Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Quick trip to Antofagasta

One of the most notable events in my life this past year was getting sent to Antofagasta.  I probably otherwise would've never considered going, and didn't expect much because in general people don't speak too highly of the city; I'm not really sure why that is.  It wasn't so bad, though it was more expensive and I definitely wouldn't trade it for Valparaiso.   

Since I didn't really have a choice in the matter I was just glad to be able to go on a little trip and get to see something new.  It didn't hurt that one of my boyfriend's best friends was living there at the time so I had someone to show me around, and I also got to meet many other people, including a few other young and interesting foreigners, while I was there.  

La portada.  It's pretty, though I don't get the hype.
I surprisingly liked Antofagasta.   It felt like Valparaiso a lot in terms of the layout, especially at night, though the plan was actually much bigger.  It took quite a while to get from one end to the other.

I loved the cool buildings in Antofagasta.
The ones in the city center had such amazing colors, windows, and decorations. 

Look at the gorgeous materials used here! 

Most interesting find, at the museum house in the train yard, was this old poster of mug shots. 

Check out the hilarious nicknames.

All aboard!

Awesome murals on this building play eye and mind tricks on you. 

Of course we stopped by the Huanchaca ruins, where they used to process silver extracted in Bolivia.  The state of the ruins was surprising to me given that this site only shut down around the turn of the century, houses on my street were built then and they look nothing like this! 

Probably the best part of the entire trip was that, for the first time in my life* I got to stay alone in a nice hotel.  I normally stay in hostals when I travel, and I am usually with other people. This time, however, I found myself with a brand new hotel room with two huge beds, a flatscreen TV, a nice view, and an elegant bathroom full of marble and a futuristic, pressurized shower!!  Nothing like the little drip of fixed-temperature water I get in Valparaiso!  

Staying in such a nice place, I almost didn't know what to do with myself.  I literally ditched out on the bars to take the worlds longest shower and watch TV.  And, between you and me, I may or may not have spent a while jumping back and forth between the beds.  

*The real first time I stayed in a hotel room by myself was horrifying.  I had booked the room in Sao Paulo online in order to take a taxi straight there from the airport.  However, the hotel turned out not to be, well...  geared towards backpackers, or, tourists at all.  Long story short, I didn't get much sleep on top of the beach towel I set on top of the comforter in my wall-to-wall-mirrored room off a dark alley. Good times!  

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