21.7.12

The other Santiago and the other woman

Santiago de Chile was named after Santiago, the patron Saint of Spain, by Pedro de Valdivia and the "other" woman, Inés Suárez with whom he had an extramarital relationship. But rather than reading their quite remarkable story from me, I would recommend you read the novel by Isabel Allende, Inés del alma mía (Inés of my soul) - she writes better than I do and was also related to the President of Chile, Salvador Allende.
Santiago is different from other Latin American cities. Even though it can become quite lively, as you can experience in the rowdy bars of Bellavista, on the whole I found it to be a relatively tranquil place, especially if you wander around the upmarket Las Condes district, where you can also find an open air antiques market in Plaza Peru every Sunday. It is also quite easy to get around and the underground is clean and efficient.
Visit the Cathedral; the sadly famous Palacio de la Moneda, bombed by General Pinochet during his coup d'état and where Salvador Allende died; the central market; the Cerro San Cristobal - a hill dominated by a large statue of the Virgin Mary; the Cerro Santa Lucia, where Pedro de Valdivia was pinned down by the native indians for 2 years; and the home of the poet Pablo Neruda called "La Chascona" the nickname of his lover at the time. Another site that you will not easily forget is the closeness and the immensity of the Andes.

Going up Cerro San Cristobal
Going up Cerro San Cristobal

La Chascona - House of Pablo Neruda
La Chascona- House of Pablo Neruda

View from Cerro Santa Lucia
View from Cerro Santa Lucia

View of the Andes from shopping mall of Las Condes
View of the Andes from shopping mall of  Las Condes


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