We sadly said our good-byes to sunny, warm Valparaiso to begin making our way to the South of Chile. First we had to spend a night in Santiago though. During the entire bus ride, I couldn’t stop comparing Chile’s landscape and infrastructure with Northern California’s. The rolling hills, the dry yellow grass, the green road signs- it all seemed so familiar. When we arrived in Santiago, we took the subway to our hostel which was located in a residential area that looked exactly the same as Marc’s old neighborhood in California. “Why are we staying in residential San Jose?” was the first thing he said.
Since we had limited time, we did another one of the Tours4Tips walking tours to learn about Chile’s history. That was interesting. A lot of it is pretty recent actually so it’s impressive to see how much the country has changed.
Santiago has a population of 5.1 million people and apparently, all these people leave work at the same time. The subway at rush hour was crazy. It’s like the high speed trains in Japan where everyone shoves and pushes you on the train until you’re squashed against each other or the doors/windows. We watched 6 trains go by before we shoved our way in. It was pretty terrible.
We also tried sandwiches at Fuente Alemana, which Anthony Bordain featured as one of the best sandwiches in the world. The lomitos are filled with your choice of meat, avocado, and mayo. They’re so big you have to eat it with a fork and knife. It was pretty damn good. We got turkey first and then had to get the churrasco to take with us.
Other than the crazy subway and the amazing sandwiches, Santiago was like any other big city. We definitely felt like we maximized the 12 hours we spent there.