June 06, 2010
Santiago is probably the most 'complete' city I have visited in South America, in that it has everything a city is expected to have, fine parks, a comprehensive public transportation system that includes modern buses, subway system, LRT to suburbia, excellent limited access roads that do not take a back seat to any in Canada and the USA, modern buildings and well kept old ones. I was expecting to see more evidence of the recent earthquake, and really have seen nothing yet. In my hotel they tell me it brought down the ceiling on the fifth floor, but apparently it is fixed now. Some of the older buildings have hoarding on them, but nothing more than you would expect to see in any city that has old buildings, which do need maintenance from time to time.
It is not like nobody can afford it, I see more evidence of wealth and less of poverty in Chile than in most of the other countries I have visited, to be fair I have not seen much, as I flew here from Calama, a place where there are lots of jobs and a rich mine, to the capital, where I suspect, as everywhere else, the golden apple (government revenue) tends to fall fairly close to the tree.
El Centro has plenty of interesting things to look at, museums, government buildings, and public art that goes beyond the usual hero on horseback that can be found in every Latin American City. I have added Santiago to the list of places to come back to.
Keep checking Picasa for more Santiago pix, as I will continue to add more.