Ola from Santiago!Somehow, Australia seems to be the only country in the world do pay this strange sounding ‘reciprocity fee’ for entry into Chile and it is US$117. Ouch! So we were determined to make the most of it. When the mists started to lift from the mountain tops the morning after we arrived, we jumped straight into Uber and headed for Santiago’s popular San Cristobal Hill.
Pretty pleased that we didn’t have to do the hike, we whizzed past hikers doing the 45 minute walk to the top. Just when we thought we were home free, a local security guard stopped our car. There was a river of Spanish spoken before we got the drift that we can go no further. Alas, we had to leave our wheels behind.
Fortuitously, it was also the midway point of the cable car that do go all the way to the top! There was no need to convince us and we duly bought return tickets for the ride.
At the summit, there is a little church which anyone can visit.
Inside seems quite plain except for these beautiful reliefs engraved onto the walls either side of the church. It is the Bible stories in stone.
It is so lifelike and well done.
This highlight though here is the statue of Virgin Mary that is 22 metres high. You can take the stairs up or the disabled ramp to the foot of the statue. The ramp has crosses that are decorated uniquely by different artists.
You can see the statue below, There are rows and rows of seat below it. I can imagine it filled when there is an important ceremony.
The pedestal Virgin Mary stands on has a little chapel in it. Pope John Paul II prayed and blessed the city from here in 1987 when he visited.
The views over Santiago though is probably another reason this is a popular spot. The Andes Mountains are almost visible in the background.
If you enjoy your parks, Santiago Metropolitan Park is also here. It is the largest in Chile and one of the largest urban parks in the world. I don’t think Mummy would have liked getting lost here. So we did not go exploring much but we did wander into one of the celebrations for Chile’s National Day. So I leave you with a photo of a Chilean BBQ. I bet you can almost taste it!