After hugging Nina, my adopted grandmother, goodbye and relinquishing my trusty cane and retrieving “el Palo Anciano” (my ancient stick), Wes and I continued on the next leg of our journey via autobus to Santiago. Our original bus was broken down so we had to get a refund and reserve a bus at a different company but this was a small glitch, only a fifteen minute delay.
This ride lasted only 1 1/2 hours so around 3:00 we rolled into Santiago and were dropped off at a subway station. However, we did not ride the subway but took a taxi instead since dragging luggage down subway stairs did not seem like a good idea, especially since Wes is having to carry most of it (I need to leave him a big tip at the end of our trip!).
Santiago is the capital City of Chile and has around 7 million people in the metro area. It sits in a valley surrounded by the Andes so since the air is trapped, the city is quite polluted. However it is a beautiful city containing a mix of both the old and new. I was impressed by the park that stretched between the main road almost the entire length of it. Wes and I were also quite impressed by the modern architecture as we drove to our hotel. We immediately spotted the Gran Torre Santiago, the tallest building in South America.
Then we arrived at our hotel, the Ritz Carlton. Yes, we have moved up in the world! Honestly, Wes got us 3 free nights here or I’m sure we would be at an airbnb which is more to my taste but hey… It’s nice to switch roles every now and then. And this place is swanky! So elegant and the people who work here aim to please. Wes had called ahead and requested a handicapped room after my mishap. They were happy to oblige and we were delighted to find a complimentary bottle of champagne and petit fours waiting for us in our room accompanied by a nice note from the call center lady. Yay for being spoiled!
The concierge also found a crutch for me to use during my stay. I feel like I have a magic wand – what shall I ask for next?
After settling in and enjoying our tasty treats, Wes called an Uber to pick us up and take us for a little bit of shopping. It was a ways but the drive was pleasant and the driver very friendly. So far, the parts of Santiago we’ve seen kind of remind us of Houston and there are many American restaurants and stores to be found here. I will look forward to seeing the older parts of the city tomorrow.
But today we are being pampered. So once we got back to the hotel, we walked over to the Terraza (terrace) restaurant where we dined under the stars on ceviche, guacamole, poached fish, rice, and wine. I know….what indulgence! But we will be back to reality soon enough so must enjoy it while we can!