Santiago / Chile Part 2


Advertisement
Chile's flag
South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago
September 14th 2014
Published: September 14th 2014
Edit Blog Post

What a couple of days I have had. The weather turned on Saturday and is rained all bloody day. I can tell you that Santiago is not a nice place when it rains, especially after a long time without it. The street are full of water and the cars seem to seek people out just so they can spray them.

But since I am not in Santiago for a long time, sitting in the hotel room and watch TV without understanding a word was not an option. So my new friends picked me up and we took the train to the military museum. Well sort of as there was quiet a walk from the train station to the museum. When we arrived we were soaked.

The museum was very interesting and well presented, except that not one of the explanations was in English. All in Spanish and without the concerted efforts of my amigos I would have looked at pretty paintings, pictures and weapons and uniforms. It is actually a real problem here in Chile with the English in the museums; not one has English explanations. So if you ever come here make sure you have someone that speaks English with you so they can translate.

Chile actually has a fascinating history and was most of the time it exists involved in wars. First against the natives, then the independence war against the Spanish crown followed by wars against Argentina, Peru and Bolivia. And while they were at it they swapped allies like underpants and it was a real mess. And when the United Fruit Company from the good old US of America decided that they want a piece of the action here in Chile it got even messier. Bribes were paid to government officials to grant leases to the UFC and they had a real pleasure to treat the local population like slaves.

As I said, thanks to my amigos I had a pretty good understanding about the military history of Chile after we finished the museum after about 2 hours. I tried to get a book about it that I could read but….

After that we went to the Virgin Maria that is located on the highest mountain in Santiago at 850 meters above sea level. When we arrived at the foot of the mountain my friends asked me if I want to walk up and in what I only can call a brain fart I said sure. So off we went; well not all of us as 2 decided that it was all a bit too hard, too wet and too stupid doing it in the rain. They were the clever ones because after a while the street turned into a muddy path, slippery as hell and very steep. I can honestly say we were a sad bunch of machos making our way up the hill. And when we arrived after about an hour we were not only wet and muddy but our bodies were steaming like a Chines laundry. Sweaty hot bodies and the cold air can do that to you.

Now the view from the hill supposed to be one of the highlights when visiting Santiago. Not on this day; everything was in mist and you could hardly see the Virgin Maria, let alone the city. So a bit of a letdown. I also discovered that we didn’t had to walk in the first place as they had a cable car there that was built in 192?. Guess what – we took that as our preferred method of return….

When I arrived in the backpacker I couldn’t wait to get out of the wet gear and have a hot shower. And the evening was spend with my friends laughing about our stupidity over a couple of beers.

This morning was completely different to yesterday. The sun was out and Santiago was free of smog. So off we went to see the Virgin Maria again; this time cable car up and cable car down. Nice way to do the trip. And it was worth it. The view was great. The Andes were there to be seen in all its glory and they are mighty impressive. The only negative was that there were millions of people there. Well we can’t have it all, can we?

After that bucket list event we set out to just walk around the town. We had some amazing sea food in a Peruian restaurant and the Octopus I had was sensational. And all for the cost of A$8.

As I am leaving tomorrow we then went to the bus station to get my ticket. There were people everywhere and since next week is the national holiday everybody is travelling. I remembered how chaotic the bus terminals are from my last trip here, but experiencing it again made me realize that my memories were a bit romantic. Ah well.

So here I sit, my last night in Santiago. I had a great time and thanks to my friends it was an amazing experience. I can’t thank them enough. You know who you are, Francesco, Sebastian, Carlos, Hector and all the others which I can’t remember the name. A big ‘Thank You”.

That’s it for today. Have a great time wherever you are and remember to live life. We are only once here on this planet and when we leave we can’t take anything with us……



Cheers


Additional photos below
Photos: 21, Displayed: 21


Advertisement



14th September 2014
Military museum court yard

Interesting
Their army has a strong, very interesting Prussian influence, which goes back a long time ago...
15th September 2014
Military museum court yard

German influence.
I saw that a while ago. They had German officers here in the 1880. The "Pickelhaube" is everywhere.
15th September 2014

Glad you have landed safe and sound!
Hi Welf, Glad to hear that you have landed safe and sound and that you have met some great people to hang out with and to show you around. Nothing beats a local's tour of a city. Can't believe you didn't pack an umbrella! Shame about the lack of English titles in museums etc, but it's kind of neat to realise that English hasn't taken over everywhere. Looking forward to reading the next installment of your adventure. Cheers N
15th September 2014

