In and around Santiago

Chile - Dusk in Santiago
Chile - Dusk in Santiago

So we have settled our selves in and found our feet here in Santiago. We have managed to explore most of what the city has to offer (we think). We have visited many of the beautiful old buildings (Churches, etc), as well as the varoius parks and gardens that are around the city.

For us, the big let down of Santiago is the smog! Its bad. No doubt there is worse, but it blocks what is one of Santiago's best assets - the mountains. Santiago is surrounded by mountains. On one side the Andes, and on the other the costal mountain range. But unfortunatly, you can barely make them out throug the smog, and there is no hope for a good photo :(.

Yesterday we jumped on a tour out to Valparaso and Viña del Mar - two lovely cities basically on top of each other, about 2 hours bus ride to the north west of Santiago. These two cities are built on the Pacific Ocean, in fact some of Valparaso has actually been re-claimed from the ocean.

Today we toured the remainder of Santiago. Jumping on a Touris Tek double decker bus which takes you around the city, allowing you to get on/off at any of the 11 set stops. This worked pretty well for us, as we were able to skip the areas we had already seen and concerntrate on the areas we haddent.

The main high light - and we do mean high - was the airal cable car ride through the park at Cerro San Cristobal. This was 2km of hell for us, neither of us being great with hights - but provided a spectacular view of the smog covered mountains ;). The views were really spectacular.

Once at the top we visited the shrine to San Cristobal, and the small chapel as well. Getting down the mountain was less stresful. The Finacula (a cable tram up the side of the hill) was great.

So after a couple of long days we are pretty buggered, and hoping to get a good night sleep. Both of us have struggled a little with jet lag - sudden burst of being awake at 1am, 4am, etc... Trying to force ourselves into a regular sleep pattern, but its hard.

So what does tommorrow bring. We are hoping to go to a local mass at one of the many anchient churchs. Mass in spanish should be different, and the atmosphere of the old churchs is something to experience.

Oh... by the way, I have added a few more photos to the Santiago picture album - enjoy, we are :)