22nd February 1969 – it was cold wet day in Liverpool, UK.
What to do to celebrate fifty years of happy marriage? We like cruising so how about a cruise around Cape Horn at the bottom of the world?
So be it . . . . .
Our plan was to fly to Santiago in Chile, have three nights before joining a ship in San Antonio for a sixteen night cruise to Buenos Aires, with three nights in BA before flying home.
Everything had to be just so – so we required a hotel – after checking various hotels in Santiago we decided on the Crown Plaza, and we would stay on the Club Floor.
We mentioned our plans to friends with whom we’d traveled before, and one couple from New Zealand decided to join us, and another from the north east of England also joined us.
The two males and I had joined HMS Conway in September 1960, and we’d kept in touch over the years, so the trip would also be a mini-reunion. They had both retired from the sea as Master of their own vessels, and had previous experience around the South American coast during their working life at sea.
Maureen & I and our NZ friends flew out of Sydney to Santiago on Tuesday, and arrived about 90 minutes before we left Australia, thanks to us crossing the dateline. The flight was actually over twelve hours.
We flew with Qantas in one of their last remaining B747s, a comfortable flight in premium economy.
Our hotel room on the 20th floor.
Views from our window
In the early evening we went for a short walk around the area of the hotel – the UK couple would not be joining us until the following afternoon.
A short walk from the hotel and we found Plaza Baquedano, with a statue of General Manuel Baquedano on his horse.
The General had been commander in chief of the Chilean army during the Pacific War of 1879 to 1884, which was also known as the ‘ten cents war’ or ‘Saltpeter war’ when Bolivia tried to tax Chilean mining of the rich nitrate of coastal Bolivia, even though they had agreed not to tax the Chileans.
The war escalated and Chile found herself fighting both Peru & Bolivia. The first five months of the war was a sea campaign, which Peru lost. Bolivia didn’t have any ships, but relied on issuing certificates of marque to anyone who would be willing to fight for Bolivia at sea.
Britain, the US and France stood by the Paris Declaration of 1855 which outlawed privateers. The sea war was now between Chile & Peru – which Peru lost.
Bolivia lost her coastal nitrate strip to Chile, which is why Bolivia today is landlocked.
Plaza Baquedano is also used by the people as rallying place when they wish to make a point – I don’t know what the rally was for in the short piece of film.
As the sun set over Santiago I just had to take this photograph of the snow capped mountain. We had just passed Plaza Baquedano.
The following morning we decided to use the hop on hop off bus to get a ‘feel’ of the city, plus it was getting to hot to walk around.
As you see it was 11.00 am and already 31.2 c outside.
Santiago is a pleasant town with modern buildings mixed with the older historic buildings, and quite a few parks.
The roads were clean and traffic was orderly.
Santiago looking to the future.
The Costanera Center Torre, also known as Gran Torre Santiago, – sixty four storey tall making it the tallest building in Latin America. It is the second tallest in the southern hemisphere, the tallest being in Melbourne, Australia.
In the city centre the old still has an attraction – The Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago can be seen (the two small towers). Construction began in 1748 and was completed in 1800. The square is the Plaza de Armas.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago entrance.
Inside the cathedral
Plaza de Armas – the main square of Santiago. The building with the flag flying is the central post office.
I took the above from the bus . . .
Plaza de Armas – being good Aussies we moved from shadow to shadow to keep cool.
Giant flag of Chile flying over Citizen Square, Avenida La Alameda.
The flag pole is 61 meters (200 feet) tall the flag itself is 27 meters (88.5 feet) by 18 meters (59 feet) and was erected to celebrate the bi-centenary of Chile in 2010. The square is beyond the flag. I took the photograph from the top deck of the bus, a quick point & click.
If you have a golden wedding you need some music and the obvious choice is something called Golden Wedding
Turn the sound UP!