Friday, 27 May 2011

Santiago and Valparaiso, Chile - Have I Dreamt of You?

Santiago, the capital of Chile, has so much to offer. 

Great tourist attractions such as the Cathedral, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, Museo Historical Nacional, Cerro Santa Lucía, Cerro San Cristobal, Bellavista area, nearby vineyards such as Viña Concha y Toro and many others for wine tasting and learning the process of wine making. 

There is great food and a huge central market with fresh seafood, extremely friendly and helpful people...Santiago is a great place for travellers to stay for a few days longer than usual and just sit back and chill. 

We have been in Santiago for about 6 days, just chilling in the city, sightseeing and taking day trips here and there.  After traveling for a while, it's nice to have a long hot shower without worrying about the electricity going off or getting freezing cold water with foam in your hair.  Plus, a clean flushing loo and a nice cable TV are such luxury, especially after coming from Bolivia.  It's also nice to be able to cook (not me, my hubby does the cooking) instead of going out every night.

We also took a day trip to the nearby city, Valparaiso, which is also known as the Jewel of the Pacific and it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It was highly recommended to us by a number of travellers but I must admit when we first got there, we were really disappointed.  It was a port with bloody wires everywhere and old but not colonial buildings.  It looked like a complete shit hole but when we went up to Cerro Concepción, we understood why people like it so much. 

It's hard to describe Cerro Concepción, it's an area with gorgeous old and colorful houses, like the ones you see in a puzzle or a Disney movie, then there is graffiti everywhere but not like some back alleys in New York.  It's really safe to walk around, it's almost unreal to see with your eyes.  I have never seen anything like it.  It's a really unique somewhere you would see in your dreams, that it's weird but normal at the same time. 

There isn't much to do in Valparaiso but I think Cerro Concepción alone is worth the trip there.  I mean, how often do you get to visit your dreams in real life?