The vibe and food of Santiago are completely different than Buenos Aires…and we quickly got our Chile mojo going. After a grueling day of airports and immigrations checks, we picked up a car at the airport and drove to our artsy Hotel Ismael 312 in the hip Barrio Lastarria area. We are across the street from the lovely Forestal park and on the other side are endless restaurants, bars and cafes.
Our first dinner is at the independent Republic of Pisco. Piscos are the drink of Chile and there are as many varieties as there are tequilas in Mexico. My guy is determined to drink his way to pisco enlightenment. We also had an amazing ceviche, grilled octopus and yummy fish. Sated, we climbed into bed and slept in a lovely food coma.
The next morning, after a perfect breakfast, we started walking. And walking. Santiago is a smaller city than B.A. and easy to traverse if you arent in a car!
We visited the central plaza surrounded by historic colonial buildings, the central market filled with seafood of every persuasion. Then we crossed the Mapucho River to Barrio Bellavista where street art has had a profound impact on the community. Every bare wall is covered with art of varying scope, scale, skill and social impact. The city has encouraged street artists to enliven neighborhoods and attract tourists and it worked. It was fun turning corners in this working class area and seeing buildings tatooed with immersive art.
Then, we went empanada tasting trying two different places, gelato tasting and then home for a rest. I actually fell asleep.
By five pm we were off to the Museum of Belles Artes with many works centered on environmental issues.?Lastly, off to to dinner back in the Barrio Bellavista for more Pisco Sours, Chilean wine, ceviche and fish.
It’s been 24 hours since we arrived in Chile. We’ve eaten like kings (thank you stretch pants), walked over 11 miles (thank you fitbit) . And to top it all off….we have clean laundry from the local lavanderia. No hanging socks in our room tonight.
24 perfect hours!