Saturday, December 12, 2015

#1 Santiago, Chile

Hotel windows
We left Baton Rouge around 5:30 pm and arrived in Houston with a few hours layover.  We left for Santiago, Chile and a 9 1/2 hour flight.  We arrived in Santiago early early in the morning and Frank swore he lost a day.  He was so confused!  We were all tired, we had been traveling for nearly 27 hours!

Founded in 1530, Santiago has always been the capital of Chile. Lots of stray dogs everywhere, but there is no rabies.  And the dogs live in the open and are treated well, I saw none that were undernourished or pregnant.

Chile has a very low unemployment rate.  I would never have thought that Chile was so advanced  and wonderful.

Valparisio



The city is beautiful, lots of old buildings despite the earthquakes.  It is on the Pacific Ring of Fire, after all. 




Literacy is high in Chile where so many have a college degree since schooling is free.  Taxes are high, of course, and there is an extra fee each month taken from everyone's paycheck for the Education Fund.  So it is not  really "free".  But it is a concept that is well understood by the young, go to school.  And most everyone speaks at least 3 languages.

Kinda leaves the US back in a cloud of dust.
 
The next morning we headed  back to the Santiago Airport to catch the 2 hour bus ride to Valpara√≠so, the seaport and second largest city in Chile.  It is also  wine country!  It was founded just later than Santiago in 1536.  Valparaiso is nicknamed the Jewel of the Pacific because it has such beautiful buildings in bright colors, lots of street markets and a bustling economy.  
You can see some of the Chilean Navy ships docked next to our ship, the Norwegian Sun.  This was Norwegian's first ship back in the area in 5 years so we were warmly welcomed at each port we sailed into.

On board we were treated to daily lectures on the history and geography of the next port given by Peter Croyal.  He has traveled through South America all his life and led expeditions into Antarctica and through  Patagonia. It was incredible to hear him talk about his experiences and what we would be seeing.  Listening to the rich history of the area just added to our excursions.

Since it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere, the weather was so beautiful and the sunsets were spectacular.  We sailed through the night to our next port.



More to come, stay tuned!










3 comments:

  1. Ohh! What a wonderful trip!--Plus I am learning too. I look forward to reading your next port.

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  2. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your trip. How fortunate you are to travel to Chile.

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  3. Why do I think of Chile as being poor and underdeveloped? It is totally the opposite! Guess I'm just a dumb American of which there are many but now I want to live there. How is the medical system? Has to be better than US.

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