I read a quote earlier that said traveling is like being in love… it continued with reasons that I don’t remember – I do however agree. Few things can turn my mood from bad to elated, make me giddy and smile to myself throughout the day. It sounds like love. Maybe it is. I’m in love with Santiago. I wonder who (and by who I mean where) I will fall for next.
Today was a fantastic day, but it didn’t start out that way. I woke up in an awful headspace this morning. Way to contemplative and missing my mom especially hard. Fortunately, I am in Santiago, Chile and as soon as my explorer side kicked in this afternoon it was literally impossible for me to stay down.
Reasons why I love Santiago:
- The people – So many people everywhere! I realize I say “I hate people” all the time as I am working my way through an obnoxious crowd in midtown. But somehow people in Santiago are far less irritating than New Yorkers. It could be the sunshine. Or maybe it’s because now I am the annoying tourist pissing off all the locals… but I am pretty sure people are just in a better mood around here, so I’ll stick with the sunshine hypothesis.
- The Mountainous Backdrop – from almost anywhere in the city you can see mountains in the distance. Who wouldn’t love that? I don’t wanna meet that person.
- The street art – I am about to post a whole lot of photos of some really amazing street art. I’m not really sure it qualifies as graffiti because each building seems to have it’s own very deliberate theme. I have no problem saying that even the more mediocre street art in Santiago could easily rival the best in Berlin. Sorry, but I’m entitled to my opinions.
- The incredible mix of architecture – old and new, and old. I love the old Euro-style buildings mixed amongst the street art and modernism. The buildings here are so playful with color it’s spectacular!
- The Dawgs. Despite being warned multiple times about pick-pockets, I want to take a moment to tell you about Santiago’s real thugs. The dogs. These are some rugged Santiago Chilean pups. These furry guys know what’s up – so don’t mess with them. There are stray dogs roaming free in most countries, but most dogs, even the strays I have befriended, love people and attention. Not these mofos, they don’t got time for that.
- Santiago is a city for lovers. Ok – so maybe I don’t actually love this part. In fact it’s quite annoying. PDA is a thing here. But if you are young and in love, the thing to do is find a park in Santiago and make out publicly with your lover. As long as you stay at least 30 feet away from the nearest love-fest, it’s considered privacy.
- So many great things to see and do here! I know I haven’t even gotten to what I have actually been doing in Santiago. I have so many amazing pictures to share. I will make a post, as previously mentioned, all about things to do and see in Santiago – but first I need to post my Part II photos of the hustle and bustle and interesting things on the streets of this lively city.
Today I wandered through a lovely quiet neighborhood filled with colorful street art, on my way to climb one of the highest peeks in the city. There was not a tourist in sight. I’m sure I stuck out like a soar thumb with my pasty burning skin and my giant camera around my neck.
Next, I made my way to the park and hiked. Man, I really need to get in better shape before I get to Machu Picchu in Peru. But I got some amazing pictures that I will share in a later post. My mom would be so mad at me for getting my good sneakers that she bought me covered in mud today on my hike. Sorry Mom – but they are just more comfortable than the cheapo ones you insisted I get at target when I was supposed to go to Puerto Rico.
When I got back to the bottom I was famished and dehydrated – despite a good breakfast and several bottles of water. So I found a nice place to eat outside in a trendy neighborhood before working my way back to the hostel.