I was given a whirlwind tour of this stunning city by my friends Bernardo and Teresa, the three highlights were:
Firstly, walking through the tree lined Plaza de Armas amongst artists and hawkers into the Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral. It took my breathe away: its three naves, two on the sides and a higher one in the center, the white marble altar and the beautiful statues of saints lining the walls. The cathedral was surprisingly busy, families and lovers walking in and out as if it was their personal living room, always bowing and crossing themselves on the exit. But the real magic began when the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra began a free performance of Malher´s Resurrection. Every mahogany seat was full and we had to stand, peeping from behind a column, at the 70 piece orchestra and 40 part choir.
Secondly, dinner at midnight (which I was assured was normal) with friends in a restaurant dimly lit by original chandeliers & prohibition style lamps and surrounded by floor to ceiling impressionist paintings and 1930´s prints. We drank Pisco sours and discussed religion and Chilean culture over cheesy toasted sandwiches.
And finally, our walks around the city streets. Past the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, park fountains, ivy covered buildings, cool street art, cafes and shops . Tere was fabulous, giving me the history of her city and it’s buildings, as we walked it. I’m still kicking myself that I left behind a Christian Dior silver plated art deco water jug which I found in the street markets for only AU$60.