Published: November 9th 2012November 9th 2012
This morning we woke up and decided to start the day with a Bike tour. We found a company that offered bilingual tours through the Bellavista neighborhood and markets. Bellavista is a neighborhood in Santiago where a lot of Turkish people settled after leaving the Ottoman empire during the Christian persecution. Consequently, the neighborhood has a very bohemian feel and world class graffiti.
One of our first stops was Pablo Neruda's house, a famous poet and politican of Chile. We then weaved our way through the neighboorhood, past all the college bar which helped Abby and I plan our attack for this evening's bar crawl.
Our next stop was the Vega Market, Santiago's largest fresh fruit and vegetable market. It was filled with vendors selling the most delicious looking food, the vegetables were easily 4 times the size of the ones found in the US. We settled down at a table where we ate fresh sopapillas and fruit drinks. Next we went through the fish market, where you can find any type of sea food you want. Our final stop was the city center which had the Cathedral, Post Office, Museums and City Hall. Before splitting up our guide
gave us a few insider tips of things to try while we were in the area, one of which was the Tierremoto from La Piojera.
La Piojera is a very small hole in the wall restaurant near the fish market where all the locals go for traditional food and drink. They are also suppose to have the best Tierremoto, which means Earthquake. This is a drink made of from a strong white wine from the south of Chile, pineapple ice cream and Pisco. They call it the Earthquake because they say after you have one of them you'll feel like you are in an Earthquake. Sure enough the drink was STRONG. It took a while for the ice cream to melt before Abby and I could drink it as it was pretty sour. We then tried to order food, but the lack of menus and the fact they only make very traditional dishes we don't know the names for, our ordering process was a horrific failure. Instead we got up enough strength to walk next door to the fish market.
At the fish market we got some fresh Chilean Sea Bass which was AMAZING. We also figured out,
thanks to a bilingual menu, that the fish I had had the night before that was so good was actually Eel...who knew?
Lunch took up the rest of our free time before we had to meet up for our walking tour. Here our tour guide took us on a 4 hour tour of the whole city stopping to share fun stories along the way. Our favorite was to explain the "Cafe with legs" which seem to be popular in the city. These little cafes got their name from the beautiful, scantily clad women that hang out trying to meet rich buisness men when they come down for their mid-day coffee breaks. This also included "Happy Minutes" which were when the restaurants would pull the blinds for a minute as the women stripped off all their clothes. After the minute the women would dress again, open the blinds, and go about their normal buisness.
We took a break halfway through our tour to stop at a coffee shop to try Chile's Pisco Sour, a national favorite. It's a drink made with Pisco liquor, egg whites, and sour mix. Although it's pretty sour, after your taste buds adjust it's really
We finished our tour winding around the city by stopping at Santiago's best ice cream spot before heading back to the apartment to clean up for our night fun.
There are more photos below