Friday, June 12 2015, Santiago
There's something very black and white movie about Santiago. It's not Buenos Aires chic or Montevideo super retro but there is still a lingering sense of the old school here. One diner on Avenue O'Higgins sums this up for me: leather American 50's style diner stools; weathered but decades still left in them, black-shirted uniformed staff, glass front doors with wooden handles, the cold June air punctuating the room when perhaps it shouldn't. Santiagans dash by outside, most dressed in winter greys and blacks but many of them smiling and laughing: warm hearted in the cold. All of this feels earthy in a wonderful way. Cracked and missing paving stones are not good but they add to this yesteryear vibe. Sinatra plays as Mexico take on Peru, Cabernet Sauvignon Central Valley accentuating the positive vibe.
It's been an unashamedly lazy day after two days of travel and an intense day one at La Copa yesterday. Rado Hostel has top notch Santiago panoramas and breakfast.
Later in the day, I stroll around Bohemian Barrio Lastorria, home to imaginative street art and the odd Parisian style cafe. Further afield I marvel at the architecture - rather than the art - of the magnificent Palacio de Bellas Artes (pictured above).