Friday, May 12, 2006

Tourist Day

I'm still in Santiago, and today was our first 'free' day, which means it's the first day I got to sleep past 8. This was quite welcome as yesterday we were out until 3:30 am (again). I am quite enamored with the local liquor 'pisco' and the 'piscola' particularly, mixing it with coke (or Coca Light in my case). Side note-- when you buy a mixed drink here, they generally give you a glass with ice and about two shots of liquor in it, and then a bottle of soda on the side. It's up to you to mix it, and there's nothing watered down about them.

Today we did touristy stuff. Santiago is very western feeling and great weather, but if anything it's not quite exotic enough. We saw the presidential building, which was ground zero for the coup of 1973 (I even took a picture of what could be a bullet hole but probably isn't), and the central square with a beautiful cathedral. Then we went to the Mercado Central where we ate some very fresh seafood. Side note-- I think seeing where people buy food is my favorite way to see a new city. We then walked through a park and went to a fortress on top of a hill to see the view. Basically, there's not a ton to see.

There are two things we see everywhere which I am starting to think of as uniquely Chilean. The first is stray dogs, all of which are very well fed and are actually quite cute. I'm not sure who's taking care of these animals, but they don't resemble stray dogs I've seen in other Latin countries. The second is people making out on park benches. I have yet to pass a park bench where two people were not locked in endless embraces. Delightful.


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