Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Santiago

I am sorry I haven’t had the time to write anything in such a long time. I have had a couple of strange and exhausting days and only today have I had a moment to sit down and write. Last time I wrote I was about to leave for Chile with my father for the long weekend. We arrived in Santiago on Saturday and spent the day walking around the city and visiting the sites. Particularly beautiful were the Cerro de los Inamorados (lover’s hill), the Cerro de la Virgin (virgin’s hill) and la Moneda (House of government). The first two are hills which spring up in the middle of the city adding a bit of green to the monotonous grey of Santiago. Lover’s hill is full of young couples who walk around holding hands and kissing. The virgin’s hill, to my disappointment, was not full of virgins but, instead, has a statue of the (supposedly) virgin Mary on its summit. La Moneda, apart from being quite beautiful, also has historic value as it is where Salvador Allende committed suicide as the military staged a coup and bombed the capital. He said he would never let them drag him out of the Moneda alive, and he stuck to his word. Apparently he shot himself in the head with a rifle presented to him by his friend Fidel Castro.
On Sunday we visited the coast which although quite beautiful is nothing special. The only particularity worthy of note are the enormous sea lions which live in harmony with fisherman and tourists in the port of San Antonio.
On the last day, Monday, we decided to rent a car and drive up in to the Andes. These extraordinary mountains which start just a few kilometers from the edge of Santiago are truly beautiful. Their majestic peaks pierce the sky as though trying to touch the heavens. We sat and had lunch basking in the blinding sun and watched skiers slide blissfully down the snowy slopes. The only problem is that I forgot to put on any cream and once I got down I realized that the mountain sun had cooked my face to a crispy state. Though I have been applying tons of cream, my face has been giving off a surprisingly pleasant smell of roast meat and my skin is protesting by plaguing me with excruciating pain.

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