Friday, September 13, 2019
Pete & Kathy’s room and Fr. Richard’s room, faced the street and they didn’t sleep very well because of the noises. My room faced the hotel’s courtyard so I had a good sleep. In the morning, we had a wonderful breakfast in the lobby at 8 am. There was a good variety, the food was fresh and it was plentiful.
At 9:30, our driver, Maurice and our guide, Katja, arrived to take us on a city tour. The traffic was heavy but that was to be expected in a large city.
It is early spring time in Chile and the temperatures are about 8 C ( 45 F ) at night and 15 – 25 C ( 60 – 75 F) during the day.
As we left the hotel, we drove past an area where impressive murals on the sides of the walls were common.
Maurice drove us to the top of San Cristobal mountain,which is one of several parks in central Santiago.
From the top of this mountain we could get a good view of Santiago. Santiago is located in a large valley and as is common with cities built in valleys, smog tends to accumulate.
We hiked up, the short distance to the gondola station and rode the gondola back down to the bottom.
From this park we went to the Bicentenial park where we saw some native birds,
incluiding the Chilean swan that has a black neck once it gets to be two years old.
and the Chilean flamingo.
From the park we went to a fish market near our hotel. There were some very nice restaurants in the market and lots of fresh fish, which made it very easy for the restaurants to serve fish dinners.
Several of the vendors had Conger Fish ( Congrid ), which is what I had for supper the night before.
From the market we went to the central square
and a cathedral that had just started a mass service. From there we saw the presidential palace, as well as a few other buildings in the area before returning to the hotel around 1 pm for some coffee and a rest.
At 4 pm we walked to a local restaurant for dinner. On our way we found the first steam powered fire engine used in Santiago.
When we found the restaurant, we each ordered Tapas, so that we could share our meals, however, Fr. Richard had accidentally ordered a meal of assorted raw fish and seafood dishes, so I ate it while the others at the pork, sausage and empanadas. We all indulged in fine white and dark chocolate desserts before heading back to the hotel for the evening.