Saturday, January 5, 2008

Day 2

We took a City tour after enjoying our breakfast buffet. We were fortunate to have an English guide who was raised by a British mother and grandmother. His English was perfect. We began our tour by driving to the Parque Metropolitano atop Cerro San Cristobal. This gave us a wonderful view of the city and helped us get our bearings.
We then drove to the historic district downtown and began our tour at the Plaza de Armas where we saw the Cathedral Metropolitana, the Palacio de la Real, the Moneda and saw several other impressive old government buildings. We walked the Paseo Ahumada where we saw several cafes that serve “coffee with legs’ meaning waitresses who wore very short shirts who served coffee at a stand-up bar…..go figure! We then drove around the Paris-Londres neighborhood, Mercado Central, the stock market and finally stopped at a bakery on our way back to our hotel to get bread. It was an informative and enjoyable four-hour tour. (47,500 pesos or $100, quite a steep price increase since Dale’s Europe on $5 a day self guided tour with Clyde) We ate left overs with our loaf of bread for a bite of lunch. We later dined at the lovely Aqui Esta Coco restaurant for fresh seafood. We arrived at 7:30 but it was closed. A great photo of Gail in a mermaid photo montage. We went across the street to Moneda and had a glass of Carmenere and some clams (machas) in cheese. Then at 8:30 we went back to Coco. Gail had the trout stuffed with crab served with a thermidor sauce. Dale enjoyed a Chilean sea bass (Corvina) preparation. You will have to see the photos of this food, it was an artistic creation and fantastic. The wine was a Robert Mondavi Reserve Chardonney from Casablanca Valley, truly exquisite and only $10,000 pesos ($20). We finished dinner at about 11 and walked two miles back to the hotel. This city is complete clean and safe to walk around, even late a night. Everyone is very friendly. Gail locked herself in the ladies bathroom stall and another lady had to practically crawl over the wall to help her get out. :)

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