Saturday, March 12, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011 – Santiago, Chile – Cloudy / Sunny – 70s

We were so tired from our journey that we went to bed early last night and slept until 8:45 AM this morning.  We had gone to a small market yesterday for breakfast foods (the condo used to but no longer offers breakfast).

The condos we are staying in consist of three towers about 20 floors each.  I am assuming that the Plaza Suites rents out vacant condos so they can generate some revenue.  There is maid service (towels, cleaning, and she even did the dishes).  We are on the 12th floor of the C Tower (1202).  The rooms are very nice but there are only three elevators per tower and they cannot handle the load.

 Plaza Suites (Small)

Our kitchen (Small)

Our bedroom (Small)

Our living area (Small)

Top:  The Plaza Suites Condo tower; Next: Our fully equipped kitchen; Next:  Our very nice bedroom with connecting full bath; Bottom:  The Living Area.

The Condo would probably go for a $1,000,000 in New York or Toyko so we did very well renting this for our stay.

Before we head out for the day, we check out the Supermarket which is part of the Condo Complex.  It is a full sized market with everything you could want.  We did notice the long reach of Walmart since the Great Value brand is from Walmart. 

Plaza suites mkt and walmart food (Small)

Our first destination is the Castle Hidalgo atop Santa Lucia Hill.  This is pretty much across the street from our condo.  It is a 16th century fortification (then a castle) and the site of the founding of Santiago by a Sr. Valdivia.  It is now a park with several levels and lots of greenery.  There is a lot of climbing – we will do some of that today.

Park at Santa Lucia Hill (Small)

The park at the entrance of the Hill

Hidalgo Castle Santa Lucia Hill (Small)

Castle Hidalgo

The Castle entrance is locked and you have to sign in with park police to walk the grounds.  There are numerous statues depicting various historical figures.

Statue near Hidalgo Castle (Small)

The view from the Main Terrace is pretty spectacular as seen in the picture below.

View from the Terrace at Santa Lucia Hill (Small)

We visited Santa Lucia Hill on a city tour the first time we came to Santiago about five years ago because I remember the canon (below) and the ice cream vendor (also below).  Not much changes.

Cannon at S Lucia (Small)

One of the park police ladies took our picture with Santiago Central in the background.

Santa Lucia Hill and us (Small)

The statue of Caupolican, a Mapuche warrior-leader (vs. the Conquistadores) stands upon a rock.

Caupolican Mapuche leader (Small)

Hidalgo Castle (Small)

Another view of Hidalgo Castle

The rest of the walk consisted of walking through the various streets of the City Center – full of pedestrian walkways, eyeglass stores, and nail spas.  This is a good place for people watching.  One side street off a large mall took us to a spot that could have been in Rome (complete with fountain).

Fountain Pedestrian Wway (Small)  

All in all, we logged over 11,000 steps on this journey.  We even got our McDonalds conos (60 cents and smaller than I remember them) on the way back to the condo.

Once back, we went to the A Tower to check out the pool on the 18th floor.  While the pool was OK (and cold), the view from the terrace was SPECTACULAR.  The pictures below show great views of the City Center as well as good views of the magnificent Andes mountains (some peaks with snow).

View from 18th floor (Small) View from 18th floor1 (Small) View from 18th floor2 (Small) View from 18th floor3 (Small)

View from 18th floor4 (Small)

Need to get some more rest; we plan to do some more walking tomorrow. 

A nice day in Santiago…

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