August 26, 2009

069 - Honeymoon on My Hometown: "Chile" Part I - Santiago

Yeah baby! - I might not like my hometown on daily basis (but that's just because I would rather live in the middle of nowhere hehe) - But last December, when Mr. Poodle visit me here in Chile, I got the chance to fall in love all over again with my pretty but sometimes too much of a city Santiago!

{ Image Source (Link) }

Just follow that sign!! It will take you to the Santiago airport " Arturo Merino Benítez - SCL" this will be for most of you, travelers, the first Chilean land you will step on ;)




Review-
Santiago has a mild Mediterranean climate: relatively hot dry summers (December - March) but my personal recommendation is to visit during Spring ( September - December) or Autumn (March - July ) if your not used to hot dry weather. Spring is really beautiful in Santiago not so hot, not cold and with everything blooming around you :) Love it!

Not even the 8% of Chileans speak English so most of you will need to learn some of the basics to get around, of course you can always hire a translator/guide, or take some quick Spanish Classes while on your honeymoon - you rather not? Then here some resources for you before you face Chile.

- The Basics on Spanish
- 10 thing to know about Chile
- Review Culture, Customs and Etiquette - Chile



{ This is the classic view on a clear day from one of the highest points in
Santiago: Cerro San Cristobál. - Image Source
(Link) }



{ View of the "Mapocho" - this river crosses Santiago, it is 110 Km long and flows
from the Andes mountain range onto the west - Image Source
(Link) }



Where to stay-

Santiago has a really wide offer, from really nice hotels like:
to normal and economic alternatives.



How to move around-
If your staying down town Santiago you don't really need to rent a car and I would totally recommend to use the "Metro" (subway) because you can pretty much go everywhere on it, after all Santiago is not that big.


{"La Moneda" subway station - Image Source (Link) }





{ Left Image Source (Link) - On the right you can see Mr. Poodle rocking the Metro!}



Another -really fun- way to get to see all the different places, specially in spring and summer ( September - March) is "La bicicleta verde" (The Green Bike) This is a very complete and fun tour that covers most of the cool, historical and REALLY Chilean places.

In Santiago the tour offer is really wide, some examples are:



Places to visit-

Plaza de Armas : Is the historical heart of Santiago and great for people watching. Dominated by the commanding 18th century Catedral Metropolitana, the square is usually bustling with tourists, portrait painters, "organilleros", shoeshine boys, street musicians and old men playing chess under the shade of tall palm trees.


{The center of the "Plaza de Armas" - Image Source (Link) }



{ An example of the Architecture contrast down town Santiago,
On the right The Santiago Cathedral - Image Source (Link) }


{ Left and Canter: Bolsa de Comercio close to our "New York" street,
Right: across the Street my dear Collage, Universidad de Chile }



La moneda : The presidential palace (it's like a small white house), sited a few blocks southwest of the Plaza de Armas. It was the largest building erected by the Spanish Crown in its colonies during the 18th century. President Allende was killed there during the 1973 coup led by General Pinochet. And now after a huge remodeling, the Government built a great Cultural Center underneath it.


{ Left: Mr. Poodle couldn't resist, he had to try to pick our flag :)
Right: The top view of the "Centro Cultural Palacio La Modeda" }



Santa Lucia Hill : It's about 10 minutes walk from our Government House, a perfect place to enjoy lush gardens, a panoramic viewpoint, monuments and a taste of Santiago's history. During summer, the area of the "mirador" (panoramic point) becomes a stage for theater plays and concerts.



{ Left: Us at the entrance - Right: One of the very first structures build on the hill }


{ Panoramic view of the middle height point of "Cerro Santa Lucia"}



Cerro San Cristobal : Is an 860m hill in the center of the city, this is the home of the Santiago Zoo and "Teleferico". best view of the city walk up to the top or take the funicular railway which leaves from the station at the north end of Pío Nono.


{ Left: The monument for Virgin Mary, the Immaculate Conception monument is one of the major attractions of Cerro San Cristobal, a giant construction that you may see from most places in the city of Santiago. There is a small outdoor chapel under the monument - Right: Us again with the "Fuente Alemana" monument on the back, on our way walking to San Cristobál }


{Us at the top of the Hill - If you remember here is where we took this picture ;) -
and that dress Im wearing was my last project before start my Wedding dress!}




Mercado Central : Even thought it smells like fish, this is the best place in Santiago (and my personal favorite) to get fresh sea food, maybe the name was left from the good old days but Today "Mercado Central" is a group of restaurants between fish shops, set in an architectural wonder. The outer ring contains myriads of butcher shops. Seafood shops piled high with fresh local catch abound inside the main building. But the real attractions are the restaurants in the central area.


{ Front view of the building - Image Source and map (Link) }


{The view of the inside shops - Image Source (Link) }




Estadio Nacional: Soccer fan anyone? -Chileans' love of soccer is developed from their very early years. soccer is the biggest sport in Chile, like most of the world (Not so much on the US tho for what I could see).

Ok, I need to add that I don't like Soccer just because it's such a huge deal here, there's - well, not so very friendly relationships between teams. But I am a huge fan of going to Chile v/s "other country" games, it's SO MUCH fun! and you get to see all the stadium wearing red, white and blue - yeah! our very own 4th of July lol


{ The "Estadio Nacional" - Image Source (Link) }




Where to eat:

- "Como agua para Chocolate" Honeymoon dinner? ohh you HAVE to go to the restaurant is one of the most romantic places to eat, and the interior is just as lovely and tasty as the food ;)

- "Akarana" Really cool and great mix of food! I am not the only one that thinks that you know?

- Plaza Ñuñoa is not a restaurant but an area close to down town Santiago, offers cool little restaurant and bars, the atmosphere there is great! one of my favs ;)

- Want more places? go here They have a great list! I love them all :)


What to eat:

{ "Porotos Granados" Image Source (Link) }


{ "Pastel de Choclo" - Image Source (Link) }




Right outside-
Want to go a little farther away from Santiago?


Well that was for now! if you need any more advice/help feel just PM me :) I hope you can come and visit! - Now I feel like I'm going to miss here once I'm gone!


... like Miss Labrador would say : "Reporting live from Santiago Chile" - this is Miss Poodle


_______

Previously on this Saga:

San Francisco by Miss Peep Toe
Western Michigan by Miss Powder Puff
Rural Pennsylvania by Mrs. Pineapple
New Orleans by Miss Ballet Flat
Baltimore by Miss D’orsay
Chicago by Miss Quiche
Washington, DC by Miss Perfume
Mobile, Alabama by Miss Crab Cake
Austin by Miss Kitten
Santa Fe by Miss Cowboy Boot
Napa Valley by Miss Peep Toe
Orange County by Miss Espresso


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