Cerro San Cristóbal

I always pushed it back to ‘tomorrow’, and in the end, I didn’t see it at all: Cerro San Cristóbal, the hill that dominates the city of Santiago.

On a good day, you can see much of Santiago lying to its feet, and the Andes Mountain range in the back of the city. On a bad day, you see smog.

It’s hard to tell from the ground what kind of day it might be, at least from my place. I can’t see the mountains in any case, hidden by other houses.

So I walked over to Bellavista and got into the old-fashioned funicular, that pulled me up the 300 meters to the statue of the Virgin Mary, watching over the city. There’s a chapel, too, basically an outdoor church.

It’s a beautiful white marble statue. But, practical as Chileans are, they planted a couple of telecommunication antennas in the back of the Virgin, so it’s hard to get a picture of her alone and without the 21st century infrastructure.

Where earlier centuries planted crosses, monasteries or statues, we build telecommunication towers.

Each century its own Gods, right?

Unfortunately, it was a very bad day to get a view…. The City was covered under a blanket of smog, and it was hard to even make out the Costanera Tower, part of ‘Sanhattan‘, Santiago’s business district.

The Andes in the back…. not to be seen. Well, I’ll try again.

I took a long walk down the Cerro, which is basically a big park in the heart of the city, much of it a forest, but interspersed with a number of maintained parks and gardens, such as the Japanese Garden, and two swimming pools, with a view over the city.

It was quite a long walk, but a nice interruption to city life.