Kisses for the ladies
Well, I've got to put this tip again. It's in my Vina del Mar page, but it's something you must know.
If you want to say hi to a girl, then give her a kiss on the cheek (the cheek, not mouth or any other place, unless you want your face slapped!).
In Chile, we give women one kiss on the cheek to say hi. Girls also say give each other kisses to salute themselves (don't think something else...)
Now, if you give a guy a kiss, you'll probably end up dead. So be thoughtful.
The monument for Caupolican, the Indio-leader
This is the sculpture of the Mapuche Indian leader, Caupolican, who led his people against Pedro de Valdivia and his conquistadores. Thanks a lot to my VT-friend Wstat, who told me the name of him !
So you will finally see all major parts of chilean history in my main picture:
The indio for the time before the European came, then on the left the fortification built by red bricks and finally the modern Chile in the back. From that tower a wide system of paths and steps will take you down to the lower city and to the Neptun-fountain.
City bus system
The city buses -called micros- are (in Santiago) vehicles for up to 51 seated, and 25 standing people, which run along fixed routes reaching virtually all of metropolitan Santiago, plus several semi rural destinations, mainly near to the Andean slopes and to some quite wild "resorts" around the Coastal Range, on the W outskirts of the city. Some of the routes are as long as 30 kilometres, while others ply shorter central services.
They're all painted in yellow and white, and are required by law to not be older than 6 years.
The ticket for all of them cost $ 290 (US$0,50), every line has a number on the upper left front part and on the sides identifying the service, so if you know the number that's useful for you, use of the network comes very easy. If not, a list of the main streets and landmarks the bus goes along or passes by, is displayed in the front windshield, along with the line number (again) and the terminus to where it goes.
In central Santiago, there are designated bus stops for given lines and destinations, so find out which is your number/destination on the signs at the stops and wait for your bus there; otherwise, the bus may not stop.
Outside the centre, buses will stop anywhere asked.
Akarana Restaurant - El Golf Area
Akarana Restaurant is a fine dining restaurant owned by New Zealander Dell Taylor. The restaurant is really well located in the El Golf area of Las Condes close to the Ritz Carlton Hotel. The restaurant is a great place for business meetings at lunch or a romantic dinner in the evening. It is recommended to make reservations as it tends to fill up quickly. I try a different dish each time I come here but some favourites are the fish and chips, lamb cutlets, tuna steaks and the yummy desserts.
Concha Y Toro Winery
Concha Y Toro Winery is set in beautiful grounds. Originally started by Don Melchor, his mansion is still there. It is a beautiful building, but unfortunately it is not open to the public.
We are treated to a tasting of the Trio series today and the first wine is a fruity white. Wine glass in hand we are taken on a guided walk through the grounds, past the manor house and around the lake. The gardens really are lovely and peaceful with fine-looking trees, pretty roses, water lilies on the pond and many delightful birds including egrets, ducks and geese with cute little babies. In the deep blue sky above, an eagle circles gracefully. We move on to the vineyards. In England Chilean wine is known to be the purest and cleanest and the one least likely to produce a hangover. One of the main reasons for this is that there are no diseases here, hence they need no chemicals. The insects which plague European, Californian and Australian vineyards have not reached Chile. The Maipo Valley is protected to the east by the Andes and the west by the Pacific, so hopefully they will manage to keep the infection at bay. Row upon row of vines reach far into the distance; this is the Don Melchor variety – top quality wine. At the end of each row, a rose bush acts as an early warning sign: roses show an indication of disease much sooner than vines.
The cellars are dark and dingy; they are real working storage crypts of hundreds of barrels of wine. The area is huge, damp and cold. We are told how only new barrels are used for the Don Melchor range and that French oak is better than American oak. In one corner is the notorious Castillera Del Diablo – the Devil’s Cellar. Legend has it that Don Melchor was tired of his bottles going missing during the night and in order to keep thieves out, he invented a tale about the devil himself taking refuge in the vault. It worked and the myth stuck. Now a wine has been named after the story, and very nice it is too. .