Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Further Exploration in Santiago

More exploration of Santiago today.  The photos tell the story better than I do,  so I'll comment on the images inline.  Mostly I just walked around,  made it to the top of a few big hills in the city,  both of which are parks.  I met up again with the person I mentioned yesterday,  and I neglected to mention that she herself is an excellent blogger,  and does travel writing.  She can be found here:  http://bearshapedsphere.com/

Two fun stories today:

The first is that in some parts of Santiago there are walk/don't walk signals for pedestrians that count down the number of seconds you have left to cross the street.  This by itself is not that uncommon,  Seattle has several intersections where this is the case as well.  What is awesome about Santiago's signals is that the little green "walk" guy is animated,  so he's strolling too while people are crossing the street.  But it gets even better.  The closer the signal is to turning red,  the more quickly the little animated walk dude moves.  By the time the countdown reaches 3 seconds,  he's running really fast.  It was pretty entertaining to get a sense of urgency from this as I was crossing the road.

Second story:  I got a haircut!  I got a pretty good deal on it as well,  $5500 pesos,  or a little over $10 USD.  The guy did an excellent job for my stammered "2 centimeters (point to top of head),  and (making a bzzzzzt sound,  while pointing to the side of my head).  He went to work and I'm very pleased with my new haircut.  Sadly,  the electric shaver that I brought with me does not run on 220v,  so my beard is getting scraggly,  and there won't be much I'll be able to do about that before returning to Seattle.  But at least the top part of my head looks good.  :)

Onward and Upward to the photos!

Architecture in the first park/hill I went to.

Looking over Santiago from various vantage points on the way up.

This is the second park,  which required learning a new word,  "funicular"  and riding that particular er...mode of transportation...up to the top of the hill.

...which had a big religious statue on it.  And for that matter,  the top of the smaller hill earlier in the day did too.  South Americans apparently like to pitch Christian statues up on top of their highest hills.  There was apparently one on the Argentina/Chile border crossing too,  although I did not see it.

Big of smog in the city today.

Nice chapel at the top of the hill though.

Those would be the Andes barely visible in the background there.

I know,  cheap photoshop trick,  but I kind of like the results.  I'll do a more subtle job of this when I get back home.

Jacques,  normally a happy travel turtle,  looking a bit apprehensive about the return trip down the very steep track.  Funicular!

Some nice architecture,  since I like to shoot that sort of thing.

And returning to the park I was at earlier in the day.

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