Chilean Spanish is known for its ingenuous ways with words – there’s a funny expression for everything. And if someone lives in Cloud Cuckoo Land, in Chile they are living ‘Bilz and Pap Land’, the technicolour landscape of an ad campaign by the Chilean equivalent to CocaCola. Little did I know that by visiting Santiago de Chile, however, I’d end up right in the centre of Cloud Cuckoo Land!
What do you know about Santiago de Chile? I bet you very little: earthquakes, Pinochet, but not much else. am I right? Well, fact is, you’ve seen it a lot of times, you just don’t know it.
But, cusiously, we also came across snow of the artificial kind:
This picture was taken right int the centre of Santiago , close to the ‘Moneda‘, the government building which was notoriously bombed during the coup that ended Chile’s brief spell under the socialist Allende and brought General Pinochet to power.
Today the Moneda has been restored to its former glory and you can even find a statue of Allende nearby.
If you’re looking for ways to escape the August weather, the Moneda hosts a beautiful culture centre – tucked away underneath the restored palace and well worth a visit!
Could you believe it: the palace’s forecourt is right above this impressive hall!
Another fantastic museum to visit is the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, which displays artefacts from all over Latinamerica and illustrates the continent’s rich history prior to the arrival of Columbus in 1492. These giant statues were my absolute favourites:
The Museo de Arte Precolumbiano also has a lovely courtyard cafe, just in case you need a rest.
Have you had your déja vu yet? The clue was the picture of the artificial snow around a fountain in the city centre. Did you pick up on the Christmas decorations? And wondered why on Earth they decked the halls in August?
The giant ‘graffiti’ on a nearby wall provided the final clue:
Although I wouldn’t necessarily drink the stuff, I was looking forward to seeing their Christmas commercial. Now I can proudly say that I’ve been to the Land of Bilz and Pap. Literally.
Next time you see the ad, pinch yourself: that’s what Santiago de Chile looks like, in August! And I’ll be bringing this along to Angie’s Fiesta Friday party, where we have been wondering how to celebrate the 200th party, which coincides with Christmas Day. Head over, check out what her co-hosts , Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju and Stef @ The Kiwi Fruit are up to, and get involved!