Around the World With the ArvaMonts


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It is true, of course, that we entered Chile when we landed on Rapa-Nui.  But this really is more a part of Polynesia, than South America, so we have listed it separately.






Santiago was a rest stop for us.  That means that we were taking it easy, resting up for our last month on the road.  (This was especially important, since our last month will involve 8 one or two night stays, and two weeks on a boat.)  We just didn't spend much time playing tourist, but we did make it out to see a few museums, and famous Santa Maria statue and the zoo. 


















A sculpture near our house.  This naked yellow man featured in a couple of large installations near our house.  On the other one he is walking on top of 15 foot high blades of grass!  There is large public art everywhere in Santiago.  In general we found Santiago to be an inviting warm city.  We were introduced to their favorite food in Rapa Nui:  Dulce de Leche.  This is basically a rich, creamy caramel.  They make it the consistency of peanut butter and spread it on their bread for breakfast.  They make it a soup and serve it for dessert.  They smear it between butter cookies, spread it on cakes, whip it into ice cream, pour it on top of strudel and squirt it into rolls.  You can buy it by the quart at the grocery store.  Its prevalence was astonishing. 


The Museum of Natural History 


Our first tourist stop was to the Museum of National History, except that I misread the map.  We took a train to Parque Quinta Normal - actually, the map we had was so old we didn't realize there was a stop at Quinta Normal, so we went to a stop several block south of the park and walked up.  This worked out well as we bopped into the public library we passed on the way.  We also stopped into the hardware market, which was fascinating.  At the park the kids stopped to play and then we headed over to the museum, only to discover that it was a Natural history museum!  Oops.  We went in anyway...

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The Museum of National History


So, after stopping for empandas in the park, we got on the train at Quinta Normal and headed for the main square, where the National History Museum is located.  (The empanadas were lousy - for anyone using this for tourist information, and we had to fight off the dogs while we ate them.)


We liked the contrast between the new and the old in the main square.  No photography was permitted within the museum. 


The Hill


Just north of our apartment was the Cerro Santa Lucia, a hill in the middle of the city.  It is said that Santiago was founded at the base of this hill by Pedro de Valdia in 1554.  At the top of Cerro Santa Lucia is a huge statue of the Virgin Mary looking out over the city.  There are other things on the hill as well, such as the municipal swimming pool, a playground, a castle, a few restaurants and the zoo.


You don't even have to walk up the hill to partake of all the fun.  We rode a cable car to the midpoint, had a look around, and then rode it all the way to the top where we had lunch.  Then we took the funicular down the other side and walked up the hill through the zoo, which is perched on its side.  At the top of the zoo, there is a funicular stop, where we climbed back on the funicular and rode back to the top, in order to get down on the other side again.   


The Zoo




From Santiago we flew to Lima and then on to Cusco, Peru


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Last modified: 06/13/08