me understand more about the recent history of the country (something I probably should have known already). 

La Chascona, poet Pablo Neueda's secret home for his mistress. This was beautiful, a career as a mistress is currently high on my possible life choices list.. 
Museo de Artes Visuales, a modern art museum which was filled with some very cool, incredibly random and just down right weird artwork (shout out to the tiny wooden sculptures of a couple in a variety of sexual positions, complete with magnifying glass..)

Centro Gabriela Mistral, I am still not sure what was really here.. This is a big space used for exhibitions and performances, but we mostly just sat in the cool atrium admiring the building and it's colourful roof. 

The final thing we managed to do was climb San Cristobal, a big hill in the Bellavista area of the city. This allowed us to properly test out our walking boots (thankfully they are all good) and provided amazing views of the city!

So as you can see it's been an incredibly busy couple of days, no wonder I am exhausted!!! Nap time I think... 

My first Ceviche
Just to make you jealous - The view from the roof terrace (yes that is sun you can see)


location: Santiago 

Highlights: Bellavista, Barrio Brazil and wine tasting at Bocanariz.

Naps since last post: Only 2, very disappointing! 

Minutes spent lost: At least 60... I blame lonely planet for at least 30!! 

Tantrums: 1 while shopping for flip flops... I just couldn't find any nice ones!! 

Profile pictures: Potentially 1.. See me at the top of San Cristobal (opinions welcome - I don't think my sunglasses are working for me...). 

Epiphany's: 0 

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