This week is one full of opportunities for new discoveries in this city. We have the week off from work for the Fiestas Patrias, or the Chilean Independence Days. We are excited to soak in all Chile has to offer during this momentous time in its history. This weekend we will be attending some fondas, which we've heard can be pretty wild and exciting! But to ease into the dieciocho, we decided to start with something that has been on our Santiago bucket list for a while now...San Cristobal Hill. At the base of the hill you can choose two paths. One leads to the Virgin Mary statue at the top of the hill and the other leads to an uphill zoo. We decided to check out both. Although I am not a huge fan of zoos, we were happy to see that all of the animals had a playmate. There were very few solitary animals, but it was still a zoo. It is something, in retrospect, we could have skipped.
But let me tell you about that other path. That was full of amazing discoveries and beauty. I could not stop taking photos, and Derek quickly grew impatient-hehe. The greens were so vibrant that it was almost shocking. The bark on the trees boasted designs that begged to be captured. The aroma of wildflowers seemed to linger, making the steep uphill climb so much more pleasant. We could have taken the asphalt option at a more reasonable incline, but we felt adventurous that day. Or maybe, I should correct that...I felt more up to it. Derek is extremely fit. He probably would have ran it if it weren't for me. I'm more of a yoga girl. I like taking to my mat and practicing my asanas, but I am not so keen on cardio that involves the risk of sure death.
^Derek put our initials onto the rock of love-hehe^
There are some places that really take your breath away. San Cristobal Hill is one of those places. It is serene, and you feel you've accomplished something after the trek. (Mind you, it's only 2.6 kilometers, but still!) The panoramic views of Santiago were unbeatable. We can't wait to go back after a rain, so the skies are clearer to allow for even more amazing views.
I don't know about you, but I find churches, temples, chapels, mosques, etc. to be immensely beautiful. There is something peaceful about them, and the architecture is always immaculate. I don't think one even has to be religious to enjoy the aesthetic that these old buildings have. The smallest details are what stand out to me the most. The same goes for the Virgin Mary statue at the top of the hill. There were signs reading silencio all around her feet, yet it seemed no one even needed the signs. There were, at most, quiet whispers filling the air. It was a place that needed no conversation. A simple look was enough to know exactly what the other was thinking. The signs of gratitude amongst the candles really struck me. This wasn't just a statue. To some people, this was a holy place. Whether you hold the same beliefs or not, this was a place where you could feel a sense of serenity.
What's on your bucket list in your city?