Thanks Nicole
Agree with you about the English. My Spanish is coming back slowly. Take care and talk to you soon.
15th September 2014
Military museum court yard

Globalization makes one feel astonished
Despite virtually every single country in South America know the influences caused by immigrants from Europe, Asia and Middle East in certain social sectors of their countries, the German influence in Brazilian society was much stronger than in Chile and Argentina – where Italians are more present. However, Germans totally influenced the military in Chile – something I never totally understood. In Brazil, the main influence is French – it goes back to Freemasonry, the French Revolution ideals (all the separatist movements in Brazil dialogued with those principles) and also Positivism, basis of the Proclamation of Republic here. The Brazilian army is strongly Positivist. On the contrary, the Chilean is forged in Prussian concepts, especially regarding a notion of discipline. It goes back to the end of 19th century: the Chilean army still uses the Stahlhelm for ceremonial proposes, something that can be seen at their annual Military Parade. It doesn’t exist in Brazil. Here it is easier to find English contributions, which goes back to 1808/1810. I am the biggest critics of USA and England, but part of me is remotely English and so I know what I am talking about: those who criticize the USA today, don’t know how was the balance of power exercised by the English Empire in South America during the 19th century – not only regarding South America, but also as domain over Portugal and Spain. Portuguese Monarchy was into a number of financial deals with England and… Nothing in this world is for free. The result was a very tense relationship between Portugal and Brazil versus England, which lasted the whole 19th century. This remote relative of mine was into the British Navy. English soldiers had free pass here. Something (a long history, in truth) happened regarding disappointment among some British soldiers, kind of strikes related to payments and some opted to renounce their English heritage, in order to become mercenary at Brazil and other South American countries, such as Argentina and Chile as well. It was kind of “I am not English anymore, I want your citizenship, a new life and in return I’ll give to your Navy our best knowledge”…. As a result, the Brazilian Navy *at the time* (today is another history) became one of the best in the world. But now regarding Germans is a totally different story… If in Chile the main German influence is seem at the their army, here it is in terms of defence of Brazilian borders and part of cultural background, references, world view of millions of peoples. Who formed the middle classes at a huge city like São Paulo, a city basically constituted by very rich people vs. the poor until the beginning of the 20th century? The few Germans who went to live there (today it exist social exclusion in Brazil, but of course 100 years ago it was far worse). Who did jobs at factories which most Brazilians didn’t want – or didn’t have the technical knowlodge to do so? Slavs, Italians, Germans. I am not excluding Indians or Africans from this historical process, even because they were forced to dislocate and work (and even with this they also gave foundations to the country) – while Europeans did such as a matter of choice – while most of the time some who went to work at farms, planting coffee, in order to substitute former African slaves were also humiliated, spanked to death (because the former Lusitanian-Brazilian landowner could be brutal, but not racist: it didn’t matter to him how blond, “Aryan”, or black, someone could be, but the inferior condition this individual had while a “worker”). And so…. In this obscure environment, this total “closed society” Germans also got technical jobs (much more than Italians), at a new industrial era, in cities as Porto Alegre, and stablished a cultural space of production which transformed the State of Rio Grande do Sul (my hometown) in a pioneer on the whole industrialization of the country. This shocked too much the Brazilian society at the time… “Shocked” in the sense it was something totally new here, never seem before. It doesn’t matter if someone enjoys or not the idea of Monarchy, but this is fundamental to understand what the Brazil of today is, the consequences are numerous. As you enjoy museums, the Imperial Museum at Petropolis (regarding the Habsburg/Portuguese/Brazilian Royal Family explains this story very well). The Portuguese monarchy was officially placed in Rio de Janeiro, in 1808 (something curious, that never happened before… Imagine England making an American or Australian city as headquarters for a whole empire). John VI later returned to Portugal, leaving his eldest son and heir, Pedro, to rule Brazil as regent. On 1822, Pedro declared the independence of Brazil from Portugal and, after waging a successful war against his father's kingdom, was acclaimed as Pedro I, the first Emperor of Brazil. The new country was huge but sparsely populated and ethnically diverse. Unlike most of its republic neighbours, Brazil had a vibrant economic growth (and I am not saying this because I am a sympathizer of the Monarchy, but because many Historians from here, including Marxist historians consider this era was, to say the least, one of the most prosperous in Brazilian). Being of German and Portuguese heritage is something relatively common here, that dates back this era: one of the first Brazilian of German ancestry (in