In the morning, to our chagrin, the three of us had quite a bit of work to do. I had some math, and my parents had some trip planning for the Galapagos to struggle through. Soon, though, the afternoon was upon us and we ventured out of Chil Hotel. We took the metro into the center of town with the intention of seeing some interesting tourist attractions.
We stepped out of the crowded metro station into blinding light; a sunny afternoon, on the Plaza de Amas, the city square of Santiago. All around us were buildings with amazing architecture. We saw the Municipalidad de Santiago, the capitol building of Chile, and a neoclassical church with tall pillars and many statues of saints engraved in the stone. This reminded us of the amazing times we had in Europe. Throughout the square, were people, vendors, comedians, and palm trees. Happiness and laughter dominated the square. In the very center of the square was a fountain surrounded by hungry pigeons with kids playing in the shallow pool at the base. After some photography, we left the square to find a museum said to hold the best of Santiago’s collection. To our irritation, the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolumbino was under renovation and would not be open for another two years. A little disappointed, we headed towards another interesting sight.
Soon we came to Palacio de la Moneda, the Palace of the President. For those Americans out there, I understand this to be the equivalent of the White House in Washington D.C. In front of the palace, there was a small area, of neatly cut grass, where friends, families, and lovers all sat in peace, talking and having fun. My mom, Dad and I took this opportunity to lay on the grass and read some history about the palace out loud together. We learned that Salvador Allende was the first communist president (1970-1973) to be voted democratically into office in the world. Sadly, his downfall was a military coup, an attack on the very palace that we now stared in awe towards. On September 11, 1973, chaos and violence was upon the now peaceful garden in front of the palace. The leader of these troops, and the highjacker of the palace, was non other than the former military general, Pinochet. He ruled through 1973 to 1989 and killed many people who opposed his dictatorship. Wow, I wonder what it was like back then. Soon it was time to head back to the metro, and eventually to Chil Hotel.
|Palacio de la Moneda|
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