Tales From Abroad is a series where The Collegian publishes a blog post from a UR student currently abroad, with permission from the office of international education. This week we feature Dan, who is studying abroad in Argentina.
This weekend, I went to Chile with a bunch of Richmond friends! We stayed in Santiago, skied in the Andes and lunched in Valparaíso. Bergen, Lauren, Sam, Jackie, Ben and I did a lot of planning and had a lot of luck to result in an amazing trip. Despite an unintentional hour of cross-country skiing across the mountain and a delayed flight, everything seemed to fall right into place.
Santiago was an incredible city. Compared to Buenos Aires, it has a lot more nature. They have sky scrapping palm trees, large patches of green grass and a wall of massive mountains surrounding the city. The view from our (*clears throat*) “penthouse” apartment perfectly displayed the city’s landscape with the amazing Andes backdrop. Here, in Plaza de Armas, the historic (1748-1800) architecture of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago contrasts lovely with a modern office building.
Valparaíso, Chile is one of the country’s largest port towns, receiving more than 10 million tons of goods annually. The city is known for its large hills filled with vibrantly-colored houses and funicular railways. The quaint town was relaxed on a Sunday afternoon and was filled with street vendors, artisans and boutique shops. This artwork gives you a sense of the masterfully-painted and historic city.
When traveling on a budget, sometimes direct flights aren’t the best option. Four of us had a 10 hour layover in Mendoza, Argentina. Seems horrible, right? Not exactly. We traveled an hour from the airport to Potrerillos, a small town at the base of the Argentine Andes. If you ask me, this beautiful lake and the breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks was a pretty incredible solution to our layover situation. Shout-out to our taxi driver, Daniel (no relation), for making it all possible.
El Mercado Central in Santiago was expansive beyond belief. It was the same size as a Costco, and with the amount of vendors as a major state fair. The fresh fish and fruit were displayed gorgeously. As the shopkeepers run around to sell their produce, customers enjoy the smells, taste-tests and people watching. Of course, when in Chile, I made many “it’s chilly in Chile” jokes and was excited when I saw chili peppers.