Saturday, September 20, 2014


We arrived in Santiago on September 11, which ironically is also a tragic day for Chileans, because it marks the the anniversary of the 1973 Military Coup where many people died.  The locals start fires every year on this day along the riverbank to honor the dead and show strength and independence from military control (or at least that is the explanation I gathered from my taxi driver in my broken Spanish).

We explored the city through a free English walking tour that meets in the Plaza de Armas every day. Noteworthy stops on the tour included: Pablo Neruda's Santiago home, New york street, la Pica de Clinton (a cafe where US President Clinton once ate at and was subsequently named after him), and coffee with legs (discussed further below). Our tour guide was extremely informative and witty and certainly earned a big tip from us. We spent our nights relaxing in the lounge of our rooftop room with views of the plaza from the extremely quaint and affordable Plaza de Armas Hostel. While we were there, we heard from the receptionist that the president of Chile was going to be making an appearance in the plaza on the Chilean independence day on the 18th, so we made a point to end up back in Santiago to witness that. After waiting for about an hour with our cameras ready, we got some good shots of her (yes, Chile's president is a woman!).
Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile

One unique well kept secret worth experiencing in the city, is "Coffee with Legs" cafes. They are coffee shops with provocatively dressed women, and some not dressed at all, serving coffee.

Overall Santiago was surprisingly developed, the people were extremely helpful and friendly, and many even spoke English. It wasn't my favorite city in the world, but it offers a lot of history, and shows a different side of Chile.

bullet hole from the 1973 military coup

Pablo Neruda's Santiago home

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