truth Austrian) was Dom Pedro II, whose tomb is situated in Brazil (not in Portugal), in the Cathedral of Petropolis: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/... He was part Austrian: by father side, Portuguese, and his mother was the Archduchess Maria Leopoldina of Austria, daughter of Franz II, the last Holy Roman Emperor. Through his mother, Pedro was a nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte and first cousin of Emperors Napoleon II of France and Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary. His father, Dom Pedro I, married twice: first with Leopoldina and after her death with Princess Amelia of Leuchtenberg, daughter of Eugene de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg, and Princess Auguste of Bavaria. So, these connections with what is actual Austria and Germany were very strong (are until today, because we learn those things during school years). It was Leopoldina the responsible for the arrival of German immigrants to Brazil, since 1824. It was her idea. Leopoldina knew her ancestor, Empress Maria Theresa, had colonized lands along the Danube, to prevent the advance of the Turks into the centre of Europe, with threat to Austrian territory. Brazil was experiencing a similar situation in the South, which borders was constantly threatened. To them, a more intense colonization of that piece of land at South Brazil could help keeping the geopolitical balance. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=530798497020286&l=efddab40b1 In fact, the Azoreans, then “owners” of Rio Grande do Sul (State where I was born), were also eternal vigilants against invaders. When that Austrian woman thought about bringing European immigrants to Brazil, she knew Portuguese would never come because Brazil emancipated from Portugal. Spaniard, no way, because they were the enemies in Southern Brazil (the Gauchos are an example of this separatist ideal there – the only State where it happens in the whole country). French neither, because one day they invaded Rio de Janeiro, founding what would be called "Antarctic France". English out of question (the biggest enemies, actually) because they had also tried to invade Brazil for several times. Dutch out of the question too, as they lived for 24 years in the Northeast Region, where they founded the first Brazilian synagogue in the 3 Americas (until today a touristic attraction in the Northeast region http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinagoga_Kahal_Zur_Israel ), were expelled from the country and after helped to found New York, in USA. Prussia, which later integrated Germany, had an army admired by D. Pedro I and Brazil needed soldiers, and as the Portuguese, due to the recent Independence, had returned to Portugal, they looked for Prussian immigrants. D. Pedro I became interested in German mercenaries and, probably, to don’t get noticed this "militaristic movement", also began hiring settlers, farmers, peasant families from Prussia and all regions of actual Austria, Switzerland and Germany (especially Rheinland-Pfalz) to occupy lands in Southern Brazil. Anyone who wished to emigrate should renounce their nationality and present evidence that the recipient country would give a new nationality - European countries wanted to protect themselves against future responsibilities. The Brazilian government, the monarchy offered them: paid ship ticket; guarantee of Brazilian citizenship; granting plots of land (something they wanted in Europe, but didn’t obtain because of overpopulation there); supply with basic first needs, work materials and animals; tax exemption for a few years; freedom of religious worship. In Brazil, there is a popular saying that says: "when the alms are too much, the saint gets suspicious". It is very possible that some of those peasants considered the offer too advantageous. This would be confirmed later because arriving at Rio Grande do Sul, more specifically in the city of São Leopoldo, in 1824, and receiving a farm lot of land 30 or 40 kilometres away from the major capitals, with no roads, no schools, in the virgin forest, without hospitals, caused despair in many - and they had to build EVERYTHING alone, without any kind of governmental help, forming small villages almost independent, “in the middle of nowhere”. With regard to the freedom of religious worship offered - the Government should predict that part of those immigrants was Lutherans – it was a problem: it was unconstitutional because in the Imperial Constitution of 1824 the Catholic religion was official. Other religions could be practiced, in private, indoors, without outward appearance of temples. Well, if it were not for Leopoldina’s initiative (it doesn’t matter if someone agrees or not with her), people like my paternal grandmother and my maternal grandfather would never have come to Brazil. I say those things because I consider Globalization is a process that makes one almost astonished. And it didn’t goes back to the 90s or the 50s… No, it goes back to those migration waves towards North, Central and South America, much before it goes back (500 years ago) to the Navigations Era (regarding Portugal and Spain) and much before the Roman Empire. It is, to say the least, very intriguing – frightening sometimes, but it is real. It happened and reflects on our lives, permanently, until today. The South America, for good and for bad, is a product of Europe – not only regarding explorers, but also peoples who settled down here, joining a new reality.
15th September 2014
Military museum court yard

