30 September 2006

A day to relax

Unlike other days, today was cloudy, with a nice temperature. A perfect weather to enjoy a square like Pedro de Valdivia Square, located in the intersection between the avenue with the same name and Bilbao avenue.
The "sensually pierced rocks" (as a tourist guide calls them) are the work of Francisco Gazitúa (1944).

28 September 2006

Man's best friend

On the opposite side of La Moneda Palace, which I showed you here, is the Plaza de la Constitución (Constitution Square). In the surroundings of La Moneda you can see many stray dogs, who became famous last march, when thirty of them were put to sleep to avoid problems during celebrations that would take place when President Bachelet took office. This caused great controversy and now people love them!

27 September 2006

A nice courtyard

This nice courtyard is located inside the Catholic University's main campus. It really invites to sit and read under the shadow of the trees. And as you can see, we're having more sunny days thanks to the arrival of spring.

26 September 2006

A palace for coin

Today I want to show you the most important building in Santiago, La Moneda Palace (literally, the Palace of Coin), Chile's Government Center. Its construction took 35 years and was inaugurated in 1805. The palace was originally created as a Mint, a place to coin bullion, but served later as Presidential Residence. Now, La Moneda Palace is our Government Center. In this picture you can also see a statue of Arturo Alessandri, President of Chile from 1920 to 1925 and from 1932 to 1938.

25 September 2006

An old museum

In Quinta Normal Park you can find one of the oldest museums in America (and I mean the continent), the National Museum of Natural History. This neoclassic building was created by the French architect Paul Lathoud in 1875 for the first Chilean International Exhibition (1875-1876). Just in front of the museum you can see a few Chilean Palms, one of the natives trees of Chile, which I showed you here.

24 September 2006

Quinta Normal

This is "Quinta Normal" Park, a very nice place located in Matucana street (Santiago district). The park was founded as a school of agriculture in 1841. In its 28 hectares it now lodges four museums, soccer and tennis courts, a swimming pool and a lagoon where people can rent boats and row for a while.

23 September 2006

The Chilean flavor

Many countries in the world make empanadas, and Chile is not the exception. I couldn't finish this very special week without showing you one of the most popular foods in Chile, specially during our independence celebrations. Empanadas are filled with cheese, seafood or, most of the time, with pino, a mixture of chopped beef, onion, chopped boiled egg, an olive and raisins. They can be baked or fried and are by far, my favorite food.

21 September 2006

The Chilean President

I guess that many of you didn't know that Chile has a woman President. Michelle Bachelet is the first woman to hold the position of President of Chile. Here you can see her saluting the public at the Army Parade. Seating next to her is our woman Minister of Defense, Vivianne Blanlot. Someone's thinking about Girl Power?

20 September 2006

The Glories of the Army Parade

Yesterday I went to O'Higgins Park to see the most important military parade of the year, in honor to the Glories of the Army. It's very impressive and impeccably made. In the picture you can see the band of Cadets of the "Escuela Militar", which is the Military Academy where Commissioned Officers are educated and trained. The uniforms are inspired by the old german army.

17 September 2006

Pulling the rope

One of the traditional games that people play during our independence celebrations is "Tirar la cuerda" (to pull the rope). It's played in teams and the team that pulls the other across the middle line first wins. I even saw a group of women competing against a horse and you know what? The women won!!! (just in case, not a sexist comment).

16 September 2006

Celebrating Chilean Independence

This weekend Chile began celebrating its independence, which occured in 1818. There are many customs in these celebrations, like typical food and traditional games that were originated during Chile's colonial times. I'm also celebrating, so today I made a sacrifice and I ate for lunch a piece of meat with "chilean salad" (tomato and onion) in this barbecue, just to take this picture...

14 September 2006

Two very famous lions

This lion and his twin next to him (not shown) are two very controversial sculptures in Santiago and in Chile. Most people think (and some want us to think so) that they were robbed to Perú during the War of the Pacific (1879 to 1884). Actually, this magnificent bronze sculptures are part of the work of a Chilean sculptor, José Carocca Laflor.

13 September 2006

Stuck on the ceiling

Sorry for repeating the location of yesterday's post (although it's a different station), but I couldn't resist to take a picture of this advertising I saw today in the subway. The product (most of you must know the brand) is a multipurpose adhesive, and the idea is that the man got glued to the ceiling. You get a very funny feeling when you walk under the mannequin...

