Another fantastic part of studying abroad is not needing an excuse to travel every single weekend if you'd like. So, we've been taking advantage! Here are the lovely sites I've traveled to in Chile. :)
Isla Negra - Our first trip outside of Santiago was at the beginning of August, to what my lonely planet guidebook calls a "spectacular setting on a windswept ocean headland"... and yep, that's about right. The main draw to Isla Negra was another one of the homes of Pablo Neruda, which was probably my favorite of his three.
Pomaire - Another weekend in August we traveled to Pomaire, a small town about an hour outside of Santiago. It's a super cute little place, known for its pottery (especially their three-legged pigs, which brings luck to those who receive it as a gift) and delicious traditional Chilean food.
1/2 kilo empanadas and pastel de choclo, which is like a corn pie, and jugo natural MMMM so yummy.Iquique and Pica: the desert - In September, we had our first trip with our study abroad program to the very north of Chile. We toured two sites that have been declared "Patrimonio de la Humanidad" (World Heritage Sites) by UNESCO, which means they are protected from being altered or destroyed because of their historical/cultural value. The two sites we visited were Santa Laura and Humberstone, which used to be centers of production of salitre (nitrate). And, Humberstone is now a ghost town!
Some of the other awesome things we got to see/do:
-Visited geoglifos de pintados! These are huge illustrations on hillsides that date back to the fourth century AD.
-Visited Pica, an oasis in the middle of the desert, stayed at a colorful little resort where we picked fresh oranges and grapefruit off trees, and swam in a natural hot spring!
-Became friends with a sea lion on the dock in Iquique.
-Made a stop on our way back to the airport at a small town called La Tirana, where a huge celebration was going on, full of chileans dancing in their traditional clothing.
Santa Laura - Salitre production site
Iquique - Teatro Municipal
La Tirana celebration
Valparaíso - Last weekend, Mary and I went to the port city of Valparaíso. It's a city built upon hills, with colorful houses and artistic graffiti everywhere. It's a popular place to visit in Chile, with amazing views from the hilltops and is also the location of Pablo Neruda's third house, La Sebastiana. We were lucky to run into three really nice chileans around our age, and when we asked for advice about what we should see/do in the city, they offered to show us around. We ended up tagging along with them for a good portion of the day and learned a ton from the guy in the group who seemed to know every historical fact about Valpo.
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