Time to fly! Here's some pics from my 6:15 AM flight out of Sacramento heading towards Houston, on leg 1 of 3 to Santiago:
Sunrise over the Sierras
Beautiful sights over Utah
The mighty river from 38,000 feet
After a combined 19 hours of 3 flights (13 hours in the air plus 6 hours layovers), and only 2 hours of sleep prior to going to the airport yesterday morning, I finally arrived in Santiago, Chile at 6:15 this morning. It's 5 hours ahead of California time. I was so confused. But first off the plane to arrive at "foreign" immigration, and a lovely lady representing HAL was there waiting with my name on a placard as I rounded the corner from immigration, my passport freshly stamped with "Chile" in it.
45 minutes later, after one of the smoothest landing procedures later (my luggage was ALREADY waiting for me by the time I got to the carousel, and remember, I was at the front of the crowd exiting the aircraft), I arrived at my hotel, the Sheraton, and they were kind enough to check me in to my room hours early (normal checkin is 3 PM). I settled in and then took a 4 hour nap. Whew, that helped.
I joined a 4 hour city tour in the afternoon and took the following pictures:
I love the contrast between old and new architecture in the city: the Cathedral is to the left and a government building on the right of the new glossy business structure.
Some photos from inside the Catholic Cathedral
This was a silver and marble praying altar. So beautiful!
Town square - Plaza de Armas
Inside a combo shopping and museum mall- love the artwork that was showcased.
We stopped off at the racetrack and we got an unexpected close up of some of the horses getting ready to race. My goodness, up close they are incredible and beautiful animals!
I made a new friend. Santiago has a large population of dogs that live solely on the street. They are sweet and kind and loving, but hungry and love affection and food.
I don't know what this building was but it was cool to see its architecture.
Views from San Cristobal hilltop. That tall building on the right is 300 meters high, the tallest in all of South America. It's called Castanero.
There's some lovely graffiti art in this city.
This was a really interesting sculpture inside the cathedral.
More inside shots of the cathedral
I got to see Easter Island after all! I had to cancel part of my South America trip because I had to have some serious surgery in December, and one part of my original trip had been to spend 3 days in Easter Island before coming to Santiago. I couldn't fly that soon after surgery, so I was bummed I had to cancel the trip. Imagine my joy when we came across this temporary exhibition about Easter Island during our city tour today!
Santiago is becoming one of many world cities that have set up these rent-a-bike stations throughout the city. Neat idea.
Some views from Cristobal Hill of the city.
My first selfie of the trip!
Another city view, with the Andes in the background.