A Chile Winter: Viña del Mar

Bienvenidos a la Ciudad Jardín, Viña del Mar, known for its boulevards lined with palm trees, and white-sand beaches. This Garden City is one of the most frequented resorts of Chile during the summer time and since 1931 has been the home of the Presidential summer residence on Cerro Castillo.

One of Viña’s most distinguished landmarks is the Reloj de Flores. This clock, with arms over nine feet long, was built in 1962 for the start of the World Cup games in Chile. A few weeks ago a tourist played a prank and set the flower clock back a couple of hours…

In Viña one finds everything from a real Moai statue (as close to one as I’ll get without making the trip Easter Island!) and a large casino.

Here, one also can visit Estadio Sausalito, one of the venues for the 1962 World Cup: “Aún sin Pelé ganó Brasil por 3-1 a Inglaterra. Nadie esperaba otra cosa en Viña del Mar. Garrincha anoto dos hermosos goles: “Con Pele hubieran sido media docena!” fue la critica sudamericana hacia Inglaterra.” I could just imagine the thrill of scoring a goal for one’s country midst a crowd of over 70,000 spectators!

At the first opportunity I had I threw off my shoes – I love the feeling of the sand in between my toes – and without hesitation I ran for the Pacific Ocean. After a chilly week in Santiago, it was wonderful to feel the warmth of the sun upon my face with the slight cool breeze and to hear the sound of the seagulls and the waves crashing upon the shore.