By | Hannah Lussier
As I flew over the Andes Mountains in the early morning hours on February 15th, I could already tell that it would be easy to love living in Chile. The sun reawakened my sense of adventure as I left the stressful environment of the Santiago airport and breathed my first breath of mountain air. As we drove to the hotel, I noticed the terrain was dry and dotted with a number of cacti. The houses on the outskirts of the city were small and colorful making the landscape appear similar to mosaic tile. With its many hills I saw numerous opportunities to take in the gorgeous views of the densely populated city from above. My first day in Santiago was filled with anticipation for what the next few months would bring.
In Santiago, I shared an apartment with three other girls in my program at ISA. We became fast friends and explored the city’s streets and food scene together during our free time each night. Along with the 39 others in our program, we traveled to the most historic and beautiful spots in Santiago for the next three days.
During those days, our schedules were absolutely packed with things to do and things to learn. On the first day, we explored Cerro San Cristobal and viewed its giant statue of the Virgin Mary which stands at almost 46 feet tall and weighs 36 tons. Next, we explored the political history of Chile in Santagio’s downtown where we visited Palacio de la Moneda, the Central Market and the famous Santiago Cathedral. All of the oldest buildings in Santiago boast Chile’s neoclassical style architecture and demonstrate the country’s roots as a Spanish colony. The next day, we prepared for our departure to Valparaiso and took a trip to Los Dominicos, a marketplace in which you can buy anything from lapis lazuli earrings to pet rabbits to empanadas.
My time spent in Santiago was short but filled with all kinds of good vibes! I can’t wait to go back!