One of our goals in our first week of arriving in Santiago was to climb to the top of San Cristobal Hill, a landmark in Santiago with a large statue of Mary at the peak and vistas to view the expansive metropolis. The hill is within Parque Metropolitano, the largest urban park in South America.
We explored the park today. We climbed to the top. We rode the funicula, a cog train up and down the steep slope. We visited Zoologico Natiocional on the hillside. And we managed, without much incident, to buy tickets, order concessions, and find our way around the park and zoo in Spanish.
We must have stood out in the Chilean crowd that formed in the early afternoon. At the aviary a group of Chilean school aged kids surrounded us to show us they could speak simple English. Hello. How are you. My name is… They laughed in amusement to get an English response out of one of us as they approached again and again with one greeting or another.