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Published: December 6th 2018
On Wednesday, day 5 of my visit, we had a bit of a disappointment.
We had planned a ride on the Teleferico for that day and a visit to the Museum of Natural History, but we found out the day before that there was a strike going on and the Teleferico was not operating. Then, when we arrived at El Centro Historico, we realized that the Museum was also closed because of the strike.
I have to say, this is the third time that these workers have been on strike when I have visited Chile. It is tiresome, to say the least.
Anyway, we decided to go to Plan B, and visit some of the other sights around El Centro Historico, since we were already at the Plaza de Armas.
Of the impressive buildings that line the historical Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral is always worth it. It’s an old cathedral, with beautiful architecture and statuary, and a National Monument since 1951. The current building dates to 1748. Four earlier buildings were destroyed by fires and earthquakes.
A walk about also took us to the Officina Central de Correos (Postal Office.) Not far away is Calle
Banderas, an area transformed into a pedestrian street after being closed for several years during the construction of a new Metro Line and station. I had seen pictures, and was curious to see in person what it looked like so we headed that way.
One particular event brought to my attention how a person can feel more comfortable in an unfamiliar place than in the same situation at home. I had been reminded several times to keep my phone inside my purse in the Metro and, again, while I was in the Centro, but while asking a fruit vendor lady for directions, she made it a point to remind us to walk CON LOS OJOS BIEN ABIERTOS (with eyes wide open.) It had its effect on me, and made me more aware of my surroundings than I had been until then.
On Calle Bandera, it is quite fun to walk on streets that resemble a colorful and lively modern painting more than a road. It is quite beautiful. Divided into three sections with distinctive colors and patterns, the first area includes benches, high tables and stands.
The second section promotes the rational use of natural resources and
includes planters, bike stands, and it has a 9 meters high structure that lights up at night.
The last space, next to the Museo Precolombino, has a heritage property and features exhibitions facilities and relaxation modules.
Unfortunately, the striking workers had chosen that area for their protests that day, so we didn’t linger for very long in the area, just in case. Although most of the demonstrations are peaceful if a bit noisy, there are fringe masked groups that sometimes become aggressive and destructive.
We decided to walk in the opposite direction from where they were heading, with the result that we ended up at a Metro station that would take us directly back to El Golf without having to switch Metro lines.
However, that did not mean that we had to go straight home, and we stopped in Providencia to have lunch at Tomate Palta Mayo Chile, a fun sandwich eatery with a casual Menu that included Chorrillanas.
I happen to have an addiction to French Fries. I cannot pass them up if I see them in the Menu, and Chile seems to excel when it comes to fries. However, a Chorrillana is a
plate made for at least two or three people, and they are not kidding when they tell you that. Our waitress definitely pointed it out.
My excuse was that I was only there for a few days and really, really, wanted to try them! A Pisco Sour to encourage me, and there I was exposed to the amazement of the other patrons in the place, sitting in front of the most enormous platter of perfectly cooked fries mixed with bacon, chorizo, caramelized onions, meat, and two or three fried eggs on top of the whole thing!
By the way, they also have interesting takes on Hot Dogs in Chile, but I ran out of time to try any on this trip.
No, I did not eat it all. It was impossible! I may have made it through a third, but I’m not even sure of that!
Did I eat it later on? I could have, but did not. Instead, with another excuse that I needed to catch up on Pisco Sours, later that afternoon I enjoyed ham croquettes and Spanish Omelet at Gracia Tapas & Bar not far from the apartment. It wasn't as much gluttony
as interest in trying different places and foods.
It was a day for an abundance of deliciousness!
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