Summertime in Winter

In the midst of winter, when we’ve had snow for so long that the cold & white has become a habit, I remember warm summer days… Summer in a country where there actually is summer right now: Chile.
During my years in the Netherlands I met my friend Claudia, who did environmental studies far from home: she was originally from Colombia, but her family had moved to Chile for work. We immediately bonded and became close friends. My earlier experiences with people from Latin America had already been very positive – I just loved their openness, enthusiasm and generosity. So when Claudia invited me to her sister’s wedding in Santiago de Chile I couldn’t resist but to jump on a plane a fly half way
across the world.
This first trip to Chile – two more were to follow – was far too short for the long haul flight, but definitely worth it. It felt a bit like coming home: I adored the people, the climate, the beauty of the country, and the soft way in which they spoke Spanish ☺
The wedding itself was a stunning experience on a roof terrace in the middle of the capital on a mild summer evening, with amazing people, good food, great music, dancing, and refreshing Pisco Sours, my absolute favourite local cocktail. I felt so privileged to have
been invited!
Apart from visiting Santiago, I got to see many other beautiful places in Chile. Claudia’s friends invited us to their places at the Laguna de Aculeo in the mountains (Cordillera de la Costa) and to the seaside resort Algarrobo. To experience the Pacific Ocean in all its might was an overpowering experience for me who was used to the calm and discreet Baltic Sea. From Algarrobo it was not far to the most incredible of national poet Pablo Neruda’s three houses: the one in Isla Negra. One day I will dedicate an entire blog post to that enchanted place…
Food in Chile is very varied and of excellent quality. Some of my favourites were empanadas and bocadillos, machas (clams) a la parmesana and other fantastic seafood (as a vegetarian I just had to make exceptions ;-), plus the best avocados ever – they grow naturally there. And of course I have to mention the fantastic Chilean wines! I tasted many different varieties and one of my favourites ended up being unique carménère grape, nowadays extinct in Europe.
Yes, I still have a dream: to return Chile – for a longer period of time, to really explore this stunning country.

The endless beach at Algarrobo

This entry was posted in Food, Meetings, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.