12 September 2006

Santiago's subway

Santiago has a very modern, fast, reliable and extremely clean subway system. It was inaugurated in 1975 and at this moment has 5 lines with more lines on the way...

11 September 2006

A life-saving Mosaic

Today I had to go (for work) to the main emergencies hospital in Santiago, The "Hospital de Urgencias Asistencia Pública", founded in 1911 and I saw this beautiful mosaic on the wall of one of its waiting halls. You can see the hospital founder's bust under the mosaic.

10 September 2006

The electric fence

Today I saw this sign and it really got my attention. Chile is one of the safest countries in Latin America (we have a lot less homicides than the US for instance), but people are feeling very unsecure and some have decided to protect themselves, with, for example, electric fences. I can only imagine cartoon characters getting electrocuted, but something tells me that this electric fence is not that funny...

08 September 2006

Telefónica building

This is Telefonica's corporative building. It's located at Plaza Italia, beside the Mapocho river. Telefonica is a Spanish company dedicated to telecommunications. The building is 140 m high and has been criticized for its similarity with a mobile phone... Architecture is a type of art and art is subjective, so: Do you like the mobile phone-looking-building?

07 September 2006

The bended paper clip

This giant bended paper clip is actually a sculpture. I found it in Santiago's International Airport today and thought it looked quite weird. But art is subjective...

06 September 2006

The cartoonist and Valparaiso

Finishing my Lukas series, I wanted to show you this drawing. It was inspired by Lukas' love for Valparaiso, harbor city and capital of Chile's fifth region. It's located 120 Km to the Northwest of Santiago and has many must-see landmarks and an interesting cultural life. If you come to Santiago, you have to spend a couple of days in Valparaiso (more info here, available in english).

05 September 2006

Lukas' Bestiary

This is a cartoon from Lukas' book "Bestiary of the Kingdom of Chile". Obviously, his beasts are fictitious, but are based on the idiosyncrasy of the Chilean.
This particular cartoon is called "Gallo-Vaca" (rooster-cow). In Chilean slang, Gallo is usually used to refer to a Guy and Vaca is used to refer to someone Dumb.
Sorry for the blurred picture. I couldn't do better because of the glass...

04 September 2006


Today I visited the Lukas exhibit at the "Centro de Exposiciones Apoquindo 3300". Lukas (Renzo Pecchenino 1934-1988) is one of the most (if not "the" most) famous chilean cartoonists. He made drawings for many magazines of different types and for "El Mercurio de Valparaíso", the oldest newspaper in Spanish in the world...
His cartoons criticized the everyday political, economic and cultural events in Chile and are remembered until today.
Under the cartoon you can read: "Just this roll and we're finished".

03 September 2006

Native trees of Chile

I took this picture from the top of the Victoria Tower. The day was foggy, so you can't see much of Santiago. What you see are the two most characteristic chilean trees. The first one is the Chilean Palm (Jubaea chilensis), which is endemic of Chile. You can eat its coconuts and its sap, which is really good. The one in the back is an Araucaria (Araucaria araucana), it's endemic both of Chile and Argentina, and was recently declared Natural Monument of Chile. You can eat its seeds, called "piñones", which are very high in energy and were the base of the Mapuche (chilean original inhabitants) diet. Sadly, these beautiful trees are at risk of extinction...

02 September 2006

Healthy fast food!

People is realizing that fast food is not the healthier option. As I commented in parisdailyphoto a couple of days ago, here in Chile we are seeing a lot of new "healthy fast food" options. This picture shows Fast Good, a branch of a well known Spanish restaurant which installed its first international branch in Santiago de Chile. The restaurant has a very modern decoration and the food (sandwiches, soups, salads and pasta) are really tasty. Even french fries are better than McDonald's!

01 September 2006

A doorway to the sky...

This is the doorway of the Victoria Tower, in San Cristobal Hill. It was constructed in 1925 during President Arturo Alessandri's government and was inaugurated altogether with the Metropolitan Zoo. It housed an observatory for many years and now it serves as a souvenir shop. And, of course, you can enjoy a spectacular view from the top of the tower.