Saturday, May 21, 2011

South American Journey - Epilogue

It has been two months since we returned from our South American Journey. Regrettably, I have neglected to finish the story.
This is the only group picture I managed to get. From left to right are Susan, John, Sarah, Van, Charlotte and me.

After leaving the ship we spent several days in Santiago. Santiago was by far the most progressive city we visited on the journey. The presidential palace, La Moneda, is a grand building with a storied past.
In the past, I never imagined that we would be able to pose for pictures beside the presidential guards.
In the late 1970's, Chile elected a socialist president, Salvador Allende. After several years of Socialist/Communist leadership he was deposed by a military junta led by Agusto Pinochet. In the process Allende committed suicide. As a result Allende has become somewhat of a mythical hero to many.
Santiago is a beautiful city with many parks, flowers, etc.
Chile loves seafood and we managed to enjoy some King Crab, a real treat!
Chile has a national police force known as the Carabineros. Growing up I always had a healthy respect for them. In recent years they have made an effort to relax their stern image. One other change has been the addition of women to their ranks.
As mentioned earlier, Santiago is a city of parks, monuments and modern buildings.

On our last day in Santiago we visited a large shopping mall that was larger than any I have ever visited in the United States. Charlotte and I found this burger place that was one of many restaurants. By the way, we shared the burger!

I was impressed with Santiago. It is a large, prosperous, bustling city with a strong infrastructure. I was also surprised at how expensive things were. It is a city that I would love to visit again. By the way, being in the southern hemisphere, their summer is during our winter. So if you want to find a nice warm climate to visit in January or February, Chile is the place to go.

Reflecting on our journey, last week while talking with my brother, I told him, it was an incredible treat! We were able to visit some fascinating places; I was able to connect with a lot of my heritage; being on the cruise ship we were well taken care of; of course the food was awesome; and being able to share that experience with a special group of family and friends simply made it special.

I will always be thankful for the incredible blessing of being able to take that 'South American Journey'.

"But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the LORD’s praise,
for he has been good to me."
Psalm 13: 5-6

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