Day off on Saturday so I was able to recharge my batteries after 6 full days of WFOT meetings. Saturday 1st May is a holdiay in Santiago so a lot of shops and restaurant were closed in the Las Condes neighbourhood today and it was very quiet in the area around our hotel. Several colleagues have arrived from the UK - so I took them on a little walking tour of the area to point our the supermarket, convenience stores, laundrette, banks and restuarants.
In the afternoon I took the metro from El Golf to U. de Chile metro stop downtown to meet up with my colleague, Kerry, from York St John. Another WFOT delegate had recommended the park in Santiago - Cerro San Cristobal - and I thought this might be a good place to go when a lot of places were shut for a holiday and when the weather was so nice - it was hot and sunny. Kerry and I took the Metro from La Mondea a few stops to Plaza Baquedano and walked to the park from there. It was such a great place to go for the afternoon. Residents of Santiago were out in force enjoying the holiday with their family. There were loads of people with rugs spread out along the pavements selling scarves, children's clothes, ornaments, jewellry and toys. The market was buzzing, little craft shops were open and there were loads of places to eat. It was such a contrast to Las Condes - which felt as if it had gone to sleep - here their was music, chatting, laughing and a really vibrant feeling of life at it's best - people occupied in leisure, fun and enjoying socialising with friends and family.
The ride on the funicular to the top of the park to see the stautue of the Virgin Mary didn't disappoint either and the views of Santiago from the top were fantastic. We stayed up their until it started to get dark and so got to see Santiago light up gradually beneath us.
Went to a great resturant on the way back - delicious calamari, shrimp and salmon - washed down with a glass of pisco sour - perfect!