Globalization makes one feel astonished
Despite virtually every single country in South America know the influences caused by immigrants from Europe, Asia and Middle East in certain social sectors of their countries, the German influence in Brazilian society was much stronger than in Chile and Argentina – where Italians are more present. However, Germans totally influenced the military in Chile – something I never totally understood. In Brazil, the main influence is French – it goes back to Freemasonry, the French Revolution ideals (all the separatist movements in Brazil dialogued with those principles) and also Positivism, basis of the Proclamation of Republic here. The Brazilian army is strongly Positivist. On the contrary, the Chilean is forged in Prussian concepts, especially regarding a notion of discipline. It goes back to the end of 19th century: the Chilean army still uses the Stahlhelm for ceremonial proposes, something that can be seen at their annual Military Parade. It doesn’t exist in Brazil. Here it is easier to find English contributions, which goes back to 1808/1810. I am the biggest critics of USA and England, but part of me is remotely English and so I know what I am talking about: those who criticize the USA today, don’t know how was the balance of power exercised by the English Empire in South America during the 19th century – not only regarding South America, but also as domain over Portugal and Spain. Portuguese Monarchy was into a number of financial deals with England and… Nothing in this world is for free. The result was a very tense relationship between Portugal and Brazil versus England, which lasted the whole 19th century. This remote relative of mine was into the British Navy. English soldiers had free pass here. Something (a long history, in truth) happened regarding disappointment among some British soldiers, kind of strikes related to payments and some opted to renounce their English heritage, in order to become mercenary at Brazil and other South American countries, such as Argentina and Chile as well. It was kind of “I am not English anymore, I want your citizenship, a new life and in return I’ll give to your Navy our best knowledge”…. As a result, the Brazilian Navy *at the time* (today is another history) became one of the best in the world. But now regarding Germans is a totally different story… If in Chile the main German influence is seem at the their army, here it is in terms of defence of Brazilian borders and part of cultural background, references, world view of millions of peoples. Who formed the middle classes at a huge city like São Paulo, a city basically constituted by very rich people vs. the poor until the beginning of the 20th century? The few Germans who went to live there (today it exist social exclusion in Brazil, but of course 100 years ago it was far worse). Who did jobs at factories which most Brazilians didn’t want – or didn’t have the technical knowlodge to do so? Slavs, Italians, Germans. I am not excluding Indians or Africans from this historical process, even because they were forced to dislocate and work (and even with this they also gave foundations to the country) – while Europeans did such as a matter of choice – while most of the time some who went to work at farms, planting coffee, in order to substitute former African slaves were also humiliated, spanked to death (because the former Lusitanian-Brazilian landowner could be brutal, but not racist: it didn’t matter to him how blond, “Aryan”, or black, someone could be, but the inferior condition this individual had while a “worker”). And so…. In this obscure environment, this total “closed society” Germans also got technical jobs (much more than Italians), at a new industrial era, in cities as Porto Alegre, and stablished a cultural space of production which transformed the State of Rio Grande do Sul (my hometown) in a pioneer on the whole industrialization of the country. This shocked too much the Brazilian society at the time… “Shocked” in the sense it was something totally new here, never seem before. It doesn’t matter if someone enjoys or not the idea of Monarchy, but this is fundamental to understand what the Brazil of today is, the consequences are numerous. As you enjoy museums, the Imperial Museum at Petropolis (regarding the Habsburg/Portuguese/Brazilian Royal Family explains this story very well). The Portuguese monarchy was officially placed in Rio de Janeiro, in 1808 (something curious, that never happened before… Imagine England making an American or Australian city as headquarters for a whole empire). John VI later returned to Portugal, leaving his eldest son and heir, Pedro, to rule Brazil as regent. On 1822, Pedro declared the independence of Brazil from Portugal and, after waging a successful war against his father's kingdom, was acclaimed as Pedro I, the first Emperor of Brazil. The new country was huge but sparsely populated and ethnically diverse. Unlike most of its republic neighbours, Brazil had a vibrant economic growth (and I am not saying this because I am a sympathizer of the Monarchy, but because many Historians from here, including Marxist historians consider this era was, to say the least, one of the most prosperous in Brazilian). Being of German and Portuguese heritage is something relatively common here, that dates back this era: one of the first Brazilian of German ancestry (in truth Austrian) was Dom Pedro II, whose tomb is situated in Brazil (not in Portugal), in the Cathedral of