santiago - mercado central & la vega

if vancouver would be a south-american city, it would be santiago. it's clean, modern, friendly, compact, efficient. there are parts of it that reminds me much of montreal, especially the mount in the middle of the city which offers fantastic points of view all around.

the food markets of "central mercado" and "la vega" were the highlights of our visit here. in central mercado there are fish and shellfish of all kinds, shapes, and sizes. a delights for the senses and i went crazy with my brand new canon g9. it's also full of small restaurants serving the fish and good, solid local food. delicious in a very bustling atmosphere.

across the river from the mercado, there is the market of "la vega" a succession of sheds each with their speciality. first staples you need around the kitchen, then as you move north, other sheds with all kinds meats. really, the chilean are not affraid of their meat and everything here is on display: the guts, the heads, all kinds of cuts and bits. although more hygenical, it reminded me very much of a similar market in india. in that complex, you can also have lunch at one of many food stalls serving what looked like some pretty delicious local dishes.

next up was fruits & vegetables where we saw some pretty crazy corn. i mean they have these huge corns the size of maria's tighs. and this is not talking about the zuchinis... a bit funny looking actually...

i loved it and could have spent the whole day taking pictures. stall owners were very friendly and talkative. making jokes with us and wanting to know where we were from. one of them even proposed to my wife, which i had to diplomatically decline - he did have a big knife in his hands...

even though, many many people told me to keep our things safely attached to our body especially the camera and warned us that many petty pickposkets prowl the market. although we were on our guard, it did not stop us from having a super good time.