DISCOVERY DEPARTURE - AUGUST 2004
In 2004, I managed to take some days off to travel once again to South Pacific. It was a fantastic vacation with Guida, Luísa, Jean-Pierre and Antonio. Photos in the next posts were mostly taken by Luísa and Antonio, while I was working with the video camera. Anyhow, I also took some of them...
Santiago is Chile's capital and was founded by Pedro de Valdivia on February 12, 1541. It has more than 5.5 million inhabitants, and is located in Chile's central valley, at an altitude of 520 meters, with the Andes on its east side. We were lucky enough not to be caught by the smog, but as soon as we arrived, and were on the process of installing ourselves at the Intercontinental in Las Condes, a small earthquake greeted us. Like Guida made it to the butler at the Club floor, «we understood the enthusiasm caused by our arrival, but there was no need to show such an excitement! »
Santiago is a very nice town, and at the present time much more decent...
"TELEFONICA - Before lunch we took the modern an convenient Metro train to get to La Chascona. We started at Tobalaba station and left at Baquedano, I think, where we saw the Tower. This interesting 140 meter high mobile phone building at Plaza Italia, by the Mapocho River, belongs to the Spanish telecommunications company"
"LA CHASCONA is the house that Nobel Prize winning poet Pablo Neruda (Ricardo Eliecer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto) had built for his third wife, Matilde Urrutia, named la Chascona due to her messy hair...
When I was in Santiago for the first time in 2001 I visited the three houses of Pablo Neruda - La Chascona in Santiago, Isla Negra and La Sebastiana in Valparaiso. When I came back in 2004, La Chascona had undergone renovation for Neruda's 2004 centenary. The house is built like a ship, with a living room that looks like a lighthouse and other rooms built in a way that makes you feel as if you were at sea"
"PARRILLADA - After La Chascona we were a little late for lunch. Fortunately, just around the corner, at Pio Nono Street in the lively Bellavista quarter, there was Don Simón a cheap and nice restaurant where we had a parrillada..."
"FUNICULAR - After lunch we took the Cerro San Cristobal funicular to get views of Santiago and the Andes"
"CERRO SAN CRISTOBAL - A fifteen meter high statue of Virgin Mary crowns the hill (which is a part of the Parque Metropolitano - a municipal park considered the lung of Santiago) and can be seen from almost everywhere. We went up with the funicular and at the top someone took us a photo"
"PROVIDENCIA - The summit of the Cerro is 860 meters above sea level, which means almost 300 meters above the rest of the city. It is the best place to have a look at Santiago. Providencia is a business district at the bottom of the Cerro, on both sides of the Mapocho"
"ANDES - The view towards the beautiful snowy Andean peaks was magnificent!"
"HORSE RIDDING - After a spectacular cable car trip from the Cerro, we had a rest at the starting point in Providencia"
"PEDRO DE VALDIVIA is a nice Boulevard with some very interesting houses..."
"VITACURA - An avenue towards a nice residential area"
"SUNDAY ANTIQUE FAIR at Plaza Peru in Las Condes district"
"LAS CONDES is a modern and interesting district located in the north-eastern part of Santiago, at the foot of the Andes Mountains. The area (99.4 square km) seems to be inhabited primarily by upper-mid to high income families (with an average household income of almost 100,000 US dollars, according to the 2002 census)"