Petropolis: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/... He was part Austrian: by father side, Portuguese, and his mother was the Archduchess Maria Leopoldina of Austria, daughter of Franz II, the last Holy Roman Emperor. Through his mother, Pedro was a nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte and first cousin of Emperors Napoleon II of France and Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary. His father, Dom Pedro I, married twice: first with Leopoldina and after her death with Princess Amelia of Leuchtenberg, daughter of Eugene de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg, and Princess Auguste of Bavaria. So, these connections with what is actual Austria and Germany were very strong (are until today, because we learn those things during school years). It was Leopoldina the responsible for the arrival of German immigrants to Brazil, since 1824. It was her idea. Leopoldina knew her ancestor, Empress Maria Theresa, had colonized lands along the Danube, to prevent the advance of the Turks into the centre of Europe, with threat to Austrian territory. Brazil was experiencing a similar situation in the South, which borders was constantly threatened. To them, a more intense colonization of that piece of land at South Brazil could help keeping the geopolitical balance. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=530798497020286&l=efddab40b1 In fact, the Azoreans, then “owners” of Rio Grande do Sul (State where I was born), were also eternal vigilants against invaders. When that Austrian woman thought about bringing European immigrants to Brazil, she knew Portuguese would never come because Brazil emancipated from Portugal. Spaniard, no way, because they were the enemies in Southern Brazil (the Gauchos are an example of this separatist ideal there – the only State where it happens in the whole country). French neither, because one day they invaded Rio de Janeiro, founding what would be called "Antarctic France". English out of question (the biggest enemies, actually) because they had also tried to invade Brazil for several times. Dutch out of the question too, as they lived for 24 years in the Northeast Region, where they founded the first Brazilian synagogue in the 3 Americas (until today a touristic attraction in the Northeast region http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinagoga_Kahal_Zur_Israel ), were expelled from the country and after helped to found New York, in USA. Prussia, which later integrated Germany, had an army admired by D. Pedro I and Brazil needed soldiers, and as the Portuguese, due to the recent Independence, had returned to Portugal, they looked for Prussian immigrants. D. Pedro I became interested in German mercenaries and, probably, to don’t get noticed this "militaristic movement", also began hiring settlers, farmers, peasant families from Prussia and all regions of actual Austria, Switzerland and Germany (especially Rheinland-Pfalz) to occupy lands in Southern Brazil. Anyone who wished to emigrate should renounce their nationality and present evidence that the recipient country would give a new nationality - European countries wanted to protect themselves against future responsibilities. The Brazilian government, the monarchy offered them: paid ship ticket; guarantee of Brazilian citizenship; granting plots of land (something they wanted in Europe, but didn’t obtain because of overpopulation there); supply with basic first needs, work materials and animals; tax exemption for a few years; freedom of religious worship. In Brazil, there is a popular saying that says: "when the alms are too much, the saint gets suspicious". It is very possible that some of those peasants considered the offer too advantageous. This would be confirmed later because arriving at Rio Grande do Sul, more specifically in the city of São Leopoldo, in 1824, and receiving a farm lot of land 30 or 40 kilometres away from the major capitals, with no roads, no schools, in the virgin forest, without hospitals, caused despair in many - and they had to build EVERYTHING alone, without any kind of governmental help, forming small villages almost independent, “in the middle of nowhere”. With regard to the freedom of religious worship offered - the Government should predict that part of those immigrants was Lutherans – it was a problem: it was unconstitutional because in the Imperial Constitution of 1824 the Catholic religion was official. Other religions could be practiced, in private, indoors, without outward appearance of temples. Well, if it were not for Leopoldina’s initiative (it doesn’t matter if someone agrees or not with her), people like my paternal grandmother and my maternal grandfather would never have come to Brazil. I say those things because I consider Globalization is a process that makes one almost astonished. And it didn’t goes back to the 90s or the 50s… No, it goes back to those migration waves towards North, Central and South America, much before it goes back (500 years ago) to the Navigations Era (regarding Portugal and Spain) and much before the Roman Empire. It is, to say the least, very intriguing – frightening sometimes, but it is real. It happened and reflects on our lives, permanently, until today. The South America, for good and for bad, is a product of Europe – not only regarding explorers, but also peoples who settled down here, joining a new reality.

Tot: 3.002s; Tpl: 0.035s; cc: 10; qc: 66; dbt: 0.0268s; 2; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb