Hola amigos! This weekend has been quite an eventful one and, better yet, I also get an extra day since this Monday (August 15) is a holiday in Chile called Asuncion de la Virgen (translated it means Ascension of the Virgin but the English name is Assumption Day). Since it is a holiday, no students have class that day and it means I can sleep in :).
Anyways, I will start with what I did Friday which was go to the movies at Mall Costanera (the huge mall I wrote about in my first article). On the top floor there is a movie theater and my friend and I decided to go to see Escuadron Suicidio (or Suicide Squad as you guys might know it in the United States). The theater is slightly different than in the US in a few ways. First, you can decide to watch the movies in either English with the original voices and Spanish subtitles or in Spanish, but not original voices obviously. Chileans mostly choose to watch it in English mostly because it includes the original voices which I can understand. Also, in Chilean theaters when you buy your ticket you also choose on a computer screen what seats you want and you kind of have to do so quickly because you can see other seats being taken on the screen.
The next day, unsure of where to go, I found out on the internet about Cementerio General de Santiago which is one of the largest cemeteries in all of Latin America with an estimated 2 million burials. I have a weird fascination for cemeteries so of course I went, but let me tell you, this was one of the most beautiful cemeteries I have ever seen!
I felt as if I was walking through a wonderland in Cementerio General de Santiago. The further and deeper I walked into the cemetery the more beautiful and intriguing the place became. I also like that the civilians here in Santiago have kind of made this place a nice, peaceful area to relax or take a walk. The place was not packed with people, but, here and there, I would find people just enjoying the environment and the elegance all around them. There were plenty of people managing the cemetery as well and, of course, families leaving flowers and other gifts for their loved ones. In fact, there were many vendors at the cemetery as well selling items to place on the burials such as teddy bears, balloons, flowers, toys, candles, and these colorful sticks with characters on them (like Bart Simpson, Sponge bob, and other cartoon characters).
While walking around in the cemetery, I could not help but notice how close this huge hill was to the cemetery; it looked as if it was in walking distance. And it was! It turned out that this huge hill was known as Cerro Blanco and it is about 292-feet tall (almost the height of the Statue of Liberty or Big Ben). Being the curious cat I am, I headed straight over to Cerro Blanco from Cementerio General de Santiago. The bottom of the hill is sort of like a park for people to jog, bike, relax, or exercise with the several public workout machines. As I was walking around the bottom of the hill, I found a path that lead up to the top and boy was it a far walk. It was a bad idea to wear jeans that day, but I kept going. I think the road I was walking on was meant for cars only because I saw several signs saying “do not pass,””area prohibited,” “danger: watch out for rock-slides.” However, as I was walking up, a couple people passed by me without saying anything to me; so, I continued on going up Cerro Blanco. Then finally when I reached the top, I was awarded with an amazing view of the city.