one down, eleven to go

Santiago, Chile

Just a day layover in Santiago. I got a chance to see the Presidential Palace, La Moneta, and caught the changing of the guard. They had a band, horses and marching just like at Buckingham Palace. Visited Cerro Santa Lucia, and from there you get a view of all of Santiago. A lot of it was obstructed by trees but it was a very nice outdoor area away from the hustle of the city. The view from Cerro San Cristobal was more amazing. Parts of the downtown area have managed to maintain it’s charm with an old school pharmacy that still has an old cash register. I had lunch and did some wandering around Bellavista which had heaps of cool street art. Santiago felt the safest out of all the South American cities I’ve been in. This could have been my false sense of security but I had considered not leaving the airport on my layover because of the 117 USD fee that Australians have to pay and I read an entry on the Lonely Planet Forum about someone being scammed by a taxi. Definitely be vigilant and use the taxi at the stand rather than the shady dudes standing at the gate that look excited to see you.

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