This year I managed to celebrate S. Valentine alone TWICE! once on the plane from Sydney to Santiago (16 hours flight) the other in Santiago, as I lived Saturday one more time.
My time in Santiago has been very limited, only two days, but I think they were enough to see the highlight of the city.
As soon as I got off the bus from the airport I met another backpacker, Eric, from Chile, it turned out he was a major of the local police so within 20 minute from my arrival in the city I was inside the presidential palace, walking around and taking picture escorted by him, it was really cool. This is the Palacio de la Moneda where the 1973 golpe took place.
I walked around some more with him seeing more highlight of the town centre and then eventually went to the hostel.
In the evening I ventured out for a meal in a popular areas for bars and restaurant, Bellavista. Met a couple of people with which I had dinner and checked out a new bar, wher I tried the local drink, the Pisco Sour (eew!!) I can safely say it's not for me.
My second day wasn't much at all, went for a stroll and visited the fish market, ignored the good fish and actually tried the local street food: Un Completo, which is a hot dog with some kind of coleslaw, pepper guacamole aaand alioli! SO GOOD! After a while though the dodgyness of some areas pushed me back to the safety of the hostel where I spent the rest of the evening.
What I have learned while in Santiago:
- Never accept a hostel room near the common areas, it basically means you don't get to sleep.
- Don't assume that the hostel people will give you suggestions that are not touristy, always ask a local for dinner suggestion
- Stay away from the packs of stray dogs, so many in Santiago
- Chileans are not the most friendly among the south americans
- Chileans like ice cream, a lot, there are zillions of creameries, some actually very good.
Next Stop: Bogota, will be back in Chile in March.