Last week, I took a quick trip to Santiago, Chile, for work. I flew out Monday afternoon on an overnight flight (after finishing our drive home from Minnesota on Sunday at almost midnight). I worked Tuesday and Wednesday at the hospital I came to visit and then walked around downtown Santiago for a few hours Thursday before catching an overnight flight home.
I, unfortunately, didn't travel outside the city, not to the snowy mountains two hours east, the ocean two hours west, the flowering desert north or to any of the many wineries all over the country. Santiago itself is thick with industry - lots of shopping malls, banks and businesses. I was surprised by how much everything cost. Prices for food, transportation and lodging were comparable to the U.S. In addition, I (my work) had to pay $140 US Dollars to enter the country in the first place. I felt relatively safe, even walking the city by myself, although the Spanish-speaking cab driver who took me from my hotel downtown kept motioning for me to hold my purse close and pointed to my wedding ring as if to say, "Where is your husband, lady?" I stuck out a little bit and got a couple comments during the trip on my blue eyes, but lots of tourists visit Chile. I also heard lots of English voices often near the university.
I didn't trust anyone enough to ask them to take my picture, so all I have are landscape shots. Here's a picture of the city from my hotel room. The white crest above the skyscrapers is the Andes.
Cerro Santa Lucia
I walked to the house of Pablo Neruda (died in 1973), which is on the outskirts of Santiago, but I didn't have time to take a tour. Neruda wrote politically, but he also wrote many surreal and love poems.
No traveling planned for September. I am happy to be home!