The enormous snow capped Andes mountain ranges hug the city of Santiago. The best views of the whole city and surrounding ranges are from the top of San Christobel Hill. Jump into cable cars with locals for a five-minute journey to what feels like the top of the world. If you’ve inhaled a few too many empanadas at lunch there’s a walking track. There is also a church at the top of the hill used by locals on Sundays – what a picturesque spot to confess sins.
Within the city center there seem to be more banks and pharmacies than anything else. Surely nobody needs to buy bandaids that frequently!
4 things to try in Santiago
Street Vendor food on O’Higgins Ave, Centro – Only because I was so impressed, I chose to eat from a woman operating a pimped out converted shopping trolley. This Chilean version of a food van had nothing more than a trolley lined with metal sheets in which she deep fried a type of pumpkin flat bread.
Shellfish empanadas at Mercado Central De Santiago seafood market – Dip the delicious buttery pastry into pebre (a sauce of smooth minced onions, herbs, peppers and tomato) for a little extra ‘zing’. After purchasing produce at the market you can dine at the inexpensive seafood restaurants in the adjoining pavilion.
Pastel de Choclo (corn pie)- corn, minced beef, chicken, boiled egg, olives, raisins and onion are covered with a sugar coated corn dough and baked. Chileans love sugar. Books on ‘How to quit sugar’ probably don’t sell well here. Or maybe it’s because books attract a whopping 19% tax, which makes it cheaper to buy vino.
Mote co huesillo – a sweet drink of dried apricots cooked in a sugar syrup and mixed with soft wheat that resembles freekah. Sold mainly on street stands the apricot syrup drink could be mistaken for a meal. Not that I’d want to offend a local by suggesting it, but a dash of vodka would be great in this drink.
My next post will be from Buenos Aires, Argentina in a week. Once I’ve managed to eat my way through some of the cities best restaurants and I recover from my meat coma.